iOS 7’s redesign has been nothing short of controversial — the OS has got a whole new coat of paint including all of the pre-installed apps like Mail, Weather, Photos, Safari, Camera and a lot more.
As the head of design at Apple, Jony Ive rethought the UI to make it unobtrusive, with all “ornamentation” like fake linen and leather being stripped away to give importance to content. You’ll see this applied to all of Apple’s apps in iOS 7.
App Store and iTunes
The App Store and iTunes apps have remained largely the same except for a few feature additions and of course the change in the look.
- Wish list is a new feature added in iOS 7 that lets you add paid apps you want, but don’t own, to a list so that you can buy them later. The list is accessible from the top right button from all screens of the App Store. To add an app, go to the app detail page, tap the Share icon, and you’ll see a wand icon that’ll add the app to your wish list.
- Near Me is an iOS 7 feature that shows you apps that are relevant to your current location. The screenshot below shows popular apps near the Louvre.
- The App Store has a new “Kids” category which showcases the best apps for children based on their age.
- Automatic updates is a much-needed feature that Apple added in iOS 7, which updates your apps in the background automatically so that you don’t have to deal with the annoying red badge count everyday.
- Apple says that iOS will intelligently schedule updates during power efficient times such as when your device is on and connected to Wi-Fi to ensure that it does not impact battery life.
- You can turn this feature off in Settings > iTunes & App Store > Updates
- Apps that are automatically updated still show in the Updates tab with the change log and the date they were updated on.
- iTunes 11 added the ability to redeem gift cards using your Mac’s camera, and with iOS 7 this feature has come to the iPhone too. Tapping on the “Redeem” button in both the apps will present to you a screen that says “Redeem your gift card using your iPhone’s camera.”
- Once you bring the gift card in front of the camera, iOS will try to recognise the numbers and draw a box around them.
- Other minor UI tweaks include:
- Top charts are now separated into vertical sections as opposed to horizontal ones in iOS 6.
- Searching for an app now shows the number of results next to the search term.
- The Weather app has undergone a complete makeover, with the most notable change being the dynamic background, which now reflects the current weather. So if it’s sunny, you’ll see a bright sunny background, if it’s raining you’ll see raindrops, thunder and so on.
- There’s a new view that shows you a concise summary of all the cities you’re tracking in the app, along with the dynamic backgrounds.
- Some folks have noted that the new layout makes the stock weather app very similar to Yahoo’s weather app, as seen in the screenshot below. (Perhaps that’s why Yahoo Weather got an Apple design award at this year’s WWDC):
- When you zoom, you’re shown a scale to give you an estimate of the distances at the current zoom level.
- There’s a full-screen mode that hides the navigation bar and the tab bar, giving more screen real estate to the map. This mode can be activated by tapping anywhere on the map once.
- Another addition is a Night mode that makes the UI chrome dark to make it easier on the user’s eye at night. The app automatically switches between the two modes based on the time of the day.
- Maps now shows you the time estimate to a location under the car icon
- Apple has also added Maps bookmark syncing and turn-by-turn directions for walking in iOS 7.
- The Calculator app’s layout remains the same, but it no longer looks like a real calculator. The buttons have been flattened, there’s no leather texture in the background and the numbers itself are now shown in a very thin font.
- As you might have noticed, the Equals button now occupies just one block, instead of the earlier two, and the memory buttons have been removed in the portrait mode. The divide button has moved to the right, in place of which there’s a new Percentage button.
- The landscape mode has also seen some minor changes. The button grid is now 5 x 10 instead of 6 x 8, and includes 49 buttons instead of the earlier 46. The new buttons are Euler’s constant “e”, cube root and 10 power x.
- iOS 7’s Control Center also provides access to the Calcuator from anywhere within the OS
The redesigned apps will be available as a part of the iOS 7 update, expected to be released this September. Check out our iOS 7 category page for everything you need to know about Apple’s next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
As always, let us know what you think of the design of the iOS 7 stock apps in the comments below.