iOS 7

There is no doubt that iOS 7 is a great looking operating system. In fact, I liked everything that I saw, except the icons on the home screen. I don’t know what it is, but they seemed kind of odd to me.

  • jwiskowski

    Agreed. They need a bit of work.

  • JakePT

    I’ve never been a fan of the ‘flat’ trend, but this looks Ok, i Guess. The homescreen icons are just awful though. Really really bad.

  • Completely agree. Love the design overall, hate the icons.

  • CZ

    i think some of em are weird, but it fits so well into the system. can be improve, but otherwise the overall design is great

  • ChristianReimer

    I agree. The icons still need some work.

  • I actually like the icons. A bit of a postmodernist look to them. But I can see why a lot of people might not be fans.

  • Lars Levie

    Agreed. They have a childish quality to them that doesn’t quite fit. Oversized?

  • Moeskido

    The colors seemed a bit “pastel.”

    • As it stands now it is a big mess. Some are pastel, some are vibrant oversaturated colors that border on fluorescent.

      • Moeskido

        That’ll probably shake out as individual developers make their own way within the New Aesthetic.

  • Nick

    This sums up my impressions exactly. I wonder what the odds are of Apple “fixing” those icons before launch.

  • Jeff Zugale

    I like ’em.

  • Aristan Saint

    Over all, I like it.

    My problem is with the icons:

    • some are flat with no gradient (Calendar)
    • some are flat but still have gradients that go from dark top to light bottom (Weather)
    • some are gradients that go from light top to dark bottom (App Store)
    • some aren’t flat at all (Game Center)
    • some sorta melt into the background (Video)
    • some are embossed icons of things (Camera, Settings)
    • some are realistic portrayals of things (Compass, Clock)

    Like the design, but the metaphor/direction is still a little mixed.

  • Nick Thain

    I agree Jim, I will miss the look of iOS 6…

    • After watching the keynote I looked back at my iOS 6 device was amazing at how much more i appreciated the time and detail put into iOS6 icons.

  • Stephen Middlehurst

    While I get the grumbling about the icons to me it doesn’t matter. I almost never really look at my home screen properly, hitting the right icon is all muscle memory after a while especially for the stock apps. It’s the changes within those apps I care about and that looks stunning, can’t wait to try this for real.

    • lucascott

      I think part of my issue is that it will be very jarring for folks that were on iOS 6. Enough that some of them will hold off on updating and lose out on performance fixes etc.

      And that me doesn’t feel very Apple

  • Sebastian Paul

    I like how the UI looks familiar but better.

    Most interface symbols look like they are improved versions of the ones from iOS 1-6, so you’ll recognize them, like the “Open tabs” button in iOS Safari.

    Windows 8 in comparison is often just too exotic, some icons aren’t self-explanatory.

    Android is just too dark and as soon a you realize this is because of OLED displays, you start to dislike it even more.

    iOS might be just the right combination of familiar iOS looks and “How it works” and the Metro/Holo design trend.

    Homescreen icons are… well, i guess it takes time to get used to them. Most icons are okay, but i dislike the Safari icon.

    What i really like – it seems they got rid of too similar icons, like same color AND style.

    I always mix up the Find my Friends and Contacts icons, because they both feature similar colors AND silhouettes.

    With these new icons, i think they made sure that icons which depict similar shapes have different colors and icons with similar colors depict different shapes..


    Dark Look of IOS was much better than this flat, pastel, cartoonish icons.

    If they had changed to tiles. It would be considered copying. Just because they hate Scott Forestall. Just because outside is metallic so now the inside is as well.

    • Sigivald

      My phone isn’t “dark”, except for the top bar, and the bottom reflection behind the home row icons.

      Then again, I don’t have a dark background image

  • I’m just dreading going back and redoing my App icon to remove the bevel.

  • Jim McPherson

    What iOS 7 didn’t solve is that 75% of my third party apps use blue icons…

  • Jon

    New functionality? Great!

    New look? I am so disappointed. So disappointed. I really don’t like it. Like, I really, really don’t like it. I was happy to hear that some the skeumorphism was gonna go, but this…?

    I feel like I don’t want to update. I’ll have to, but…ugh

    I hope they don’t do this with OSX, but based on the iBooks and Maps icons in the demo, it looks like they are headed that way.

  • Yeah, the icons are puke-worthy at best. And they’re going to look particularly horrible next to well-designed icons of existing apps.

  • Adriano

    Agreed! How the hell is that even possible? I mean, everyone can draw these kind of icons in 2 minutes using powerpoint – jep, you got, using powerpoint!

    They have improved the usability of iOS, they have done a lot of work, but the icons are the worst!!!! I am not sure, if “worse” is even the right word to describe this horrible way of design.

    OSX Mavericks and the Mac Pro are absolutely gorgeous. Mavericks does add a lot of requested things, except Siri 🙁 But again, iOS 7 with its new looks etc. is not what I was looking for. Make it flat, but not that simple, it’s too simple. Look at the camera icon for instance: My cat can draw this in 10sec. But the worst is even Safari. How the hell was that even an option?

    I have read comments on Macrumors, 9to5mac, theVerge, arstechnica, imore etc. All i hear about the icons is “hate it”!

    But its not just the icons. What happened to all the ideas to take the buttons, navigation-/tab-/toolbars to a whole new design level? It is toooooooo simple, it is a combination of Win8/Phone (MeeGo) and Android – and I hate myself to say this, because I absolutely hate WinPhone/ and Adroid. I love Apple, but these new designs are too simple, flat and uninspiring. Look at the actual set of icons in iOS 6. They have inspired other companies to copy Apple, but with these set of icons – no way!

    I am not talking about usability etc. I am just talking about the designs, that Apple has shown at their keynote and on their webpage.

    Thankfully they haven’t messed up OSX and the Mac Pro. Both became more and more beautiful, although some of you might say the screwed up the Mac Pro, but to me, it looks incredible, in a way galactic and this link to their webpage keeps me excited: I am all in for a new mac pro!

    Damn, I can’t calm down because of the design changes in iOS 7!

  • dvdphn

    I’m going to really miss the metallic and prestigious icons. But, I can understand the transition. It’s a great foundation to build from, and scaling will be much easier. I’m sure iOS 8 will have better looking icons. Just like how they took the colour out of iTunes icons, but brought them back.

    “Everything has been thought through. And through. With iOS 7, every detail warranted the same rigor toward design. Like refining the typography down to the pixel. Redrawing every icon around a new grid system. And sticking to a precise color palette. On their own, these may not be details you consciously demand or even expect. But they all work together to create a more harmonious relationship between individual elements. And a better, more delightful experience overall.”

    • Adriano

      Your right: With these set of icons and designs, they can start from scratch, but all in all they could do it so much better. It’s nothing like Apple and I hope they are not going that route with OS X!

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    I LOVE the new features, but the new look is horrible!! It looks just like Android and WP8 which are both horrible designs.

  • For the first time in a long time, I loved everything I saw.

    I know this update was about so much more than just a facelift, but I am glad to see the look of iOS change – and all for the better, IMO.

    The buttons will look familiar soon enough and then the old ones will seem odd. But yeah, I think they look great.

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    Wow, I HATE this new look. Check out the maps app on the 4th button at the bottom of this page

    This is exactly what I knew would happen. This is complete crap. I so much prefer the way Maps looks right now. I’ll miss you Forstal.

  • Adriano

    Android Users start liking the look of iOS 7 because it became very familiar to Android! Now that’s sign! Thank you Apple for this bullshit of design with iOS 7: icon sets, lock screen, new set of buttons and tab-/toolbars!

    I never wanted a UI that is similar to WinPhone/8/Android! I hate the UIs of these OS. They are ugly as hell, but it seems that iOS 7 is going into this direction – hopefully the will change some of their mind till this FALL!

  • True, it’s beautiful, simply magnificent, but the Home Screen puzzled me. Some icons are truly hideous, but I love the background thing and the transparency!!!!

  • djr12

    You’re being way too kind. The icons are abysmally bad, but on their own they wouldn’t be enough to quite ruin the OS. No, it’s the flat white background and horrible thin font that are really going to make iOS 7 a horror to use. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to bring myself to upgrade (downgrade?) despite some worthwhile features.

  • Winski

    Everything looks very washed out… Makes the home screen look lazy and cheap…. I’m not liking it at all…

    • Sigivald

      You do realize you can (almost certainly) change the background image, right?

      Almost all that washing out there is because of the “don’t distract from the icons for the demo” background image they’re using.

      • Winski

        I do, but the type faces are too small (width), the colors used in the type and the highlights are also washed out, and the semi-transparency that allows the illusion of an overlay having something beneath it makes the wash-out problem WORSE.

  • sashk

    Safari icon is ugliest.

  • Sigivald

    Easy access to WiFi toggle? Sold.

  • T_Will

    The compass icon doesn’t belong. I’m not sure why they made it so dark.

  • I think what I dislike about the icons is the lack of cohesion. As Aristan pointed out, there’s a real miss-mash of visual styles and metaphors. Looking at the home screen views, and the icons no longer look like they all came from the same company.

  • Also, did anyone else notice that the maps icon now shows the location of the new “Campus 2” rather than Infinite Loop?

  • Adam

    iOS7 icons feel really half-baked: half-Pictures, half-Pictograms. That is the main problem with them. Flat and not-so-flat and so on. I hate, really hate, hate, hate new Settings and Newsstand ‘icons’. This combination of completely different styles make the homescreen ugly as hell. For the first time since MacOS 7, I would look around for some custom skin to replace them 😉 Plus, everything looks so similar in style to the new Yahoo! Weather App, which is great, but still. This mess give entirely new meaning for the word ‘iconic’. I just hope that this is what Jony tried to name as “beginning”.

    • gjgustav

      You do know it’s not finished, right?

      • Adam

        I don’t know if these icons are finished. I hope not. I really wish some of them are just a placeholders. They simply ruin otherwise really great start in giving iOS so needed modern look and feel refresh, and what is equally important, great usability improvements.

  • Adriano

    Despite all the negative comments I have made on the new iOS 7 Icons, I still wanted to share some of the first impressions on iOS 7:

    I have downloaded and installed iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 just 1,5 hour ago and I wanted to share my first impressions with you guys!

    At first: its nothing like Android or WinPhone/8! THANK GOD! It’s absolutely amazing, I can’t describe it, you have to use to understand the new of usability that comes with iOS 7.

    My first reactions during and after the keynote was like “horrible icons” etc. They still are horrible, esp. Safari looks like hell. But that has nothing to with everything else. The usability and overhaul experience of iOS 7 User interface is just mind blowing! Believe me, it is absolute amazing!!!!

    Most/some of you will hate those app icons, I am one of them, but the way you interact with app, the new keyboard designs, settings (although it has one of the most ugliest icons ever seen), swiping through images, using the camera (second ugliest icon ever, first Safari) with the little details in changing between camera or video mode, flashlight on and off. You have to try it and you to focus on all small details within the stock apps! They are absolutely amazing.

    One thing the engineers have to do better is the Lock Screen. As for now, the whole screen slides to the right when you slide to unlock, but it would be much smoother, if just the word “unlock” would disappear, as it is in iOS 6, but with the look of iOS7.

    So my first impressions weren’t wrong at all, the icons still look weird and ugly, but its nothing like Android and WinPhone/8, it is definitely years ahead – again! I am so excited, what Apple is going to add in the following months. I am pretty sure, that all the details Apple has implemented into the OS, especially the animations (I am not talking about background cover on the home screen) will be copied by Android and others, but there is no OS out there, that has the usability of iOS 7.

    So, try it out! It is more radical than you can image and it is so profound and thought through, that I still don’t believe what I have seen till now!

    Absolutely amazing!

    • Sushifan007

      Can you tell us about any improvements in maps? That’s one thing I really wish they spent more time on talking about.

      • Adriano


        1. Maps app icon: ugly and squeezed.

        2. The UI is a bit inconsistent and confusing.

        3. Once you’ve started the navigation you can not zoom in or out, you cant walk through the map.

        4. If you click on ListView, it displays the list of directions, but you can’t click on any to get fast access to some listed points.

        5. It has a translucent nav-/toolbar, which is kind of confusing if you look at the maps.

        6. It looks and feels unfinished like the whole UI of all stock apps. The idea and the usability of 90% of iOS7 is amazing, but still, the new UI does need some rework and definitely more consistency, because a lot of normal users (like my parents) will clearly be very confused by a lot of the design changes. Some icons within the apps are so meaningless, i.e. “Sharing”-icon. It is nothing like before, but in a bad way.

        I have to add, that I’ve had never an issue with maps before, so this new map design isn’t really an improvement to me. But maybe I am wrong!?

        • Sushifan007

          How about improvements in Asia? I work in HK and apple maps are absolutely horrid in Hong Kong. How is it in ios 7?

          • lucascott

            That’s likely due to the data set not iOS so until they get a full data revamp in place it will still suck

        • lkalliance
          1. Once you’ve started the navigation you can not zoom in or out, you cant walk through the map.

          2. If you click on ListView, it displays the list of directions, but you can’t click on any to get fast access to some listed points.

          These two are really one issue to me: Maps doesn’t allow you to move to an arbitrary point in the directions. I can only see the whole thing (on a map or on a list) or only the one specific part I’m on (via the directions). The ability to step through the directions (or lack thereof) is the most annoying thing to me about the current Maps app. I have had a couple of situations where I had the data problems it’s famous for, but overall I’m otherwise happy with it.

          At least, this is the iOS 6 version. I’m disappointed to hear that iOS 7 hasn’t improved that bit.

          • lomifeh

            This is beta 1, you can’t go by this for the final version. I’d not make any judgement yet.

    • Have they made any changes/improvements to how notifications appear on the screen? Are they any less intrusive, or do we still have to lose the top part of our screen and its functionality every time a banner appears?

  • lomifeh

    The icons are pretty jarring compared to what we have now. Not seeing them in person yet it is hard to comment though.

  • Ramesh

    Seems like the designers were on the same drugs that the FlowerPower iMac designers were. This is the 2nd time in THIRTY years I’ve felt let down by the Apple design team.

  • Donnovan Lyons

    The icons are indeed hideous. I hope very much that they change them.

  • If you have really poor vision, the new icons don’t suck. I can read them sans glasses significantly better than iOS 6

  • iJohnny00110101

    Thank you and agreed. I loved everything I saw except for the icons. I believe you can achive a flat style icon without being dull. Hope Apple comes around on this. Overall good stuff.

  • lucascott

    So I wasn’t the only one. I really don’t get why they had to go that far. They could have removed the gradients on the existing icons and perhaps things like the map under the compass for safari and been plenty ‘flat’

  • Oscar

    I initially found them a bit jarring, but have gotten used to them over the course of the day. I reckon it’ll be the same for most other users.

  • JiGR

    Overall look is boring but ok. Not the stylish apple i am used to, and not my taste at all, looks like something microsft would do. and the ICONS those are just terrible, i will not have them on my phone, never!

  • Trever Pollack

    Agreed. Great design, but to me it looks kind of like a jailbreak theme.

  • Paul Edwards

    It’s about time Apple jumped on the android band wagon, finally making their first android/window phone

  • itsgene

    My issues:

    a) The icons are horrible. One only need compare the Settings icon in ios6 and ios7 to realize this is not an improvement.

    b) Lack of contrast. White text on a light blue background, yellow text on white, light gray on white, and all with a light typeface? Everywhere, the interface is hard to read.

    c) The new titlebars are really a crime against design. Removing visual cues for buttons — an outline or other deliniating design — means that there are jumbled words at the top which one’s brain interprets as a sentence. Not only that, but if the button text or title is too long, things go crazy: the title moves over, the button text shrinks and is put on two lines; this renders the title bar into a mess with no grid, no design, no consistency. Yet even when this happens, a slight border around the “buttons” would fix the problem. Telling.

    d) They’ve kept the skeuomorphic conceit of a spinner/wheel to pick dates, times, etc… but they took away the skeumorphic graphics around it! Now you just have the skewed, 3D text floating in the middle of… nothing. This is a very odd choice. If the goal was to remove “real world” skeumorphism, why keep the same interface without the visual cues that make it work?

    e) Along the lines of D above, I notice that a lot of visual clues to using the OS have been stripped away, but the UI is still there — it’s like Mac OS, where they have hidden controls away and left you to puzzle how to do something. This seems like a UI that is suited for people who have already been using iOS for years… but will new users grasp it without the visual cues to tell them what to do? Would my parents be able to figure it out like they did with the previous iOS interface, so clear and simple?

    Lest I leave this missive with only negativity, let me say that I love the new Notification Center and Control Center. Active wallpapers look very cool and I wonder how one can create their own. Weather app? Gorgeous. I wish the rest of the OS was as carefully and lushly designed.

  • The more people whine, the more the whining stays the same.

    I will wait to see it in action. I will wait to actually see it on my phone, in my hand, before I issue a collection of declaratives based on screen shots and some videos that I will have to forget I made or retract at some future point.

    Just to clarify, my comment is directed at we, the commentariat. Jim’s comment about the icons is not whining. Many of you in the comments are whining. Stop it.

  • Sree

    The biggest fear/doubt/question i have is that these icons are not designed for a retina display – given that iOS 7 is now only for retina displays. These icons as much as they abstract and have an odd color choice it doesnt make it special for the retina display. THey will look exactly the same in a non retina display as well. Why cant they bring some icons that take advantage of the densely packed pixels?

  • The White Tiger

    After actually playing with iOS 7 on my iPhone, I’ve actually come to like the icons. They’re a kind of weird gradience that looks appealing to me.

    From what I’ve seen so far, almost everything is a marked improvement over iOS 6.

  • I don’t relate to the phone as an art critic, but as a user. So I really don’t care how the icons look; I’m more interested in what I can do with the phone. So far it looks like a big step forward from that point of view.

  • You will be assimilated. 🙂

    No, really. It seems that several here after actually using iOS7 have come to either like the icons or at least see past them to the meat of the operating system. I like the brightness and lightness of the colors and all.

    But I do understand the displeasure. In a recent iTunes update, Apple changed how several things worked in lists and added this weird “Up Next” function. In my amateur DJ stuff I play with, I was miffed and didn’t see any need for the “Up Next” when I used to be able to easily find and drag to my playlists during the gig. However, after actually using it — I’ve been assimilated and I love the feature and use it all the time now. The same happened to me with Expose. I loved collapsing my windows to menubars and arranging them on the screen. After a short time using Expose, I was assimilated and uninstalled the haxie that enabled “windowshades.”

    So, just give it some time, including time for Apple to actually finish the OS and release it publicly rather than just to developers (and to non-developers who nab it somehow). You might find yourself being assimilated also, and many times that isn’t a bad thing. 🙂 Hey, at least they aren’t replacing your limbs an eyes with Borg implants.

  • The main problem with the new icons is that they don’t have an “edge” – the background or gradient goes right to the edge of the icon mask with no change in light direction or tint to indicate that they are raised off the background wallpaper. They also don’t have the top-down lighting effect that made them look like they were slightly rounded. They don’t look like objects in pseudo-3D like in iOS 6 and that pleasing solidity and tactility is gone.

    It’s not so bad once you have it installed and the parallax wallpaper effect comes into play (which is I think exactly what the designers were trying to convey) but looking at static shots especially gives it that “Fisher-Price My First Phone” look. Also, as has been pointed out, there is great disparity between the individual icon design.

    There is, however, plenty of time before release. It’s clear from the beta that Things Aren’t Finished 🙂

  • Alupa Creative

    This icon update is very disappointing. Clearly design led by a marketing committee, as it ignores several design principles that really form the foundation of good UI/Visual design. Namely, consistency. As in, there isn’t any. This sums it up for me.

  • i do agree with you this point about iOS 7. I really like it. Thanks for your share