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Apple has launched the all new iOS 7, as a pre-release for developers featuring a new ‘flat’ designed interface, new control center, transparent animations and a design and functionality update to all standard iPhone apps. The new mobile operating system will be available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, the iPad 2, iPad third and fourth generation, the iPad mini and the iPod touch fifth generation. The design is a lot different than what previous iPhone users are used to.

The design is much more flat, getting rid of skeuomorphism for the most part and focuses a lot on minimalism and usability.

The new iOS 7 logo
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The new lock screen. The first thing you’ll notice is no bar at the bottom to slide. Now you can swipe anywhere to unlock. You’ll also notice right away that the universal network strength bars have been redesigned. The background is rumored to have some sort of motion sensor movement involved.

Image: Business Insider

“Nothing we’ve ever created has been designed just to look beautiful. That’s approaching the opportunity from the wrong end. Instead, as we reconsidered iOS, our purpose was to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable — while building on the things people love about iOS. Ultimately, redesigning the way it works led us to redesign the way it looks. Because good design is design that’s in service of the experience. (Apple)

Aside from the design aspect, I’m glad to see that Apple didn’t move things around too much from the previous versions of iOS. Everything remains in columns and as far as usability it looks the same. The new look feels heavily inspired by a mix of Android and Microsoft and to me doesn’t feel fresh or new but I’m sure once I hold it in my hand you’ll have to wipe my drool off the screen from it’s sheer beauty.

The new home screen with redesigned ‘Flat’ icons
Image: Business Insider

The new camera app
Image: Business Insider

You can now switch between modes. In my opinion, that camera button is very harsh in design and feels almost like a wireframe element.

The new keyboard for the phone, using A LOT of white space
Image: Business Insider

“Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity..When a product is designed properly — when you don’t have to adapt to the technology because it’s already designed around you — you develop a connection with it.

It becomes more to you than just a device. iOS 7 invites that kind of connection. Interactions are dynamic. Animations are cinematic. And the experience is lively and spirited in so many unexpected yet perfectly natural ways. Open the Weather app, for example, and you’ll instantly understand. Hail bounces off text, and fog passes in front of it. Storm clouds come into view with a flash of lightning. And suddenly, checking the weather is like looking out a window.” (Apple)

The new look of the Mail App
Image: Business Insider

The new look of the Notes App
Image: Business Insider

I think the biggest problem with the design at this point is it feels a bit too simple and unpolished in different places (the camera’s circular white button, and the notes app to name a few), but hopefully we will soon see certain things cleaned up. The best part about the refresh in my opinion, lies mostly in the improved functionality within the home screens and groups. Once it’s released we can truly feel its room for growth but it’s fun to speculate! Take our poll and comment in the section below to let us know what you think about the new iOS 7.

Poll Questions

FYI – This poll closes at midnight Pacific Time on August 5th. The results of the poll will remain hidden until then so we can reveal the results in a follow up post early next week! Thanks for voting and all your comments!