iOS Fans in a Thermonuclear Civil War Over iOS 7; Why Android Fans May Want to Take Sides
The issue of iOS 7 has split Apple’s audience, one of the most loyal and almost eerily-religious audiences out there in half. Apple unveiled the newest major version of iOS this Monday, which has several key new features such as a built in flashlight app, a quick settings option called Control Center, card based multitasking, and the ability to have apps update automatically in the background. The most notable change, however, is the new cartoony Sci-Fi themed design. Half of Apple’s customers are loving the new iOS, saying it’s okay Apple copied Android because “Android is half baked”, and “iOS 7 will be amazing, because it’s made by Apple” (no comment on that), and generally just continuing to worship Apple as they normally do. But the other half… not so much.
They are in an uproar after WWDC, and aren’t so excited about iOS 7. They’re praising Apple for giving them the ability to update apps in the background, saying that that’s a unique feature they didn’t previously know they wanted (again… no comment on that), but the positive feedback comes to a standstill there. They’re really lashing out at Apple. They’re calling control center “Stupid” because it’s “complicated”, and they really, really hate the new design. They say it’s lazy, because it’s “childish” and cartoony. It seems that a lot of people think that just because it looks cartoony that a 5 year old could have done it in 10 minutes, when that’s not the case. It most likely took some real effort to design, and I think it looks quite awesome, and look forward to somebody porting those icons over to Android. They say it no longer looks “elegant”, which I’m not really sure how to respond to. They’re convinced it’s going to be harder to read text on iOS 7 because of the thin new font, and calling the inconsistency confusing. I agree, the random scattering of black-grey and colors-on-white themed icons among the bright, diverse Sci-Fi colors, as well as the fact that some apps are white themed and some are black-themed, and some don’t match the color scheme of their icons, and some have different icons in different places in the operating system is definitely annoying, but that in no way make the operating system harder to navigate. This half of iOS users also seemed perplexed by the Control Center.
Joshua Topolsky with The Verge calls Control Center “cluttered” and says it seems that Apple dumped all the settings that they didn’t know where else to put there.
If you haven’t noticed the war, you can see it just by going to the parts of the internet where Apple fans hang out. Several posts have appeared on medium.com (not really sure what that website’s about) with developers complaining that Apple completely ruined iOS by “[going] too far in the other direction.” In 9to5mac’s walkthrough of iOS 7, texts between the narrator and Michael Beasley say that iOS 7 is “hideous”. Also, if you look in the “Apple” community on Google Plus, you can see that some people are praising Apple for iOS 7, some are bashing Apple.
The real issues I’m thinking about are whether or not Apple will take a few steps back because of this, and what effect this is going to have on the still-strong-but-decreasing sales of the iPhone and iPad. The fact that the user interface on iOS and Android are so similar now is going to force both companies to do some serious innovation. Google will have to make the 5.x era of Android another 2.x if it wants to further establish its lead over Apple, and Apple will have to go back to what it was doing in the Steve Jobs era if it wants to make a comeback in the smartphone market and/or re-strengthen its lead in the tablet market. There are people in the half of Apple’s audience against iOS 7 that just straight up don’t like change. I’m sure Joshua Topolsky and other tech geeks are looking at iOS 7’s real problems (like the inconsistency of the color scheme among pre-installed apps), but most of these people are average consumers who just don’t like change. They think that if the iPhone totally fails because nothing ever changes, that Apple will continue to keep releasing iPhones just for them, but, in the grand scheme of things Apple, like any other for-profit company, wants to make as much money as possible. So they’ll go with the cartoony design everybody else wants. I think that’s what they’re going to do, but I’m also afraid they won’t. And if they do take any steps back, it will make iOS further inferior to Android, which in turn will cause the iPhone’s market share to drop even further than it has already. It will eliminate any serious competition to Google. If that happens, us Android fans will continue to get minor updates like Jelly Bean, and innovation in the mobile operating system market will come to a standstill. How interesting and fun the next couple of years could be is totally in Apple’s hands at the moment.