First look: Apple’s iOS 7 on iPad delivers useful and functional enhancements

“Apple’s iOS 7 beta is now available for the iPad after a two week delay since its debut at WWDC. It brings with it all the same UI enhancements and design themes from the iPhone version to the iPad, but some of these have been translated to the larger iPad and iPad mini displays differently,” Sanjiv Sathiah reports for Electronista. “In many ways, seeing the new transitions and animations on a larger display also helps to amplify the comprehensive design changes that Apple has implemented across its latest mobile operating system.”

“The key differentiator between Apple’s iPads and its iPhones is the way that iPad apps use the available display area. This was something that Apple critics did not fully appreciate when the first iPad launched in 2010. Many apps made specifically for the iPad have approached their desktop brethren for functionality,” Sathiah reports. “Apple has continued with this approach in iOS 7 with all of the built-in apps getting a redesign and enhanced functionality, taking the ethos of maximizing display utilization even further. It remains a key differentiator between the iPad and Android, which continues to be hampered by a limited number of apps that are designed specifically for a larger tablet interface.”

Sathiah reports, “Overall, iOS 7 for the iPad is shaping up very well and promises to be just as exciting for iPad users as it is for iPhone users. The new look continues to impress in many areas, including the new animations and transitions, which look slick and more seamless.. The latest version of iOS for the iPad is brings with it a lot more than just a flashy new design language, it brings with it a lot of useful and functional feature enhancements that will help to keep Apple at the top of the tablet market.

Read more, and see the screenshots, in the full article here.


  1. The primary characteristic of iOS was that it was a derivation of OS X in that it borrowed many elements from OS X as it is rightly an offshoot of OS X with the same UNIX underpinnings and API’s. Chief among them were the reflective Dock icons that shimmered and gave a three dimensional field effect. The other elements were the hyper-realistic looking apps that utilised Core Image from OS X to render ultra realistic images that mirrored the look and feel of their real life analogues.

    You could see as you moved from iOS to OS X that they shared the same heritage and that apps that looked one way in iOS would look the same way in OS X.

    By bringing in a flatter look to iOS, Jonny Ive is breaking with the common heritage and is substituting garishness for taste and style. OS X is tending towards muted colors, in fact suppressing color altogether, removing colored icons from the Finder and menu bar and using brushed aluminium to permeate the stylistic intent.

    Seen in this light, iOS 7 jars with flat icons that don’t tell the user what is to be done. For example, “slide to unlock” was a very clear area in which you had to slide your fingers to unlock the phone. The words “slide to unlock” were clearly written with a directional arrow pointing the way. Now “slide to unlock” is nowhere to be seen sowing confusion in the mind of the average user how the phone should be unlocked. iOS should not only appeal to geeks but to the average layman as well.

    I trust Steve Job’s judgement on aesthetics than I do a bunch of marketing and communications people and web designers who actually did the work designing the icons in iOS 7. Steve had the innate ability to separate the bullshit from the real. The troubling thing is Tim Cook does not have the guts to tell Jonny Ive iOS 7 stinks.

    Tim should have told Jonny to shoot it down like the legless and flightless bird that it is.

    1. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your facts.

      Unless you are a developer who has extensively tested the beta of iOS 7, and are merely an end user, I will deeply discount what you have to say. I politely disagree with your comments, and have the opposite opinion. My hunch is that I am not alone.

      I once had the privilege of working with one of the top graphic designers in the world. Late one night at press check for the printing of my former employer’s corporate annual report, I told him that the best thing he could do was for his design work to make me a bit uncomfortable. He gave me a puzzled look until I explained that if I was completely comfortable with his designs, if I could anticipate what he would show us, then he wasn’t pushing the ball forward. I chose him because he could see what I could not, but eventually would. He smiled and nodded in agreement.

      Such is true with Apple and the work of Jonathan Ive and his highly talented team. I want iOS 7 to make me slightly uncomfortable at first. I want to be taken to a new world and moved forward. That is exactly the way Steve Jobs wanted Apple to be. If it meant initially jarring us by removing floppy drives, CD-drives, parallel ports and forcing us to move forward, kicking and screaming, that is what Apple has done.

      At first, we whine. We throw hissy fits on these MDN pages and other fanboy sites. Only months or even years later, we finally get a clue and realize why Apple did this. from Steve Jobs to Jonathan Ive to countless numbers of highly intelligent and talented people whose names we may never know, Apple dares to think different.

      Thinking different often brings initial discomfort. Good. I once avoided salmon, artichokes and Brussels sprouts like the plague. Today, I am the opposite. I finally got a clue. It’s time we all did. In a few months, we will come to understand why.

      Thank God for Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive. And to Tim Cook for letting this happen. God bless their arrogance and strong-headed ways. God bless them for making all of us a bit uncomfortable at first, for pulling us forward and forcing us into something much better, even when we didn’t realize it.

      That is why Apple is Apple. That is why you are reading this right now. If you’re not happy, I’m sure that you’ll just love Windows.

      1. Great take and great diet.

        I look at change as a new adventure. New things to see and new places to go. IOS7 will be like getting a new phone, which every new IOS release is like. I have a 4S and was very excited when IOS6 came out giving me Maps and Siri plus other behind the scene improvements.

        Other articles indicate that developers will be able to utilize the design in a more 3D manner and I look forward to see their creativity in changing their apps or creating new ones.

    2. Jeez! You had to go and do it didn’t you? You just had to state your opinion. You have a lot of nerve. How dare you not walk in line with the others! Who do you think you are anyway?

    3. iOS 7 looks like it was done by someone with a bad case of Android envy. That fugly shit will not be on my iPhone or iPad.

      All that needed “fixing” was getting rid of ridiculous shit like fake leather and felt. What happened was a shiteous re-skin that looks like something that can be bought on Google Play.

    4. If by the words “slide to unlock” being almost at the bottom of the lock screen then, yes, “‘Now “slide to unlock” is nowhere to be seen'”

    5. Thanks for the profound analysis, Chief Sitting Bullshit, none of which stands up to scrutiny. Who cares about an icon ‘mirroring’ its real-life analogue, all you need is a symbol to differentiate one button’s function from another. Who on earth needs hyper-realistic images to tell them that a button/icon opens the camera, or FaceTime. Does an emergency sign indicating a fire exit show a hyper-realistic image of a steel door with a push bar on to open it? No, it shows a basic door shape with a stylised figure running towards it. Idiots like you call the simplified icons childish, when the hyper-real icons are childish, implying that adults are incapable of working out what a clear, unambiguous symbol means, and have to be molly-coddled and led by the hand; “here you are, this is a picture of a camera lens, this tells you that this button turns on the camera. And this one, that looks like a yellow notepad, that one tells you that it’s for taking notes on”
      Bloody hell, I’m not a fucking idiot, and I have no wish to be led by the hand by designers who think that I have to have a photo-realistic image in order to work out the function of an app. That is insulting.
      And as far as the brightness of the app icons goes, does anyone ever keep a vanilla home screen? For a start, FaceTime, Game Centre, Stocks, Weather and PhotoBooth will vanish into a redundant app folder, others will be put into folders with associated app functions, and the background will change, rendering the appearance totally different, as will virtually every iOS user on the planet.
      Chief Bullshit’s arguments are totally spurious and nonsensical.

  2. Apple’s iOS 7 the Next Big Thing for Enterprise.
    Apple has enhanced its mobile device management protocol for iOS 7 and streamlined the process for enrolling devices in the program. Businesses will have new configuration options that allow them to witlessly set up apps, install custom fonts, and set accessibility options according to corporate preferences.
    Apple has also increased its third-party app protection by using what it calls a “strong and unique encryption key.” Apple’s renewed focus on enterprise should help the company further expand its already significant business-user base. Apple’s iOS platform accounted for 75 percent of mobile device activations by enterprise users in the first quarter of 2013, according to Good Technology’s latest Mobility Index report. .

  3. The icon designs are horrible! They look like each icon was designed by a different person. I hope they polish the designs before final release. The bright kiddie colors, inconsistent gradients…some are poorly drawn, some are expertly drawn and detailed. Fix it, please. I don’t wanna have to look at that mess when I eventually upgrade.

  4. I’m gonna have to go with the multitude of very positive reviews from people who have had significant hands on use with the new OS over the opinionated twerps that haven’t spent any hands on time but still feel the need to trash talk it. Call me crazy.

  5. When I look at my iPhone 5 screen close up, I am amazed at the detail of the icons, the colors and the effects. So call me a naysayer, but iOS7 just doesn’t pop for me. It’s like change for the sake of change and not just a little bit derivative of the Windows 8 tiles. Does this mean all app icons have to be redesigned to fit into Apple’s new pastel sensibilities? I’ve read that there will be some kind of automatic Pastelo-Flatmotize function that changes the look of icons to the new ghastly. Needless to say, I’m not for it. Developers should be allowed to design any art for an icon they want and not have it smashed to make Johnny Ive happy.

  6. I don’t like the iOS 7 icons. Icons are works of art. They express. They are the user’s entrance into the digital world.
    The new iOS 7 icons are flat, cold, uninviting. Different yes, but with no character, no beautiful colors.
    I don’t think Apple’s icon designers gave as much thought to their icon designs as Steve Jobs did back in 2008.
    I reference this little Jobs story:

    Steve Jobs Called Google’s Vic Gundotra on a Sunday About this Icon
    Thursday August 25, 2011 2:18 am PDT by Arnold Kim

    With the news of Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO, several reaction pieces and stories have been circulating. One popular one is from Google’s Vic Gundotra who posts an anecdote about Steve Jobs urgently calling him on a Sunday in January, 2008.

    I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?

    “So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve. “I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

    The story was complimentary to Jobs, and Gundotra pointed out Jobs’ attention to detail as a positive trait for a CEO:

    But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

    ~ END ~

    I don’t think Apple, Cook, or Ive realize just how very important this icon issue is. Steve Jobs did on a Sunday no less.

  7. Please do not confuse what is currently going on at Apple a reflection of Steve Jobs, or as a defection of Steve Jobs. The entire ecosystem of what was will change, as will what is. If Steve taught us all one thing, that was this truth. Live long Apple, live long.

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