Rumors of a low cost iPhone, or an iPhone 5S of some sort, are all the rage at the moment. Sometimes, I feel not a day goes by where somebody doesn’t make a comment or a prediction about “the next iPhone”. I’m pretty sure that the iPhone 6 rumors started about 2 weeks after the launch of the iPhone 5, and it’s totally ridiculous. iPhone rumors infuriate me so much, that I may have snapped a couple of days ago…
IPHONE 12 TO FEATURE NUCLEAR BATTERY AND MY LITTLE PONY ATTACHMENT.
— Stephen Warwick (@TiP_Stephen) February 18, 2013
Having got that out of my system, I started thinking about what it was that so infuriated me about iPhone rumors. I’ve come to the conclusion that it may not be the iPhone rumors at all. iPhone rumors are fine, totally normal in fact. We’ve come to expect these rumors as part-and-parcel of Apple’s regular iPhone release schedule. What worries me the most, is that the internet is plagued with iPhone rumors, yet apart from the occasional concept, nobody seems to be bothered about the next iOS.
I am constantly riled by the fact that Apple’s iPhone seems to be getting better and better every year whilst its operating system gets left behind. Granted, Apple releases new operating systems as regularly as it releases iPhones, but the measures taken and improvements added are so minor, that we’ve essentially been using the same operating system for 6 years. Whilst it may be true that in its hayday, iOS was simple and brilliant, today I find it dated and boring. Arguably, iOS has only gotten better since its release with the iPhone in 2007, but I’m starting to get really tired of the same boring home screen, lack of customisability and skeuomorphic apps.
In case you didn’t know what skeuomorphism was, look up. As you can see, these everyday apps have been tailored to visually represent their real-life counterparts, and they look horrendous. Not intrinsically so, but the fact that all these different designs exist within one operating system, makes me feel a little bit sick sometimes…
What makes me even more annoyed, is the total lack of innovation in iOS.
It appears the most frequently used tool in Apple’s iOS design studio is the photocopier. What saddens me the most is that every year, Apple has pumped out the same operating system, whilst developers and enthusiasts alike are creating countless concepts offering fantastic features, exciting designs and improved functionality, and all we can do is say “this looks cool, I wish it was in iOS”.
These changes aren’t even that drastic, which kind of reinforces the notion that Apple really aren’t pushing the boat out when it comes to iOS design.
Take the above for example, a really simply design that allows you to access your music player, and your phone settings settings whilst your phone is locked. The idea essentially exists already, but this implementation is so simple and so effective, that I’d be surprised if a similar feature didn’t make its way into iOS 7.
Along similar lines is this new multitasking concept, which gives you the benefit of a live feed of the apps you’re running, rather than just another thumbnail. Such a feature would allow you to check apps without actually switching to them, a really convenient way of staying up to date with all your iPhone has to offer.
Despite the innovative style of these apps, they still cling to the same, boring iOS design that we’ve lived with forever. That’s why I was totally spellbound by one recent concept in particular. Published by French iFan site iPhonesoft, this iOS 7 concept for iPad brought a new look to iOS so fresh that I may have wet myself.
The concept offers an apps zone, along with widgets and favourites apps, the weather, and some other cool information. Finally, a concept that begins to draw us away from the dreary home screen of iPhone OS, iOS 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
On top of a refreshed home screen is the potential for multiscreen apps, as seen below. Again, this another really fresh feature that brings a whole new functionality to iOS.
Admittedly, this might not work so well on an iPhone, but I’m not here to tell you that the next iOS should look like this. I don’t want it to look like Windows Phone. What I’m trying to say is that Apple needs to change iOS. And it needs to be drastic. Again, I’m not suggesting they completely ditch the roots of iOS, or the principles that makes it so easy to use. All I’m trying to say is that I’m tired of the same old operating system year in and year out. If iOS 7 isn’t a big leap forward, I may find myself looking for a new smartphone solution, and I’m sure many of you will too. Once Apple gets iOS right, then I’ll humor iPhone rumors as much as the next guy, but until then, I will keep pressing this issue with renewed vigour until something gives.
Do you agree? What would you like to see in the next iOS? Or are you happy with iOS as it is? Leave your comments below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @TiP_Stephen