Tech Battle: iOS 7 vs iOS 6!

I haven’t done a Tech Battle for so long that most of you are probably scratching your heads at this point in time. Tech Battles are when I pit either a) technology against technology or b) technology against its non-technological counterpart. I have done three of these, the last one being in mid-July… so this is long overdue. As this blog turned from a technology blog (hence the name) to a more of a mish-mash kind of blog which has nothing to do with technology, I didn’t feel as compelled to do these as before.

Besides which, pretty much everyone has already reviewed iOS 7, so I’m kind of late reviewing this… but ah well. :P

(Usually in Tech Battles I state the case of each opponent in turn and then give a verdict, but that doesn’t really work here, so I’ll do it in terms of features. Also, this is written for those who already have an Apple device, so I use a lot of Apple terms in the post).

Overall interface

I don’t understand what people have got against something called skeuomorphism, which is basically when something virtual tries to imitate the real world. E.g. the wooden iBooks background. It really isn’t that big a deal, and if it’s done right, it can look really good. At the same time, now Apple have gone for a more minimalist look, I have really warmed to it, and I think the home screen does look a bit prettier than it used to (apps excluded, we’ll come to those later).

One of the things I have grown to love is the translucency in iOS 7. At first I hated it, but it’s strangely satisfying to see the background of your phone even when you pull down the ‘Notification Center’ (I think that’s what it’s called). There are many other semi-transparent creeks and crevices on the new iOS, and I love all of them. Another feature everyone is talking about is parallax (which makes your iPhone look slightly 3-D). This is mostly about how it gives you migraines, but I haven’t really noticed this much.

The bar at the top looks revamped and shiny (not entirely sure why they had to change the battery icon) and the typography is really nice as well. They revamped the code screen as well, and it looks a lot better.

On the other hand iOS 6 is good enough, but is nowhere near as shiny or cool or dare I say it, glamorous (nope, not going to say it).

In other words, iOS 7 wins hands down for overall interface.

Lock screen and apps

 

Probably the first thing you see when you open an iPhone is the Lock Screen… and I have to say it looks decidedly cooler on the iOS 7 interface.

As for apps, the ones on iOS 6 are all tried and tested. Although some of the apps look a bit iffy, most of them are useful and stylish inside and out. My only real problem in iOS 6 is the Facetime logo, which is just a bit meh.

In iOS 7, the apps are more hit and miss: the apps that look good look really good, but there is of course the other extreme. For instance, I like the look of the new Photos app, the Clock, the Calendar (it was a lot harder to get to BC 1 on the old calendar – yes I did have the time and effort to do that), the Contacts, Notes, Reminders… etc. Unfortunately, the camera app looks horrendous – it’s lost a lot of it’s Apple identity. The Calculator, Voice Memos and Compass all look really bad… All of them have just lost all their personality completely. Also… what happened to iBooks? The nice, wooden background? I loved that! Now it’s literally just grey. All over. Seriously guys? (As a side note, Game Center (re) looks a bit ridiculous with all the bubbles, but I don’t really use this app, so I can’t properly pass judgement).

On that somewhat macabre note… I think I have to give it to iOS 6 here, because it’s a lot more consistent overall.

Verdict?

So I’m going to go with iOS 7 on this one, although if you have iOS 6, it’s definitely still pretty good. My pet peeves will probably fade over time as I get used to the new interface. I suppose iOS 7 was always going to happen, so there’s no point moaning about it.

Next up… iPad Air vs the pencil. Don’t ask why, all will be revealed…

Joe.

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