Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Making The Old iPad New With iOS 7

_DSC9974My 3rd generation iPad looks new again, thanks to iOS 7. I didn’t quite plan on upgrading so quickly. In fact, I didn’t even really follow the new developments in iOS 7. It just happened I woke up today remembering it was the release date (in the U.S.), connected my iPad to my notebook, and wala, an update was ready for download.

I’m not a regular iOS user, so I don’t consider myself terribly familiar with iOS. It’s funny, but iOS 7 strangely feels familiar from the start. Maybe it’s because, erm, Apple has taken to copying ideas from Android (and Windows Phone)?

For example, I was just roaming around the interface when I tried double-clicking the Home button. Previously, this would open up the multitasking manager, where the list of open apps appear at the bottom of the screen. Then, you would have to click-hold the icon of which you want to close, wait for it to shake, and then click on the “-” sign. Clumsy.

The new multitasking manager shows app previews just like on Android. Alright, maybe just a different orientation. But closing an app just requires “flicking away” the preview. Just like in Android.

The Notification Centre in iOS 7 just got uncannily closer to the Android version. Yes, you swipe down from the status bar. Now, the iOS 7’s notification centre sweeps down to occupy the whole screen. Yes, how very much like it is in Android.

I’ve no problems with companies copying ideas from each other. I don’t think they should sue each other either. Copy with improvements or refinements, that’s fine.

There’s actually plenty of good for users that interfaces start to converge and standardise in certain ways. It makes moving from product to product easier. How frustrating it would be had some other notification centres require swiping from the different edges of the screen. (Okay, on Mac OS X, you swipe in from the right, but that could be different because it’s a desktop OS and you’re interacting with a trackpad.)

Without some sort of standardisation, it will be difficult, or at least present a learning curve, to learn about features. For example, new in iOS 7 is the swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen to reveal the control centre. I didn’t know about it until I read an article about some of the new iOS 7 features.

So I think some copying is good. I’m glad some things have gotten simpler.

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