Is Apple Caving to the iOS 7 Critics?

Rebecca Greenfield
Is Apple Caving to the iOS 7 Critics?

Despite all this iOS 7 negativity sounding a lot like the initial — eventually meaningless — iPhone 5 nitpicking, Apple might be reconsidering some of its questionable design choices. 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber spotted some icon redesigns on the Apple mobile site, pictured to the right. The regular Apple site does not have the little blurb with the new icons — the ones on the right — appropriately titled "Everything has been thought through. And through." A lot of thinking went into this new operating system. But apparently not enough thinking yet, with Apple overhauling its weather icon and mixing up the color scheme of the passbook and reminders apps.

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This software is in beta, which gives Apple the right to switch things up as much as it wants. But just a week after talking up the the beauty of the new, flatter look, the tweaks are being cited as signs of surrender by the designers and fanboys who lobbed criticism at Jony Ive. The new weather icon, for example, seems to feature the current temperature, an exact something that iOS 7 skeptics demanded on the Twitters.

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That's a pretty quick turn-around — especially for a company that, after a long history of making pretty things, so vehemently stands behind its design choices. Remember the iPhone 5 reactions from the tech savvy peanut gallery? The tech bloggers just weren't that impressed. "iPhone 5 sounds like the kind of nice incremental upgrade that other companies release," wrote one tech blogger at the time. But it didn't end up mattering. There are lots of challenges to Apple's dominance of the smartphone category: increased competition from Samsung and its Galaxy S IV, people outside America don't want to spend that much on a phone, but making a bad phone is not one of them. The masses loved the iPhone 5 and bought lots of them.

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The reaction to iOS 7 feels familiar in that way. The nitpicky Apple dorks might not approve of the orange passbook colors, but the rest of the world doesn't care:

So far iOS 7 still feels pretty half-baked, but I get a lot of "oohs" and "aahs" whenever people look over my shoulder in public

— Matt Lynley (@mattlynley) June 14, 2013

That said, it's encouraging to see Apple get back to a Steve Jobs level attention to detail. Who knows, maybe this will be the Windows Vista of software upgrades — never to be forgotten, forever tarnishing the impecable brand image of a tech giant. Of course, if it is, changing passbook from orange to green won't save it.