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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

IOS 7 & OS X - Work half done

Yesterday's Apple WWDC was awaited with lot of anticipation. The introduction of the new OS versions for the Macbook & iOS devices were eagerly awaited. I was disappointed with what was introduced would be the most flattering response, given the features unveiled and the ones which never showed up.

Here is what was introduced (in the Apple eco-system)

OS X (As in 10)

  • Finder Tabs (Still trying to understand the real utility behind such a feature)
  • iCloud & Keychain  integration (Good start again on a unfinished feature)
  • Upgrades to Safari (Not sure if it is a catchup-game to Chrome)
I am not too excited by the above features, so might skip this version upgrade on my 2011 MBP unless the price is really attractive for upgrade. It was surprising to see no talk about Aperture or any other products such as Garageband or iPhoto.

iOS 7

The most awaited overhaul to the ageing OS UI finally arrived. The new look is much cleaner than before, and finally Apple is coming to smartphone standards with notification pull-ups and doing away with the glassy shine. What stands out is the clean UI which reminds of Windows Metro & more recently the Android JB 4.2 UI. They're all starting to look mutant siblings slowly but steadily.

Features introduced (for the iOS ecosystem)
  • Notification drawer goes the Android/Samsung way but from bottoms up.
  • Icons now resemble Nokia N8/9 and Miui ROM like.
  • New filters and Panorama mode in Camera App
  • Activation lock if phone is erased/lost.
  • Multitasking finally looks like WebOS like.
  • iTunes Radio
  • Upgraded Safari with iCloud Keychain support
  • Facetime Audio (Good addition to the default video calling app)

What was glaringly missing in the event for iOS
  • Dynamic content icons - The icons are still static !!
  • No talk on Maps !! Why ?
  • Long needed update to Contacts app for intelligent dial/contact search.
Upto this point, we are not even discussing anything innovative except that Apple took the courage to change the ageing UI and Activation lock feature which should deter some, if not all the iOS device thieves. The years from 2007 - 2010 were the trailblazing years in my opinion for Apple with incremental features added and interesting hardware upgrades. Since the iPhone 4 and iOS 5, things haven't looked the same.
It remains to be seen if Apple picks up steam again during fall and impresses with hardware refreshes for the Macbook Pro and the iOS device line. The catching up game on the software & hardware could result in bulk migration of people to other ecosystems. With the iOS 7, the catchup game is already a generation behind and it will be old by the time it lands in consumer's hands given the fact that Android & Microsoft will have refreshes up their sleeves as well.

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