iOS 7 – What Do We Need To See This Year?

It’s as much of a yearly tradition as the iPhone release itself, and some would say it’s even more fun. That’s right folks, it’s that time of year when we all start guessing what Apple will do with the next big release of iOS. This year’s version number of choice is 7.0, and plenty of people are taking the opportunity to lay out just what they want out of Apple’s next big release of iOS.

Part of the whole process, anyone who’s anyone has been putting out concept photos and videos of what they thing iOS 7 will feature. The consensus is that Apple will make a few changes this year, especially with Jony Ive now in control of things after Scott Forstall’s ouster. But enough of what everyone else thinks, what do I think is going to become of iOS 7? Well, here we go. I’ll be throwing in a couple of wishes too, just for good measure.

iOS 7 iPhone iPad iPod touch

The first change that most will be hoping for, and one that’s been mildly rumored for iOS 7, is a redesigned home screen experience. Apple’s offered nothing but a collection of app icons since the iPhone’s inception, whilst the likes of Android and Windows Phone have sought to offer a more live-feeling experience. Same goes for the stale multitasking switcher, which was first introduced with iOS 4 back in year 2010. We’re all hoping that things change with this year’s big iOS release, but is it actually likely?

iOS 7 concept 1

iOS 7 Concept

I suspect iOS 7 will indeed see some changes to the way iOS looks and feels, but I just can’t see the home screen changing all that much. Apple’s whole philosophy is that the apps are what matter, not the operating system. Apps need to be front and center, and things like widgets or live tiles just detract from that. It may be what users want, but if it’s not what Apple wants, we probably won’t get it.

I’m no great fan of widgets, but I must admit to being a little tired of the home screen served up by Apple. It’s one of the reasons I jailbreak these days (read: iPhone 5 jailbreak tweaks that made me return to jailbreaking), but something tells me Apple won’t be straying too far away from its current ethos of keeping things as simple as possible on the old aesthetics front.

iOS 7 concept

iOS 7 Concept with live icon and widgets

One area I can see Apple working on, and certainly one I’d like to see overhauled, is the current Notification Center system. Introduced in iOS 5, it’s certainly an improvement on everything that came before it, but it still falls short of where it should be. Looking to the jailbreak community as Apple has so many times before, the likes of LockInfo and IntelliScreenX show what can be done with the existing Notification Center. Throw in some of the iOS 7 concept videos and it’s clear that there are plenty of ways to improve a system that’s not quite as useful as it could be. Notification handling from the lock screen, for instance, is one area I’d like to see improvements to. Contextual options for example would certainly improve things for me.

Other additions that would go down well include live icons, so the weather app can finally tell us the real temperature, and live wallpapers. That said, the latter is probably something we’d never actually use if we had it!


WeatherIcon for iOS 6 – Cydia Tweak

There is also a lot of talk of skeuomorphism going away from iOS. Recently we saw this happen to Apple’s Podcasts which moved away from skeuomorphic design, possibly hinting at a new direction for the upcoming OS.

In all honesty, I already like iOS – that’s why I use it. A few tweaks here and there would go a long way, though, just to spice things up a bit. At the end of the day, I’ll still buy an iPhone 5S/6, regardless of iOS changes so long as the hardware floats my boat. If not, then I’ll stick with my iPhone 5.

At least for a little while.

What do you guys want to see change in iOS this year? Share your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

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