iOS 7: The Controversy is Worth Discussing


Cassia Mauer, Journalism Student

Two weeks ago marked the debut of Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, which brought new changes to the world of Apple users. The upgrade received much attention, from its new and attractive features to its cause for health concerns.

Yes, that’s right, health concerns. New features like the transitions from app to app and other creative animations have users complaining that it “literally makes them sick,” as ABC News puts it. Specific examples of many reviews include immediate nausea, eye pains, dizziness, and even severe vertigo. Although many victims have claimed it to be motion sickness, many scientists are hesitant to label it just that.

Unfortunately, this creates hesitation, especially for those who have referred their new opinions to be of “visceral dislike.”

To others, iOS is no more than a pretty new trend with lots of new and attractive features. For instance, the camera can now be focused in holding down the button that lowers volume, and multiple pictures can be taken through pushing the same button and quickly releasing it to take multiple photos.

Another feature receiving attention was the new method of turning off apps. Now, turning off an app requires users to press the home button twice as they normally did to find the multitasking screen, but now they simply swipe apps upwards, and watch them fly off the screen.

These new features have been referred as copying the “flat” trend from other brands like Samsung and Microsoft, describing the ever so uniform characteristics it seems all of technology is now adapting to.

Local students have agreed with the talk of “copying” from other brands that Apple has done. Hector Reyes ’17 of Bridgeport, CT, says, “[iOS 7 and Windows 8] look exactly the same because they are taking most stuff from Android”.

Similarly, Devin Menge ’17 of Danbury, CT, recommends smartphone users to buy a Windows 8 phone instead “because that’s who they’re biting off of.” To prove his point, Menge shows a picture of his own Windows 8 keyboard to show that, “the iOS keyboard looks exactly like this”.

Hue Ha ’17 of Danbury, CT has also noticed the “flat” trend in technology lately, but states simply, “All systems tend to revolve around the same format and ideas. They just add more stuff to look unique.”

What Ha noticed is true: the world of technology tends to pull from each others’ ideas to create their own. However, in looking back to Apple’s first few products, one can recall the new “buttonless world” years ago to have been Apple’s idea; other brands were simply sticking to have physical keys for typing.

This provokes the thought that maybe Apple is really the one everyone else is copying ideas from. Gentry Underwood, co-founder of Mailbox and former IDEO designer, reports a pattern he has noticed between Apple and the other phone brands on, in which he says, “Apple led; [developers] followed”.

On the contrary, other students enjoy the change Apple has brought to its software. “I really like how it looks…cleaner and neater. I like the new backgrounds a lot”, says Dana Fotheringham ’16.

Nevertheless, Apple may not have brought much novelty to the table this time around, but they did gain attention for improvements in many aspects of their original design for the products. Apple has always had a method of design known as skeuomorphism, or having a design in which their apps tend to want to imitate real objects.

For example, their voice memo app had the image of a microphone. Now, the company has focused on making it more useful in replacing the image with a sound wave, in which users can now see their volume levels throughout their voice memo.

This new method of designing their apps prevents users from distraction with how “cute” something may be, helping them focus more on getting to accomplish whatever it is they need to do.

Underwood agrees: “They’re delightful for themselves, and they’re delightful in a new way … It makes me wonder how much we have been missing building fake versions of tape players and paper shredders.”

In fact, this new design has people loving the color scheme, as well as the fact that “the formatting is much more neat and organized” than previous versions, and they love to “just roll between apps” across the screen.

What it all comes down to is the big question: will users really be happier with their upgrade? So much controversy has had the new system decrease the amount of user upgrades over time, which has never happened with iOS 6 or their other versions. At this point, there is no real answer, but the attention speaks for itself.