Watching the iOS portion of today’s Apple WWDC keynote, I was reminded of the scene in “Almost Famous” where Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and William Miller (Patrick Fugit) discuss the new Lou Reed album:
BANGS: You like the new Lou Reed? WILLIAM: The early stuff. The new stuff, he’s trying to be Bowie, he should be himself. I'm not a big Lou man. BANGS: Yeah, but if Bowie’s doing Lou, and Lou’s Doing Bowie, Lou’s still doing Lou. WILLIAM: If you like Lou.
Judging from my Twitter feed during the event, lots of folks seem to hate the new look of iOS 7. Or at least they hate the new icons for the default apps. I was less struck by those details than the way iOS 7 borrows (and in some cases improves upon) functionality/design from Android: multitasking follows the Android model note-for-note, and Control Center looks like a cleaner, more considered collection of Android’s widget functionality. I’m hoping that Air Drop manages to approach the simplicity of sharing on Android, which is system-wide and not strongly tied to app functionality.
It’s a common criticism of Apple that they often roll out features that other operating systems had first. That’s very much the case here, but Apple once again appears to have applied a more focused, unified approach to those borrowed features. I think that once people get over the radically different look they’ll find that the functional underpinnings have been improved. (Apple’s insistence in acting like they came up with these features on their own is another matter entirely.)
As for myself, I’m hopeful that the iPhone finally makes it to my carrier’s device lineup this year. Because while I’d like to get back to iOS on my phone, there’s no way I’m going to go back to a major carrier to do so.