Apple’s mobile software is always evolving, with hundreds of changes and improvements being applied to each numbered update. Back in 2013, iOS 7 caused a bit of a stir upon launch due to its heavily-revised aesthetics, and the lack of skeuomorphism left many long-time users feeling as though the rug had been pulled from beneath them. Accompanying the all-new look, Apple also introduced a series of animations and effects, many of which also managed to rub some users up the wrong way, and as a new comparison clip with iOS 8 and iOS 3 shows, the fanciful animated elements may have somewhat hindered the responsiveness of the platform in many key areas.
As we’ve become accustomed to the look and functionality of Apple’s mobile software post-iOS 7, there are many who still feel as though the animations are largely unnecessary, and William Van Hecke, an individual with a vested interest in software UX, has compiled a short clip that only underlines the notion that Apple has over-animated iOS.
The video focuses on animations that take place at the home screen, and what’s quite evident in iOS 7 and iOS 8 is how difficult it can be to determine when an animation has run its course. This isn’t to say that animations have slowed iOS down – strictly speaking, they have not – but in real-world usage, it can strain responsiveness and make everything seen more sluggish than it need be.
The bottom line, is that animations used to be shorter before Apple placed such emphasis upon them, and so in Van Hecke’s comparison, the almost 6-year-old iOS 3 running original iPhone hardware is made to look much speedier than it is.
Personally, while iOS does feel slick, the animations seem only to serve Apple’s thirst for finesse, and as a fan of simple, clean-cut software systems, I do feel as though iOS would benefit from losing many of its time-consuming pop-out and transition effects.
Take a look at the video, and do let us know of your thoughts below. We would love to hear your take on Apple’s iOS animations, and whether you believe that Apple has been a tad heavy-handed with its animations, so drop us a comment via the usual channels and let’s get a debate going!