Apple’s iOS 7: Good luck trying to copy this

“In 2007, Apple released a mobile OS that was a generation ahead. It centered around hardware-accelerated touch animations, tracking your fingers so fast that it created an entirely new type of experience. Rich sprites slid in and out with wonderful fluidity. The world was Apple’s oyster, as only the best hardware and most efficient software could produce such an experience,” Allen Pike blogs.

“It’s now 2013, and the effects that the iPhone popularized have been commoditized. Native iOS apps still have the best implementation of them, but performantly sliding around rich textures in response to touch inputs is no longer impossible in HTML and JavaScript,” Pike writes. “Moore’s rising tide has lifted up the cheap phones and the web renderers. They can can now provide a decent version of the fundamental experience, hurting the case for native iOS apps.”

“Let’s say we worked at Apple, and were challenged with designing an experience that was impossible in 2007. Something that would be entirely impossible with web technology. What would our futuristic UI look like?” Pike writes. “It would have compositing effects that need serious GPU horsepower. Blur is a beautiful but computationally intensive operation, so we’d use it liberally. To push it further, the blurred areas will need to update during scrolling and update at 60 fps. We’d add more 3D effects, stacking and layering content where we can. If we felt really crazy, we’d make simple things like home screens and modal dialogs subtly shift in 3D, real-time, in response to gyroscope input.”

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Pike writes, “iOS 7 was clearly designed to show off what’s possible in 2013. As a side effect, they’ve embraced conventions that will be hard to emulate with commodity hardware or web tech… bringing to life these blurs, animations, and dynamics with HTML and JavaScript isn’t yet possible… iOS 7 is designed and developed for the A5, and will truly shine on the A7. By hanging up their rich textures in favour of rich effects, Apple has gone well beyond a coat of paint. If people fall in love with this new, beautifully living aesthetic, there will be an argument for building native apps for years yet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The more we use iOS 7, the more we love iOS 7.

Add Personal Hotspot on/off to Control Center, please, Jony! Honestly, that’s our biggest complaint so far.

[Attribution: Daring Fireball]


  1. I tried iOS 7 beta 2 this week on an iPhone. It’s excellent: thoughtful, nuanced and slick. Some thoughts:

    – Skueomorphism isn’t dead, just very, very refined. Eg. new paper texture in notes, glass and audio cues, even to the moving clock / watch icon in the main app page. It’s lovely.
    – It’s not flat, it’s *3d*. Really. Remember all those 3d GUI patents for iOS / OS X that have shown up previously? Arguably this is the beginning of their measured implentation. Amazing.
    – Some of the gestures and new concepts will catch people out when they upgrade: side swipes, turning off apps and more. Apple would do well do make available a clear shortlist of key changes in concepts to help. (As it could have for FCP X for example).


  2. If you think that the reason to use Objective-C [native iOS] is for UX, and that this is even a reason to do native as opposed to web-based programming for mobile devices, then you have a very shallow and superficial view of what programming, software and [app]lications are all about. Objective-C is a strict adherence to a disciplined approach. It is getting it right, without compromise. Steve Jobs knew this at NeXT. He brought this technology to Apple on his return. Java, Android and the filth are nothing more than interpreters. They [the interpreters] will improve in speed, but sadly, not in the ability of the individuals that code for them, in their “lack of vision” boxed in walls. It is like JQuery, and all the “open source” libraries on git-hub. It is my opinion that these things erode the programmer to nothing more than a copy-cat hack.
    I know I will get a ton of flack for this… this is why I blog 🙂

  3. iOS 7 is as flat as a pancake and ugly to boot. No one will be copying it in a hurry. In fact the tables have turned – Apple is ending up the copycat instead, copying the look and feel of Android, webOS, BB10 and WP8 for the derivative iOS 7. There’s nothing original in iOS 7 that makes it anything more than a pale shadow of Android.

    1. I’m working to be a developer and have actually used the two beta versions of iOS7. Initially, I felt a bit put off by the icons. However, after using it for a bit, I have found that I really love it. It feels more layered and has this dimensional way about it. There’s a sense of distance that wasn’t there before. It’s gonna be great.

    2. If iOS7 is flat as a pancake and ugly, and Apple is the one doing the copying, then either (1) Apple is inferior as a copycat to Android and others, or (2) Android and others are flat and ugly. Logic.

    3. Seeing as how Android is a proven copy of iOS, how d’you come up with the idea that a new generation of iOS is copying Android? It’s certainly nothing at all like Windows Phone, any fool can see that; the whole visual and operating appearance is completely different. Windows is just flat, monochromatic squares.
      Try to come up with something original, you look no different to all the other idiots otherwise.

  4. When China Mobile comes on board along with the new 5s or 6, new iPads also with iOS 7, new Mac Pro’s and whatever else, there will be a perfect storm for the holidays with massive line ups at all the stores world wide. Lets hope the supply chain can accomodate their massive sales.

    1. It seems like THIS Apple likes to use the holidays to clean up in every category. For me, the question is, can their supply meet the demand they create? They really screwed the pooch on the iMac last year. If they are going to pursue this strategy, they have to be able to manage the approach…

  5. With all of the propaganda against Apple these days, i think it’s important to look back and to continue to put analysts “on the take” to take some responsibility for their words. These idiots need to be put in their place. If we have an opportunity to put a chilling effect on the BS we should take it. This war has been going on for ages, and I have yet to tire of any of it.

  6. I’ve been using beta 2 since it’s been out. I really like it with a few caveats.

    1. Why keep the skewmorphic paradigm in reminders and notes? This seems out of place with the rest of the UI. Also, yellow text on white? And why not make reminders look more like contacts, it would fit the overall UI better.

    2. Folder transparency seems too opaque. More transparency please.

    3. Lose the white around the safari icon, if you go to settings and scroll down a bit, it makes safari the only icon that looks round and thus inconsistent. Some icons need tweaking, but it’s not the end of the world as some would have you believe.

    4. Still no folder collapse in mail, but it’s never been the case anyway.

    Other than just a few minor quibbles, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s very clean. I think it will be a great upgrade.

  7. Forget personal hotspot, add the bloody GPS on or off to the control center. Also it’s bloody idiotic to that if GPS is off and you open maps it presents a prompt that shuttles you into the settings app to turn it on. Why can’t I just turn the GPS on/off from a little prompt that says ‘ do you want to turn GPS on for this app’. I just tap yes and boom it’s on. My biggest qualm with iOS 7 is that it doesn’t do a good job of keeping context. Many things you do, takes you out of context to accomplish it.. Don’t make me leave my maps app just to turn on GPS. Don’t make me leave any app that I’m currently working in, just to respond to a message. Let me stay in the context that I’m in if I want to venture out to do a quick simple task. It’s really annoying.

    1. Why switch GPS off anyway? Mine never is, I can think of no logical reason TO switch it off, as so many apps work with location services. Makes no sense to me. Just leave it on, problem solved.

  8. Been on 7 since release and I like it!. Accounting for all the little Beta glitches, the underlying system is sweet.
    Some of the “coloring ” could use slight adjustments to allow for a little more contrast.

      1. Yeah, did that. I would like to use some photos as background though.
        The parallax is great, I have a panorama shot from the 2012 World Series, AT&T Park right behind home plate.
        Complete almost 360 degree shot. As a screensaver you can slowly rotate your body and see the whole shot.
        Bad to the Ass!

        1. What would be kind of interesting, although a battery hog I’m sure, is if it were possible to activate the camera and have that as an option for the wallpaper. This would give the effect of the background being completely clear. Kind of like the “cloak of invisibility” tech that uses photo cells to achieve this effect.

  9. “It’s now 2013, and the effects that the iPhone popularized have been commoditized.”

    The problem is that those items that have been commoditized are patented and were never licensed to those who have stolen them.

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