See, all this time, I thought the main thing about iOS 7 was going to be the color. The iPhone 5c is about the color. The parallax effect and dynamic wallpapers are achieved with color. The flat icons use color to striking effect. But the apps…have you launched Calendar yet? Contacts? Music? I haven’t seen this much white on one screen since Friends went off the air.
I get that no one at Apple was happy with the whole skeuomorphism thing. A tiny iPhone app shouldn’t look like its real life counterpart, after all, especially considering it doesn’t work the same way. Your iPhone calendar doesn’t behave like a desktop calendar, so there’s no reason it should look like one. But at least with the skeuomorphic thing, I new where the menu ended and content began. Now, the Calendar app is an unattractive mess of black, gray and blinding white, with some red thrown in to make sure we’re reminded to give blood every six weeks.
There are subway maps that are more attractive to the eye than Calendar is, and easier to read.
Contacts is almost as bad, but with a sterile looking blue replacing the warning light red. I guess that’ll help me remember which app I’m in, because the flat white background could otherwise be confused with Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Mail, even Game Center. I like the little outline icons used in each, but I prefer for my user interface to actually be an interface, not a rough sketch on a napkin.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh. This complete and total lack of design worked for Google, after all…or is that my issue with it? That may actually be the problem. Having nothing to look at worked for Google’s search engine because the whole point was to get out of it and into something better. But with Apple’s Apps, the point is stay there for a bit, enter the information you need, and be able to retrieve it easily. I’m not sure the new design is conducive to that when I have to stare at tiny dots and letters and symbols to figure out what’s a menu item and what’s hidden behind it, if anything.
This isn’t the end of the world, of course, and it in no way means iOS 7 is a failure. There’s plenty to like, and we’ll be covering a lot of it in the coming days here at AppleTell. But if Apple doesn’t give us a UI update soon to make the content in their apps discernible, I’ll be quickly moving on to better alternatives.