Apple and Steve Jobs started the smart phone revolution. Just 7 short years ago we had the first iPhone, a technical marvel in its day. The craftsmanship of not only the device but also the iOS operating system was a thing to behold. Apple continued with its excellence in both hardware and software design for years. Unfortunately, the wild ride has ended, at least for the moment. While the hardware has kept up relatively well (although there is not a heck of a lot of innovation), the iOS operating system has, sadly, regressed.
I hate to say it, but ever since Steve Jobs passed away, the Apple ‘ecosystem’ has been going downhill. The passion and excitement that encompassed the work by the company, and the iOS development team in particular, seems to have expired with him.
It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I’d say that over the last couple of iOS versions, and particularly with iOS 7, the operating system has lost its ‘elegance’. For example, the new app opening animations in iOS 7 are jarring and unattractive. The move away from skeuomorphism sounds fine in principal, but the the end result does not embrace the idea of elegant design found in previous versions. Why do all the Apple apps have to be so white and flat?
I have more pet peeves, including non-intuitive changes to Safari, Spotlight search and general OS operations (like killing an app), sketchy mail updates, and app backwards compatibility issues. And the new camera app is a big step backward with respect to ease of use; try figuring out how to switch from camera to video mode for the first time; not obvious. I could go on, but you get the point. I am not a big fan at the moment.
I used to look forward to each new iOS version and was excited to become and early adopter. iOS 7 has soured me a bit. I am hoping that things can only get better from here. I’ll be a little more wary when the iOS 8 release comes out. I may even get (gasp) an Android phone for my next purchase.