iOS 7’s design is the big talking point in the iOS world as of late, and most people seem to hate what Apple did to the OS. Some people have even swore to jump ship to Android because of these changes, while others think that Apple is going to make drastic changes by the time iOS 7 is actually released, addressing these concerns. Personally though, another thought has occurred to me lately: what if this controversy is all part of the plan?
Before the announcement of iOS 7, there was a lot of talk about how Apple would have to innovate this time around. iOS has remained more or less visually unchanged since the beginning, and a lot of people think the design is getting dated. Android on the other hand has changed a lot since the beginning, both internally and in terms of what’s available for it. In fact, the ability to make Android look however you want through custom launchers (home screen apps) has paved the way or some truly amazing custom designs. The simply truth of the matter is that this issue Apple has created with iOS 7 couldn’t happen on Android, because the part of the OS that’s under scrutiny is completely user-changeable on Android. Facebook Home is a perfect example of what can be done with that ability, and it’s something that is extremely unlikely to ever be put into iOS.
The question I have is simple: where is all the talk about the basic outdated nature of iOS now? There are some changes to functionality in iOS 7, but as far as the home screen and a lot of other aspect of it goes, it’s essentially unchanged. Few of the issues that were so hot before iOS 7 was announced were actually addressed in iOS 7, but that doesn’t seem to be as important to people right now. The question then becomes if that is what Apple planned all along.
Let’s say for a moment that Apple didn’t change the design at all in iOS 7, but simply included the new features using the current design. How would people then have reacted? I’m fairly certain that a lot of people would then be screaming about Apple’s inability to change, cursing the design that a lot of people would now pay to be allowed to keep. By distracting everyone with a new design, Apple has- whether it was planned or not- been able to direct attention away from the fact that most of the changes are completely visual. I honestly have no clue if that’s even remotely close to the truth, but I can’t help but wonder if people being pissed at the design might just be the favorable outcome here.
It might be optimistic to assume any intelligence on the side of Apple here, but one thing’s for certain: it’s far easier to now go out and tell people they heard them and are changing the design to something different than it would be to respond to complaints about core functionality still being unchanged, and in some cases inferior to Android. Regardless, Apple is showing that even 7 OS versions in, it’s still mostly unwilling to make changes to the way iOS works, and I frankly hope that’s going to be its downfall.