iOS 7 Thoughts

I’ve been using iOS 7 for a little while now. Here are some random observations.

Good Stuff:

  • I love how the timer now appears on the lock screen. I hated having to unlock my phone and switch to the timer app to check a timer, especially when I’m cooking.
  • If you snooze your alarm, the countdown to when the alarm goes off again is also now shown on the lock screen. Pretty nice.
  • You can finally Mark All messages in Mail with one tap. Useful when you have 345954839 unread messages that you’d like to mark as Read.
  • The new smart mailboxes in Mail are great too. You can have an Unread mailbox, or a mailbox that shows all messages with attachments.
  • The typography continues to impress me every time I unlock my phone. Beautiful text is everywhere, and really shines on the retina displays.
  • The Weather app is strikingly beautiful. The animations are tasteful and accurate, and seeing weather for all of your saved locations at once is a wonderful touch.
  • You can see timestamps for every message in the Messages app (finally!). Swipe left on the screen and hold to see all timestamps. I think this is a great touch, as I really don’t need those timestamps cluttering up the interface all the time, but those few times I do need to know, the information is easily accessible.

Bad Stuff:

  • I really really dislike how Safari does not show the full URL or the page title of the website you’re visiting. What if you miss-tap a link? With iOS 6 you knew right away and could click back. With iOS 7, there’s no indication. It gets worse if you’re unsure of what exactly is loading – is it a large PDF file? A PHP script? I find it absurd that they took BOTH the full URL and the page title out of Safari. This really needs to be an option!!
  • When I’m AirPlaying stuff from my iPhone to Apple TV, going to the Photos app to look at pictures hijacks the Apple TV. When I tap a photo to view it, my video stops, and the still picture comes up on my Apple TV. No, I am not using AirPlay mirroring. This is a very strange bug (or maybe it’s a feature, but I don’t like it).
  • The Calendar app is a little weird. I don’t like how you can’t tap a day in the month view and see all appointments. You have to scroll down a vertical timeline to see everything, even if you only have two events (one in the morning, one at night for example).
  • Tapping the unified URL/search bar in Safari no longer places the cursor at the end of the field. I used this all the time to add words to my Google searches in iOS 6.
  • Making the above matter even worse, the text selection lasso is very wonky now. Selecting text has become much harder since iOS 6. This needs to be fixed ASAP.
  • Some animations are too slow, and starting to wear on me. App and folder transitions, locking and unlocking the phone, and the icons cascading onto the home screen are my main gripes. Cut these animation lengths in half, please!!
  • I don’t like how the volume/silence HUD is completely opaque and obscures the screen. It was much better when this was transparent. Why did they make this change?

I will continue to add observations as more come to mind. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with iOS 7. Remember when Aqua was first revealed in OS X 10.0? This is much like that. Striking, hugely contrasted differences over iOS 6, sometimes a bit over the top (remember the pinstripes?) iOS 7 is essentially a 1.0 update. I’m incredibly excited to see how it evolves over the next few years. I think it has a whole lot of potential.