If you’re an iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch user and you haven’t seen what’s coming, you should. As in, right now.
It’s amazing what Jony Ive hath wrought. Everyone knew Ive ditch the faux-stitched leather and the green felt of the He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named era. What everyone expected was a “flatter” iOS. Simpler buttons, simpler icons, a “flatter” look, more like Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
Well, yes. And no.
Windows Phone is just too darn flat, making it hard to tell when something does something, and when it doesn’t. The tiles are great, but the OS is missing something. That thing is: Layers.
iOS 7 uses layers and 3D effects to create virtual parallax effects. They give you a feel for what things do, where they are, and how they fit into the hierarchy of what you’re doing. And “feel” is exactly the right word for it. Based on the video above and what was revealed to day at WWDC, you don’t need to think about how to do things — it just works.
Then there’s the prettiness of it: with iOS 7, you feel like you’re looking into your phone, not at your phone. And while they didn’t offer any demos of the new OS running on an iPad, I imagine the effects there will be only more pronounced.
So the buttons and icons in iOS 7 are indeed flatter. But the OS itself appears deeper and richer than ever before. I can’t wait to install it.