iOS 7 looks unfinished because it’s an unfinished developer beta release

“Among the many things that everybody knows about Apple which aren’t actually true is the notion that it only tells the world about products once they’re fully baked,” Harry McCracken writes for TIME Magazine. “In the case of operating systems–for Macs, iPhones and iPads–it always shows off new versions months before consumers can get their hands on them, when they’re still works in progress.”

iOS 7 is “the most dramatic change to a piece of an Apple platform since OS X showed up to replace the Mac’s original operating system in 2000,” McCraken writes. “With a stripped-down, layered interface spearheaded by Apple design god Jonathan Ive, iOS 7 practically demands that people form gut reactions about it, often before getting hands-on time.”

McCraken writes, “The thing is, as eclectic as initial reactions to iOS 7 have been, the vast majority, whether giddy or stinging, are reconcilable. It’s possible for iOS 7, in its current beta state, to be a design breakthrough and to feel rushed and inconsistent. In fact, from what I’ve seen of it, that’s what it seems to be: exciting, but scruffy in certain areas.”

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“Which isn’t that startling. We knew that Jony Ive is an exceptional designer. But Apple only announced the promotion that put him in charge of the iOS user experience a little over seven months before iOS 7 debuted at WWDC,” McCraken writes. “Given that the redesign is so sweeping, that’s just not enough time to make every major decision and nail down every little detail. That’s why this peek at the next version of iOS feels more raw than previous ones.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple redesigns widely criticized iOS 7 app icons – June 17, 2013
Why Apple’s iOS 7 is a masterpiece of design – June 15, 2013
Apple website mistake reveals alternative iOS 7 icons, with tweaks to Weather, Passbook, and more – June 14, 2013
How Jony Ive would redesign things from Coca-Cola cans to Star Wars posters – June 14, 2013
Whose iOS 7 icons are better, Sir Jonathan Ive’s or student designer Leo Drapeau’s? – June 14, 2013


  1. Sorry but this IS basically what customers will get. It’s too late to change much.

    The UI and transition guides are out. The SDKs are out. Developers are now preparing their Apps.

    1. The UI doesn’t need to change, a bit of debugging and the odd bit of tweaking here and there and it’s good to go. Actually it’s more than good, it’s bloody fantastic!

    2. I expect actually one or two “more things” they didn’t talk about at WWDC when it’s finally released. Love all the naysayers who don’t realize the conundrum that nobody can release anything these days without it being heavily criticized. Like any OS can be what every human on the planet wants. Well you can’t please all of the people all of the time that’s for sure. The level of new tech paradigms impatience and people spoiled is at an all time high. New things and updates can’t come fast enough. Kinda neurotic.

  2. Yes it’s true, it’s still In Beta. However it’s still streets ahead of anything else out there. I’d be delighted if there are no changes it looks gorgeous as it is, but if Apple make improvements over the next few months, then that’s icing on the cake for me. Can’t wait to get iOS 7 on all my devices.

    1. It’s not actually ahead of most of what’s out there. It’s ahead of a few phones (non-flagship phones) but the majority of the flagship phones from both Windows and Android already have EVERY SINGLE feature that was announced in iOS7. And in the case of Android it has had many of these features for years now. Don’t get me wrong iOS 7 leaps and bounds better than iOS 6 or any other iOS so far but it essentially leaped and bounded to the average line but not passing it. Sometimes I just wish they would do more. Set the bar again. Don’t just take features others have had for years and make it easier to use or put a cool twist on it, but actually be the one to introduce new features first. They used to do this, up until iOS 4 or so but after that everyone caught up and blew past them. I love my iPhone 5 and I’m loving testing iOS 7 but I still get jealous when there are many features my friends still enjoy that I don’t because I choose to stay with iOS due to it’s stability. At some point, having extended productivity and features outweighs being a bit more stable. 🙁

      1. Actually almost all of the features baked in android was token from the iOS JB communtiy. Yes apple has final smarted up and really started to dig in to the IOS JB communtiy to step its game up. The only OS that hasn’t copied anyone is win 8 and there phones are better then both android and iOS. I have a JB iPhone 5 and I will not be updating until my JB community tells me to. I can get every little ios7 feature from the JB community until then.

        1. Well I suppose if you like a confusing sometimes illogical interface that looks like airport signage from the 1980s with irritating cropped text that never quite fits and overly typographical back up to cover for the under performing simplistic one dimensional graphic indicators Win 8 is the perfect ‘modern’ solution. At the end of the day subjectivity reigns doesn’t it.
          Equally What for some is cool like tapping phones to transfer pics (they forget to tell you the rest) for me was a laughingly archaic attempt at wireless transfer which Apple is now showing to be just that.
          That said iOS 6 was indeed a complacent upgrade and indeed Apple needs to stimulate us more. IOS7 does look like a Very good start with most of the upgrades that I desire but yes a few totally original features no one else has thought of would be nice.

      2. Look, you’ll always find the odd few feature that can be done on other phones that your phone can’t do and visa versa, that will always be the case. There really isn’t anything missing from iOS that’s a deal breaker for the vast majority of users. What you do get with iOS 7 is fluid ease of use, gorgeous looks, consistancy, stability and security. On top of the usability you get the best eco system , best quality apps and with iCloud seamless syncing across devices. You do have much more flexibility with Android but it comes at a great cost, Seriously you have no reason to feel jealous of your friends and although iOS was starting to get a bit dated I don’t think you’ll regret staying with iPhone. Of course it’s all subjective when it cimes to which system you prefer, but Apple have done themselves no harm with this new update.

  3. I think jony I’ve has been working on thease ideas a lot longer than the last 8 months ,at least since Steve died, perhaps a lot longer.

    Go jony , go

  4. Funny how an “unfinished” product is more than enough for google and microsoft, and for apple even a finished product with minus details is considered a complete failure or unacceptable to the media..

  5. People are going to be deeply disappointed to find out this is mostly wrong. The look and feel won’t change much. We are stuck with this horrible look and feel. Yes, they will tweak little visual things, but MOST of the work is the stuff you don’t see. The GUI was already designed and implemented and it is garish and amateurish. While I don’t think Apple should always ask “What Would Steve Jobs Do?” in this case I’d be willing to bet he would have screamed and thrown things at any designers who proposed that eyesore and inflicted it on his beautiful hardware.

    1. My first impression is I largely agree with you. I really couldn’t see SJ going for this look. Don’t understand the logic that a less realistic, to my eye a less well drawn image of, for instance a clapper board is better than a more accurate sophisticated icon if one feels one wishes to use a clapper board at all rather than some other indicator. I totally agree that felt and stitching is totally unnecessary but in what way are 1990s style illustrator neon grads an improvement I wonder. In what way is a Beautiful safari icon tht actually doesn’t mimic anything real improved by a naff simplified version on a incongruous white background that in a way is far more trying to mimic a cheap real compass in shape.
      I will reserve real judgement for when I can use it first hand but while I think I will love the improved functionality and overall user interface the graphical elements will need a lot of convincing.
      I wouldn’t let an architect anywhere near a graphic design job, still not sure if that view includes product designers too.

  6. To Me the greatest thing about ios has always been the ease with which a not ‘with it’ person can quickly get to grips with it. This was to a large extent due to the things that ‘qualified’ users complain about, because it made things understandable and obvious, as well as not being hard on the eyes. If the change stays as is, it could be the biggest mistake apple has made, because new users are just as important as those who think they are better qualified.

    1. I totally disagree. I don’t see what is hard it not abviously in this system. It still very easy to understand and use. It has always been. This is why Apple for an example have been very restrictive with things like apps in the background, and still are. Users should not have to think about that. I don’t get your comment at all. I think this is a fantastic release. Nothing complicated here. A few new things there always is as in evey new version. People will pick those up easily and in time.

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