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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 13:17

Apple’s revamp of software will be superficial

Written by Nick Farrell



You probably were not expecting this

After it was initially trumpeted as “super-cool” and “game changing” by the tame Apple press, it is starting to look as if Apple’s new software revamp will be as superficial as the almighty religion that peddles it. Tim Cook claimed that the iOS changes would be the most sweeping to the look and feel of its iOS software since the first iPhone in 2007. Apple needs it badly as it is fast being out-evolved by software made by search engine company in its spare time.

Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, described the changes as “bringing order to complexity” and introducing new kinds of animations that “create a sense of depth and vitality”. All this is bollocks of course, but is exactly the sort of “crime against humanity” that marketing rubbish commits on the English language.

What Ive seemed to be talking about was redesigned icons and colour scheme in iOS 7 in favour of a flatter, simpler look. All this is paper think to the sort of services that people expect their phone to deliver. Apple says that all users have been waiting for are automatic updates for apps and a quick-access “control centre” for toggling WiFi, Bluetooth and other features that can eat away at battery life if left on.

But these are not radical changes and are mostly cosmetic. There is nothing fundamental changed, and certainly nothing that gives it much of a march on Android. One thing which is positive is that Apple is going to give access to some 1,500 new features of the operating system with which to build their apps, as part of Cook’s pledge to become more “open”.

But there is nothing in these current plans which include offering popular features already available in Android, such as greater data-sharing between apps, using voice controls to direct apps or the ability to download new keyboard software. Apple’s Maps app for iPhone, which was supposed to be a game changer last year is still not baked yet and is now so far behind Google Maps, it has become a synonym for “technology which gets you hopelessly lost”.

So, what once we have scratched the surface of Apple’s new revamp what have we got? Basically the same thing that Apple has been peddling since the launch of the iPhone.  If Apple is going to stay in the running against such aggressive Android completion, it is going to have to do better than just marketing and hype. Particularly if Microsoft and Blackberry get their act together.

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