A Windows Phone Fanboys Review of iOS 7 on the 5S

z33dev33l

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First of all, my name is Lance. I'm a junior developer at a firm that I won't reveal right now because I like making a mockery of others online and I'd rather my actions not be associated with them. I am a long time windows Phone user, I have been using it since the initial release of the HD7 that I waited in a very, very short line for in the busiest store in the Austin area. and am currently rocking a Lumia 1020 and a Surface RT to compliment it. I also have a Nexus 4 for Android purposes in development and an iPhone 4, well, that is until yesterday. We received 6 5s units from Apple for development purposes and our apple team is only four people so we had two in a raffle. I jokingly entered being the absolute hater of iOS I was. The boring UI, the static icons. It's only saving grace prior to iOS 7 in my eyes was the sheer number of games on the platform. My iPhone 4 had been reduced to nothing but a machine to play Infinity Blade on, even my two year old had lost interest in it and turned his eyes towards my Surface RT. I fully believe that iOS has not innovated since Slide to Unlock which was arguably released on a few select Windows Mobile phones prior to that. I thought there was no way Apple could make a redeeming quality OS and then I won. Okay, Craigslist fodder, yay. Or so I thought.


I'd like to say, I still don't feel Apple can innovate, they still have not brought anything new to the table. This time, they just stole well. Most everything on the new iOS is a bastardized version of something that another OS has had for awhile. The beauty of iOS is it's ability to stitch together this Frankenstein's monster of a phone and make it where it would be able to function and even impress at times. Hell, it's even somewhat appealing to the eye and that's something the iPhone has never had going for it on the software front. It really is quite impressive what the hipsters at Cupertino have been able to come up with. So, well, here goes my little half-assed review and bear in mind that I'm half-asleep writing this.


Hardware:
Honestly, the hardware brings nothing new to the table. Apple continues to fail at excelling on all fronts aside from the GPU in terms of specs which, as both they and Windows Phone have proven, are not necessary if you actually optimize your OS (I'm looking at you Android and I would be at BBOS but no one looks at BBOS) Don't think I am saying this is a low quality device by any means. It is an expertly crafted phone with quality materials and it truly feels like each individual iPhone was put together by hand (Likely in a sweat shop in a third world country) to make sure that each part fit together flawlessly. My only complaint is that I've seen two people already try scanning their finderprint as they pick it up grabbing it solely from the bottom and dropping the phone as it flips from the top. It's a beautiful piece of machinery that I think only Nokia can rival in terms of quality.


Software:
I cannot tell you how many people updated their iPhones and thought it was a joke. This is not the iOS that I originally toyed with back in 08, who knew they'd ever update their archaic and hideous design? Sure, the new OS looks a little cartoony but it is a phenomenal step in the right direction. I know the colors are a bit too soft pastel but don't let that dissaude you, the fact that the iPhone only has one button on it's face is now finally okay with all of the gestures. The fact that the eye tracking actually works unlike the gimmicky S4 is great too, I thought it was a bit funny when I heard about it but it really does add a whole new dynamic layer to the UI creating a more 3d effect than the 3d evo ever did. The new camera UI is actually usable and quite good. It doesn't have the array of options I'm used to and certainly doesn't hold a candle to my Lumia 1020 in terms of quality but the shots are solid, it has the best panorama feature I've ever utilized on a smartphone and overall it's certainly usable. The new music player and the new Siri UI were both a pleasure to use and finally felt like an extension of the OS rather than another app.


Where Do I Think It Can Improve?
First of all, offer some kind of option for people who don't want a feminine phone. I like the UI but it's certainly affeminite. Second, pretty much every old app needs to be reconsidered to create a more unified experience across the OS. It should be made easy for developers to transition from your awful old menu styles to something that feels like an extension of the OS. Third, I'd love some sort of activity on the screen. It's all so static and dull. And FINALLY, innovate. Apple has not done anything innovative in years and that is sad coming from the hipster and geek company rather than us nerds for Microsoft. I know Apple has it in them but please, just brind something new to the table.
 

Ian Too

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Thanks for your review, though your preamble led me to expect a more satirical effort than it was.

FWIW, I like iOS 7, having updated my iPad 2 the day before yesterday, but my expectations were not as sky high as many people's.

Firstly, I'm glad they haven't broken the device. iOS 7 isn't slow or jerky thus far, so it's still good for the limited uses I make of it. I'm also glad the look is fresher, happier. It lacks the dynamic appearance of WP, but overall the effect is positive.

Multi-tasking improvements are welcome, though the four-finger gestures are still clumsy in comparison to Windows RT and don't work if you try to gesture in a control area of the screen, which is hard not to do with four fingers. To solve this there is always the button, but after Windows RT pressing a physical button seems an odd.

The new task switcher is nice to see, but this is the pleasure of recognition, because it's lifted straight from WP. It is nice to end an app by swiping up, but swiping down would be more intuitive as it is in Windows RT.

Another feature which is nice is that swiping from the bottom brings up a little control panel which allows you to lock the screen, adjust the volume and other minor functions. This would be welcome on Windows devices.

Overall, iOS 7 is an improvement, but not enough of one. a Windows RT tablet is still a better device then an iPad. The gesture controls are better and more intuitive, the OS is more flexible and productive. The only advantage the iPad has is the shear volume of apps, but this hides the fact that RT is more useful out of the box.

In my opinion iOS 8 and Mac OS X are going to have to be a sea change or Apple will be in real trouble. They need to look at Windows 8 a lot harder to see where the future lays, because once Apple loses it's reputation for innovation, its products to will come seem dull and people will be less forgiving of bad design like small batteries and fragility. This may well already be happening, these forums have had a few threads from Apple users adopting WP and devices like the HTC One are wooing iPhone customers away.
 

z33dev33l

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I don't think macs are ever going to be a contender. They're just not enough. They're smooth but they're not good by any means. Smooth is all they have going for them
 

chezm

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Its a little too WP ****** of a review...even for someone like me who does think Apples been slacking lately. Ios7 and the iPhone 5 (haven't tried s version yet) are a great combo. But I do agree its a feminine style with no options to change.
 

z33dev33l

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I admitted it was a fan boy review. Windows Phone has made me come to expect certain things from an OS and if they're not provided, I'll state it. Overall the OS is fine but damn that forum is awful.
 

chezm

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I admitted it was a fan boy review. Windows Phone has made me come to expect certain things from an OS and if they're not provided, I'll state it. Overall the OS is fine but damn that forum is awful.

Fair enough, i know you openly admitted it was a WP ****** review...i wasn't knocking you, just it was too much of a fan boy prospective for me ;)
 

z33dev33l

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Gotta say though, after seeing the iMore crowd, I don't know if I consider myself a fan boy anymore. They're a whole new level of blind following.
 

MSFTisMIA

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I wouldn't post over there at all. I have nothing against Apple and what they're doing, but the blind following of some is such a turnoff. At the end of the day though, while the hardware improvements in the 5S (the 5C is such a joke) are welcomed, within the grand scheme of the marketplace all Apple has done this year was evolutionary stuff...again.
 

iamtim

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Personally, I'm exceedingly tired of the term "******". If you're a regular poster at any forum like WPC or iMore, you're a ******... otherwise you wouldn't be a regular poster on the forum. On top of that, too many people use it as a way to express distaste over another's preference than anything else. "I want feature X!" "I don't need feature X." "Psh, whatta ******."

On a related rant, yeah, that one moderator over on iMore seems to be a total d*ck. I've always thought that if you're going to be a moderator, you should maintain a level of decorum and professionalism when you're using your moderator account. If you want to be a d*ck, open a second, non-moderator account from which you can. But when you're a moderator, you're that forum's local representative and if you're a d*ck, and the forum allows it... well, that's saying something about the forum, isn't it?
 

DalekSnare

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I like the new look, although like in Android there is still too much old-looking baggage from the pre-modern UI version of the OS. WP has the advantage of never being a skeuomorphic icon grid. Android 4 and iOS 7's new visual elements are nice, but there is still a lot of the old junk mixed in, especially in 3rd party apps and the static icons.
 

anony_mouse

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I like the new look, although like in Android there is still too much old-looking baggage from the pre-modern UI version of the OS. WP has the advantage of never being a skeuomorphic icon grid. Android 4 and iOS 7's new visual elements are nice, but there is still a lot of the old junk mixed in, especially in 3rd party apps and the static icons.

What is skeuomorphic about an icon grid? I guess you might argue it is a metaphor for a display in an Orthodox church but I think that's pushing it.
Remember - the 'tile UI' is an openly skeuomorphic design. The clue is in the name.
 

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