iOS 7, the next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, includes a number of new features such as Control Center, iTunes Radio, AirDrop for iOS and smarter multitasking.
But one of the most significant changes is the revamped user interface, which is noticeable on the Lock screen, Home screen, Notification Center and the stock iOS apps.
In this iOS 7 Preview series, we’ll take an in-depth look at the redesigned Home screen.
Here’s what’s new:
- One of the first things you will notice when you unlock your iOS device to get to the Home screen is the new animation. First you see two app icons fly to the home screen, followed by the rest of the icons.
- The other thing you will notice immediately is the redesigned icons of the stock iOS apps. Apple says it has redesigned every icon around a new grid system and sticking to a precise color palette. They has been a lot of debate about the icon, and everyone seems to have opinion about it. You may not like it, but frankly how much time do we spend looking at the icons.
- The dock area is now a frosted/translucent panel, which gets the tint based on the wallpaper. If you’ve an iPhone 4, then you’re going to hate it, as it does not get the same translucent effect, instead it is a dull grey in color.
- In iOS 5 or earlier, the Status bar was either black or grey. In iOS 6, the color of the Status bar changed dynamically to match the tint of the app’s navigation bar. In iOS 7, the Status bar is transparent. It subtly removes the separation between software and hardware as the status bar now feels part of the app even though it continues to provide the status of various hardware components such as the cellular and Wi-Fi signal strength, battery, Bluetooth, Location services etc.
- One of the major changes is the 3D parallax effect on the Home screen. The Parallax effect makes “the position or direction of an object appear different when viewed from different angles”, giving a feeling of depth along the z-axis. You can read a more in-depth explanation on how it works here. If you’re worried about battery life then you can disable it via the Settings app (Settings > General > Accessibility > Parallax).
Demo of 3D parallax effect
- You can now set static and dynamic wallpapers on the Lock screen. iOS 7 beta comes with two dynamic wallpapers, which animate in the background.
- You can also set panoramic wallpapers on the Home screen. iOS 7 uses the gyroscope movement data to pan around the panoramic image.
- The Clock app icon now shows the correct time on the Home screen, including the live second hand.
Demo of Live clock feature
- Spotlight can now be accessed from the any Home screen page by swiping down just below the status bar, so there is no longer a separate Home screen page for spotlight.
- You can also access the all-new Control Center from the Home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
- You will also notice that the status bar icon for the cellular signal has changed to just dots instead of signal bars.
- The font is slimmer and slightly bigger.
- Folders have also been revamped in iOS 7. When you tap on a folder, you will notice the zoom animation. The folder section is translucent, while you can see the wallpaper in the background above and below it. The folders are bigger, but they only fit 9 app icons on one page. You can finally add unlimited number of apps in a folder. If you’ve more than 9 apps in a folder, then you can swipe through folder pages to access the app just like the Home screen pages. The page indicator dots at the bottom of the folder tell you how many pages of apps are there in a folder.
- Newsstand gets its own icon, so you can finally hide it in a folder.
- The zoom animation is also noticeable when you launch and exit an app. When you launch an app, the icon becomes bigger and disappears in the background and then zooms directly into the app. We hear that the animations are a lot smoother on the iPhone 5 compared to the older devices.
- When you’re charging your device running iOS 7, a lightning bolt appears next to the battery indicator, gently pulsing.
- The icons are marginally bigger, 120 pixels instead of the 114 pixels. The merging of the status bar with the Home screen has also given more space to accomodate the marginally bigger icons and the slightly bigger font.
- New apps downloaded from the App Store are no longer labeled as “New”. However, if you’ve automatic downloads enabled for apps, the newly downloaded apps on the secondary devices are highlighted with a dot as you can see below. It’s a nice way to tell users how the app landed on the Home screen.
Overall, iOS 7 Home screen looks quite classy, but more importantly Apple seems to have given us most of the things we asked for in our iOS 7 wish list, with features like dynamic and panoramic wallpapers, ability to add unlimited apps to a folder and quick access to system toggles and app shortcuts via Control Center.
Let us know what you think of the iOS 7′s Home screen. Do you like it?