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Well, I had to do it. Just days after writing on this very site that I wouldn’t dump my iPhone 5 jailbreak On 6.1.2 for a shiny new version of iOS, I’m sat here looking at iOS 7 on the very same iPhone 5.

I’m weak, I know, but the lure of the shiny beta, complete with all the changes it brings was just too much. I’m now sat thumbing through some of the menus hidden deep inside iOS 7 beta 1, and I feel… odd.

So, to clarify, I’m running the first beta release of iOS 7 on an iPhone 5. It’s black, if you’re interested, and very clean. Very.

iOS 7 iPhone 5

The first thing I noticed after the initial update was that the whole interface feels like the contrast has been cranked up way beyond 11, and closer to 43. I’d restored from a backup so the background was black, and that just makes the new icons pop even more than usual. It’s bright and dark at the same time, and I can’t work out whether I like it or not. Mainly because of those icons.

They feel ever so slightly like they were drawn for a dare. They’re very modern, that’s for sure, but they also feel a bit too different, if that makes sense. It may be six years of iOS as we know it that has conditioned me somewhat, but nothing ‘feels’ right about the icons I’m sat looking at. They do, it has to be said, look crisp. Did someone sneak in and add some extra pixels to my Retina display whilst I wasn’t looking?

As I type this my iPhone 5 is still in the process of downloading all my apps, so I’m far from offering a considered opinion here. First impressions are all I have right now, and they’re certainly mixed. It’s also worth remembering that this is indeed a first beta. Transitions feel sloppy and somewhat sluggish for example. Not because the handset can’t render them quickly, but because the whole thing’s been slowed down. It’s hard to explain, but nothing snaps into place. Whether that’s intentional or not, I don’t know. I do know I don’t like it, though.

After twenty minutes of thumbing around, what I do know is that I need more time with it. And sleep – it’s midnight here in the UK and I need to be out of the house in six hours. I suspect it needs another couple of betas though, before it really starts to settle. Right now it doesn’t feel like my iPhone anymore, and that feels strange.

It’s not my iPhone anymore anyway. It’s Jonny Ive’s.

However, here’s a bunch of screenshots I took while playing with iOS 7 for a few minutes on an iPhone 5:

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I will be back with more detailed report on my experience with iOS 7 in about 24 to 48 hours time. Stay tuned for that!

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