As an avid user of Apple products (I’m typing this on my iPad4), I am bound by religious dogma to be ecstatic of anything that Apple does in the way of innovation. This is just one of the ways of the world and it is something that I fully accept.
Yesterday, Apple released iOS 7 Beta 3 to its developer community. Luckily, as a developer, I am part of that community (read: I have paid for the privilege of being part of that community). I installed iOS 7 Beta 3 on my iPhone 5 within 15 minutes of it being available. At no time did I lose any productivity time at work, I swear.
This is my current home screen on my iPhone 5. Normally I have a photo of Earl and Jamie and me (or some other family type photo) as my home screen because I like the idea of having a little photo frame in my pocket, but iOS 7 has eliminated the little “swipe bar” to unlock the phone. Now you just swipe anywhere on the screen and it feels weird to to swipe across someone’s face. It feels unnatural. Because this is a beta and nothing is ever written in stone with software, especially in the beta phase of testing, I’m not too worked up about this. It’s also really not that significant to get worked up about.
While I’m very excited about the new functionality that is starting to show itself in iOS 7, I have to admit that I am not excited at all about the new design elements, especially the typography. As you can see in the screenshot above, Apple, more specifically Jony Ive, the lead designer and engineer of the project, is favoring thin, “modern” looking fonts throughout this new version of iOS.
I’m not a fan. I’m not a fan because it just feels too “dainty” to me.
Now, I don’t know if I’m getting more set in my ways as I get older or if my tastes are falling even more out of step with the consensus of the general public, but I don’t want an expensive piece of technology to feel “delicate”. I don’t want a light, airy experience with my technology. I want to be able to embrace it, grapple it, and maul it. Perhaps this is just a quirk of my already quirky personality, but this is one of the reasons that I use Apple hardware to begin with; I like the metal and solid feel of my iProducts. If I wanted something delicate, I’d buy a (much) cheaper piece of plastic and silicon and call it a day.
As I continue to use my iPad with iOS 6 on it (the version everyone is used to), I find myself more comfortable with the experience because it feels less “delicate” and more resilient. Yes, the interface could use some freshening up, but I don’t think it needs to be so fresh that it feels like it’s been through a TV commercial that makes women roll their eyes (due to the unnatural talk between mother and daughter) and men downright uncomfortable. (You know what I’m talking about.)
I guess I’m going to have to find a way to butch my iPhone back up a bit. The user of an ever-so-slightly bolder font in this latest beta is a slight step in the right direction but I don’t think we’re going to ever get back to that feeling of “metal and hooah” that I somewhat feel in iOS 6.
Maybe I’ll put a piece of duct tape on the back or something.