Apple’s iPhones are popular. Really popular. So popular that the iOS7 software update today made major news, is a trending topic on Twitter, and is generally creating buzz Users can’t wait to update (or are avoiding the update). Apps are scrambling to update their icons to adapt to the new platform’s new flat design.
Why all the excitement? iOS7 is the is the most striking, complete visual overhaul since iPhone’s debut in 2007. Its highly anticipated flat design has been turning heads since Apple announced the update.
Apple took a big chance with iOS7. In addition to learning a new interface, users also have to re-learn how to use some of their favorite apps, if they decided to redesign as much as Apple did. And, many apps waited until the last minute to update. These apps have a higher chance of crashing and of displaying poorly. While it is obviously isn’t Apple’s responsibility to push apps to update, it does cause issues for their users, which makes it their problem, too.
With the extreme change there is most likely to be some confusion amongst Apple’s users. For several years, Apple has established and branded themselves well through their Apple’s brand is largely based on its ease of use. Will this new flat design take away from that aspect of the brand? Will technically un-savvy users be able to navigate the new interface? Even someone who is an experienced smartphone user will be lost for a while. Without the skeumorphic cues to guide the user towards tap or touch, there will there be confusion.
But, change is inevitable, and staying on the cutting edge is crucial to Apple’s success. Microsoft’s flat design has been wildly popular and users and critics alike have embraced it.
Will Apps Adapt?
The new iOS is moving towards a more swipe-based as opposed to tap-based interface, and many apps are also following suit. They are adopting the parallel screen feature that will now eliminate having to dive deeper into the layers of an app through single touch. Quora is one of the apps that will showcase this feature by letting you flick horizontally. You’ll be able to see where you are within the app (like breadcrumbs on a website) via dots at the top of the screen.
Many developers felt they were ready for the launch. Some brands, like Pandora, completely revamped their app’s icon as well as interior look and feel. Their newly adopted flat design is also hoping to compete with the new iTunes Radio. Other brands such as E-Bay, Vine, Evernote and Shazam also sported new flat design prior to the iOS7 launch.
If all goes well, Apple will see iOS7 adopted by more people than any single version of the rival Google Android. Already there are mixed feelings about the new platform (just check out the trending iOS7 topic on Twitter). But regardless of doubts, millions of people around the world have downloaded the update already. One thing’s for certain: even if you’ve had your iPhone for a while, you’ll feel like you got a new phone.