Updated to clarify how to access the Spotlight search screen.
The big Apple news this week might seem to be the new iPhones. But truth be told, the bigger news is iOS 7.
This is the free software update for iPhones (iPhone 4 and later), iPads (iPad 2 and later) and iPod Touches (fifth generation). It’s a radical, huge redesign. Its master architect was Jonathan Ive, the
Apple designer who has brought us astonishing hardware designs for many years; now, for the first time, he’s been put in charge of a whole software universe.
The look of iOS 7 is sparse, white — almost plain in spots. No more fake leather, fake woodgrain, fake green felt, fake yellow note paper. It’s all blue Helvetica Neue against white.
The complete absence of graphic embellishments makes it especially utilitarian — in both senses of the word. That’s good, because whatever button or function you need is easier to find; it’s
bad, because, well, it can look a little boring.
Then again, the new look is primarily visible at the Home screen, where a jarringly different color palette greets you on the Apple app icons, and on the options screen. The rest of the time, you’ll be
using your regular apps, many of which will look no different than before.
The look of iOS 7 may grab you or not. But once the fuss about the visuals dies down, something even more important comes into focus: the work that’s been done on making iOS better. The longer you spend
with the new OS, the more you’re grateful for the fixing and de-annoyifying on display. Read more…