Apple is set to announce the official iOS 7 release date alongside new iPhones on Tuesday. While Apple enthusiasts by and large are very excited about iOS 7, it’s going to be extremely confusing to the masses of iPhone users that have spent the last six years getting used to the ‘traditional’ iOS user interface. We expect Apple to release iOS 7 within days of the September 10 iPhone event.
There’s no question that iOS 7 has a host of new features that will improve the overall user experience, but users are going to struggle to figure them all out. This might be hard to relate to for power users that know how to navigate every corner of their iPhones, but there are many long-time iPhone users that take months or years to learn just some of the basics.
Above is an iOS 7 promotional video that was released during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. As Apple design guru Jony Ive explains, iOS 7 is an attempt to simplify and declutter the iPhone. Apple certainly achieved that goal while adding important functionality. Literally every icon, screen and native app looks different after upgrading. People are used to iOS updates being relatively minor in terms of the overall user interface. Apple has introduced new features to iOS with each update, but there’s never been a complete overall like iOS 7 before. What looks like clean design to some iPhone users will induce panic in more casual users.
Apple and its partners are bracing for what’s going to be an onslaught of confused iPhone users. And by confused we mean people rushing Genius Bars insisting that their iPhones are broken. People that will be asking for iOS 6 back. Some frustrated iPhone users will surely swear off Apple and threaten to switch to Android rather than deal with the new iOS 7 interface. Of course, contracts and financial realities will make that easier said than done.
What’s going to frustrate some iOS 7 upgraders the most is that they’ll have to relearn how to do the simplest of tasks. For example, in iOS 6 users need to swipe once to the right from the primary home screen to open up Spotlight Search. Performing the same gesture on iOS 7 does absolutely nothing. Instead, iOS 7 users must swipe down on the home screen. Alternatively, iOS 6 users can press the home button to launch Spotlight Search from the home screen. Doing the same in iOS 7 does nothing.
As you can see in our iOS 7 walkthrough on an iPad, there are a whole lot of improvements over iOS 6. It’s much easier to quickly access information and change basic settings. But iOS 7 is going to test a lot of people’s patience before they can even think of learning about all fo the new features.
Do you think the iPhone users in your life will adapt well to iOS 7 initially or struggle with the big changes?