Did Apple intentionally make iOS 7 controversial to hide a bigger issue?

ios 7 608x395 Am I the only one who thinks that iOS 7 looks ugly?

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The question I have is simple: where is all the talk about the basic outdated nature of iOS now?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.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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9 thoughts on “Did Apple intentionally make iOS 7 controversial to hide a bigger issue?

  • “I’m fairly certain that a lot of people would then be screaming about Apple’s inability to change”

    That’s because the average tech follower is a moron. Collectively, we overemphasize and overvalue aesthetic changes over functional improvements.

    For an Android example, look at the Galaxy S4. Despite the fact that it has a better processor, more RAM (in the non-US variants), better RAM (DDR3), better screen, better battery, better camera, lots of new software features, all while being thinner and lighter, yet people still labeled it as an “S3 rehash” and mockingly called it the GS3s. Why? Because it “looks the same”, despite it being better in every measurable way.

    I don’t think Apple was diabolical in changing their appearance, rather they were answering the largest criticism that tech followers seem to have: the “feeling” of stagnation (regardless of whether stagnation is actually occurring).

    • Avatar of Salmanazar

      You just highlighted the very reason the S4 may be being mocked as the S3s, the fact that, leaving aside all the useless bloatware accompanying it, such as silly eye tracking, all the S4 is is a re-designed S3 with just faster and more of the same or larger hardware.

      Not much point in having the fastest CPU if the user can make effective use of it. For example, I don’t think there is any point in those 4 cores if you just use it for phone/web/email.

      Also, I’d hold off on calling it a better screen. Bigger, yes, but whether that translates to better is subjective and given the complaints I hear that the S4 is just too big, I think the jury is out on it being better.

      • “all the S4 is is a re-designed S3 with just faster and more of the same or larger hardware.”

        The S4 is an upgrade in nearly every comparison to the S3. The iPhone 4s had only a better processor, better camera, and a single software “gimmick” (Siri) over its predecessor. The comparison isn’t even close. Name one area where the S4 is not an upgrade over the S3. The iPhone 4->4s has several non-upgraded components.

        “Also, I’d hold off on calling it a better screen. Bigger, yes, but whether that translates to better is subjective…”

        Its not just bigger, but higher definition as well. 1080p objectively outshines 720p and this is further exaggerated by the pixel arrangements.

        What upgrades have to occur for something to be considered a generation-worthy upgrade, in your opinion?

        • Avatar of Salmanazar

          I am not arguing it isn’t an upgrade, clearly it is, but that is all it is. Nothing is new, unique or revolutionary, only bigger and faster and that is probably why it has been mockingly called an S3s.

          I know the screen is larger, and I would expect more pixel, it would have to go with the territory. But the real question is does that make it better? Some people seem to think not.

          Reviews I’ve read have also been ho-hum yes, bigger, faster, more, but nothing new or exciting to make a fuss about.

          • Avatar of Skyrocker

            Hi Salmanazar,

            Whatever the case, whichever phone is better iPhone or Samsung aka Android. The sales number don’t lie. Both are as popular.

            Samsung S4 is for detective or spy phone and iPhone is a Quality and elegant old smartphone.
            S4 not just had a hardware upgrade but software that make it more intelligent.
            It has air motion, air gestures, embedded NFC for smart wallet that making the people smarter in day to day life.

            You can share info between phone by just a light tap, information automatically shared between the 2. Samsung allows you to plug in Thumbdrive with a converter to read and write, in and out from the phone without need a PC.

            Whether you are in APP sms, contact, call log or in call history log. You may swipe left to right to SMS, or right to left for Call. While you are reading a sms, just moved the phone near your ear, the Call automatically establish for your convenient.

            You may pick up a call without touching the phone which is useful when your hands are wet and dirty or even when you are playing Instrument. While your hands are still dirty or wet, you may even scroll the page and even flip to another tab and read the website without hassle.

            With the phone having Miracast feature, with just a press on the button, your phone auto linkup to your Smart TV without need Apple TV. You may view your phone on larger version on the Smart TV. No wires, no need to turn on switch for the Apple TV.

            Samsung included a WatchOn that acts as TV remote control. You may set to control your Blueray player & Cable Box. Most of us carry our phone around whenever we go, the universal remote control does come in handy.

            With built in NFC, s3 and s4 can check your transportation transactions and balance value right from your phone. You may check the card value of the following country Hongkong, Singapore, Tokyo and many more

            There are many more………since your phone is called Smartphone, why not your phone extend the conveniences to you than limit what your phone can do.

    • Avatar of JRDemaskus

      I am pretty sure Samsung and Android blow away Apple and IOS in every way except mindless followers.
      I would recommend an iPhone or WP8 as a starter Smartphone for 90% of the general population.
      Most people I know cannot handle or understand much of what Android has to offer.
      I expect higher specs to improve functionality.
      The additional new functions and features that Samsung and Android offer are just the icing.

  • Avatar of Ketim

    I am an Android user, and I really don’t like Apple due to their system limitation (specially the sharing options). However, I took a look of the design and I liked it a lot. It is very neat and clean. That translucid feature is like a dream. Well, that is my opinion about the design.

  • hi, just bought this new iPad 5. i never called/call myself an apple eater (user) it gives me constipation. yet, i bought this iPad thinking maybe apple have changed itself to good this time; since world is changing its functionality so quickly. now i m forced to keep it since i paid for it. apple lovers use to argue with me that have u ever used it how can i be sure that apple is not rotten. upon which i use to say that i used it time to time borrowing it from my cousin. they said that is not enough. so now i m having enough of it and still m not satisfied. HONESTLY, I THREW MY HARD EARNED MONEY IN GARBAGE. RIP apple. Apple is good for growing up kids cuz it has nothing to offer for grown ups.

  • Avatar of Nir Vimna

    I have been using Android for several years and a few months ago was given an iPad 3 from my mother because she simply doesn’t use it. I also have a Kindle Fire HD that I got free from a bank (shall not be mentioned to avoid appearance of shenanigans).

    In any event, I rooted the Fire and it limps along as a ghetto Android tablet. There are some problems, but I *MUCH* prefer this “emaciated” android tablet to the iPad. The navigation and restrictions across the board on the iPad are rediculous.

    In all fairness, Apple makes absolutely beautiful and very high quality HARDWARE. I love the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. The OS absolutely sucks.

    I have the choice and just let my kids hammer on the iPad now. I don’t even use it any more.

    I’d much rather have a midrange car that I can drive myself than an awesome Ferrari with a fool at the wheel. Fortunately, the S4 is much closer to a Ferrari.


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