The Macalope: It's not even done and it's all broken!


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Sorry if iOS 7 has you down, because The Next Web’s Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten has reserved all the sads about it for himself.

“iOS 7: Apple’s new design is no longer about making it work, and that’s too bad” (tip o’ the antlers to @iCrizzo).

It has to be said …

No! It really doesn’t, actually. At least not yet because, you know, iOS 7 isn’t done yet.

… iOS 7 is just not an improvement over iOS 6.

It’s funny how “I don’t like the icons and somebody stole all mah buttons” has turned into “iOS 7 IS COMPLETELY USELESS” without any consideration to the underlying technological improvements in the operating system. Possibly this is because apps have not yet been rewritten to take advantage of these technologies, which is kind of the point of providing a developer release, not just having a bunch of Internet fops gripe about visual details.

And yes, I am aware that iOS 7 is still in beta and not for public release right now.

And, yet, you’re writing this. It’s not done, you know that it’s not done, and yet you’re writing that this not-ready-for-production software that developers have yet to take advantage of is not better than the for-production release that preceded it.

Which is apparently a thing you can do on the Internet these days and not explode from embarrassment. Or implode from the weight of the shame.

Ah, well, maybe the embarrassment and shame, while both incredibly powerful forces, cancel each other out. That could be. Carry on.

It isn’t the first time that Apple has launched something I didn’t immediately like.

There’s a shocker.

On Twitter, Boris was also using a screenshot of a folder in iOS 7 on an iPad as an example of the horrible design, because that’s totally how it’s going to look come fall, and it’s not like folders even changed between the first beta and the second, right?

When I first saw the iPad I thought the spacing of the home screen icons was off and I also remember not liking the black bezels on the MacBook Pro when they were first shown.

Somehow Apple survived those two near-death experiences.

Unfortunately, iOS 7 is not something you will just get used to.

Well, wrong. The Macalope, and many others, are already used to it. Perhaps you meant it was not something that you will get used to. That may have been what you meant.

So is it really ugly? Yes, it is.

How do we know it’s ugly? Because Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten said it was.

But besides ugly it is also inconsistent.

Unlike iOS 6, which was a model of perfectly consistent interface elements.

When Steve Jobs announced the first version of Mac OS X, he described the new ‘aqua’ interface in an interview with Fortune magazine as follows:

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”

And, as we all know, wanting to lick the screen means your interface is a model of usability.

Well, in a tongue-driven interface.

iOS 7 is flat …

“Flat” isn’t really the right word. It’s certainly less ornamented, but the switches in Settings have depth, as does the parallax effect. But keep calling it “flat,” because it makes writing these posts a heck of a lot easier, right?

… and although it is described as an interface where all the unnecessary design elements are gone, what we are left with is an interface that is less intuitive and doesn’t invite the user to touch and play around.

The Macalope’s not going to say he doesn’t have any idea what Boris is going on about here. The “Slide to unlock” graphic, for example, is currently muddled by the lack of any arrows. Only the shimmer effect on the words themselves indicates that you should swipe to the right, and the addition of the up arrow for Control Center further confuses the situation. However, take a look at Game Center in iOS 6 and try to figure out which screen elements are tappable. Good luck. Is the ribbon that says “Games”? Nooo, of course not, but the ribbon that says “Change Photo” is. Game Center in iOS 7, while clearly not done, is playful and positively begs to be tapped.

… I often felt like I was looking at a web interface …

Yeah! And nobody knows how the heck to operate those!

With iOS, design is no longer just how it works, and that’s too bad.

For every example of something that doesn’t work as well in iOS 7, the Macalope bets he can find at least one counter-example of something that works better. But, more to the point, it’s not finished yet. Maybe we could hold off until it’s done to pass summary judgement on it?

Haha. Just kidding.

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