iOS 7: Is it Better Than Other Mobile OS in User Experience?

By Neha Baluni
ios 7

Way before iOS 7 actually broke the ice, it started grabbing the attention of inquisitive brains the world over. Ultimately, amid loads of expectations and speculations the OS saw the light of the day on September 18, 2003. The new release didn’t disappoint either, as it flaunted a sophisticated visual style and interaction design, making up for a sound user experience. But is it really the find of the decade and has superseded the others in the race of best mobile operating systems? Does it really end the search of everyday users for a quality user experience? Here, knowing about the newly introduced features of this OS and what recognized bodies have to say about it in their survey reports, would be worthwhile.

iOS 7 features

The latest OS from Apple introduces quite promising features such as:

  • Control Center: With Control Center, the access to important controls is now just a swipe away from any screen including the lock screen.
  • Notification Center: It notifies of all the new mails, missed-calls, etc. The new ‘Today’ feature is a welcome addition that fetches the summary of the day and provides info on birthdays, current traffic, share market, etc.
  • Multitasking: With iOS 7, your iPhone can now give updated feeds for your preferred app. It figures out the time you open an app on a daily basis and updates its info before you launch it, just to let you get fresh inputs, every day.
  • Camera: The iOS 7 introduces improved camera offering the all new square (front and center) shooting format along with still, video and panorama.
  • Photos: You can now group your photos and videos in a smarter way as iOS 7 introduces Years, Collections and Moments formats.
  • AirDrop: The feature leverages Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities of your iPhone to enable you to share your data to someone sitting close to you. The shares are secure and encrypted.
  • Safari: The browser makes internet surfing even better, swifter and beautiful in iOS 7. Just a swipe is fair enough to go the next or previous webpage. Screen accommodates more content, and the buttons and bars remain hidden till you reveal them.
  • iTunes Radio: Apple calls it as radio re-imagined, a definition that gets aptly endorsed by the streaming radio stations with the best selection of music. You can see what you hear, edit stations, create artists info, and much more.
  • Siri: The refreshed Siri gets a redesigned interface in iOS 7. It is more clear, natural and quicker in responding to questions and uses added sources like Wikipedia, Bing, etc., to fetch better answers.

The best thing about all these fresh features is that they are compatible with most of the iOS devices as can be seen in the image below:

Comparing iOS 7 with other Mobile OS

iOS 7 has managed to attract users of other mobile OS as well owing to better user experience as is revealed by ‘The Pfeiffer Report’. The research work evaluated iOS 7 on the basis of four major aspects – cognitive load, efficiency, customization and user experience friction.

The findings ultimately gave the mobile operating system an absolute advantage in terms of overall UX. Considering the user experience of non-technical users, the report has given iOS 7 an edge with a high score of 73.25. This is way ahead of Android (57.25), followed by Windows Phone 8 (47.25) and BlackBerry (56.37). Not surprisingly, iOS 6 is still most favorite after iOS 7 with a popularity score of 70.

iOS 7 drawbacks

Beyond doubts, iOS 7 is a widely accepted operating system for its multiple features and robust functionality; making up for an enhanced user experience. However, there are still a few glitches that unfortunately make the OS an unfavorable one among a thick of iPhone users such as:

  • Slow speed on iPhone 5 and iPad 4.
  • A big let down for iPhone 3G users, again due to slow speed.
  • Less sensitive to touch on iPad.
  • Inability to pick color themes of one’s own choice.
  • Availability of Airdrop for limited iOS devices.
  • Heavy battery consumption due to automatic background updating and refreshing.
  • Challenge for developers to make mobile applications backward compatible.
  • Challenge for developers to migrate iOS apps from previous versions to iOS 7.

To conclude, with the release of every new version of a mobile OS, there are bound to creep in both the positive as well as negative vibes, the same holds for iOS 7. It surely has certain flaws as observed by the users, but comparing all those hiccups with the pluses that it offers, the operating system still promises lots of potential. Even much of the problems encountered in iOS 7.0 have already been taken care of in the latter versions – iOS 7.0.1, 7.0.2 and 7.0.3, the recent one. Hence, after evaluating all the pros and cons, it seems that iOS 7 is indeed better than other mobile OS in terms of user experience.

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