iOS 7 is about to hit our iPhones and iPads this Wednesday and we have to admit to being a little apprehensive about some of the new features. We're also excited about some aspects of the new iPhone operating system - you can read about the things we think we will love about iOS 7 here.
The inevitable disappointment when Siri doesn't work
Siri is apparently out of beta in iOS 7, two years after it launched in iOS 4. Apple's virtual assistant is getting a bit of an overhaul, gaining a new interface, new voices (in some parts of the world), Twitter integration, and the ability to turn system services on and off with your voice. All that sounds great. Something I'm less sure about is the fact that Siri has ditched Google, turning instead to Wikipedia and Bing for search. Siri will also have his/her work cut out competing with Google's personal assistant. Google Now has the ability to transcribe live audio as you speak. True, Siri can transcribe what you say, but it can only transcribe what you said after you said it. Google Now transcribes as you speak, which means you'll be able to see if it's gone completely wrong. Expect to play with Siri for a couple of days before giving up dismayed that it can't do anything you actually need it to do.
With all new versions of iOS, there tends to be a few teething problems. One of which is usually battery life. iOS 7 has a new motion feature which subtly moves your wallpaper as you turn your iPhone side to side or up and down. That’s sure to put strain on the battery above and beyond what past iOS updates have done. Will we all be reaching for our chargers before the first day of iOS 7 is over? We’ll have to wait and see.
Childish Colour Scheme
iOS has looked pretty much the same since the original iPhone so fair play to Apple for going for a redesign to give it a fresh and new look. However, I'm not a fan of the tone of this makeover; in particular the colour scheme which I can best describe a garish. With its bright, almost neon, punchy colours it looks like it's been designed for children. It looks like it belongs perhaps in the science museum as an interactive station.
I'm not looking forward to hearing all about iTunes Radio in from users in America, while those of us here in the UK are unable to get the new feature. It'll bring a whole new way to listen to and discover music, but we'll just have to wait until Apple strikes deals with record labels here before we can make the most of it.
May be sluggish/won't be able to downgrade
Apple does mention that not all options in iOS7 will be available on the older models, especially the iPhone 4. Obviously some hardware limitations will hold it back from enjoying the whole new experience of the new OS.
But what we don't want to see is a repeat of iOS 6 sluggishness with older devices. When the 3G/3Gs iPhones became very slow and unusable after the update, and it was very difficult, nearly impossible, to revert the OS to the earlier version.
Near-Windows 8-esque look
It's nowhere near the abomination that is Windows 8 with its ugly, two-dimensional user interface, absence of drop-shadow cues and sharply squared-off corners. But by losing the glassy curved-effect buttons that have been part of iOS since it was simply iPhone OS, and erring toward the sharply angular, Apple starts to look like the imitator and not the innovator. Putting a three-dimensional effect back with a moving, recessed wallpaper may help – will have to see how that works out.
Having to queue up
Ok, I said that I was happy that I wouldn't have to queue up for a brand new iPhone in our eight things we love about iOS 7 but that doesn't mean we won't all be queuing up for iOS 7...
When Apple announced that everyone could download iOS 7 for free on September 18 I had one sinking feeling: everyone wants to upgrade on September 18. When I say "everyone" obviously I don't mean Everyone. Just 600 million other iOS users.
Updating can be quick and easy, but it can also be like trying to buy tickets online for Glastonbury: painfully slow and frustrating as the world tries to hook up with Apple’s over-loaded servers.
Previous iOS updates have bricked the device when the new iOS didn't install correctly, forcing users to restore their iPhone or iPad before trying again.
When it eventually does download it can take the iPhone or iPad another 10-20 minutes to start up. By which time your iPhone’s battery will be flaking out.
Choosing a font for a phone is difficult: you've got to work with a typeface that's as suitable for texting 'Come party!!!' as 'Call home. Something's happened to Dad'. But Apple could have at least picked something less unimaginative than Helvetica Neue, especially as it's had to settle for even-more-corporate weights of it as newer versions of the iOS7 beta has emerged.
When iOS7 first emerged, the thin weights of Helvetica Neue seemed fresh – but it appears that these have proved difficult for users to read quickly and understand what they say, so Apple has dropped the Helvetica Neue Light for good-old, tried-and-tested Helvetica Neue (a refinement of the original Helvetica used in previous iOS versions).
The design of Helvetica Neue is aesthetically without any ornamentation or geometry that suggests meaning beyond itself – it's the epitome of bland or flexible, depending on how you look at it. Apple tried to improve on how Helvetica was used in iOS6 and found it didn't work.
Nokia got round this problem by commissioning its own font for its phones – though its rollout faltered when Nokia moved to the Windows Phone OS for its smartphones. Apple should have done the same.