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Dramatic Apple's iOS 7 is "unrecognisable"

12 Jun 2013

Apple has acknowledged the need for a user interface refresh and was willing to do something "pretty dramatic" with the launch of iOS.

That is the view of Ovum's chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson, who claims “iOS 7 is easily the biggest news" from Apple's WWDC conference this week.

And why is it the biggest news…?

"…because it represents a massive overhaul of the look and feel of the operating system, which has remained largely unchanged visually since the original version," claims Dawson.

Unveiled to the world yesterday, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi says iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface, but will be instantly familiar to the hundreds of millions of users.

“The new version is almost unrecognisable, which will make it polarising," Dawson says.

"Some people will love that their phone feels new and different, while others will be disoriented by the newness.

"Finding your Settings app is hard when the icon has totally changed, and the many people who easily get disoriented by their gadgets may well have a negative experience."

Dawson believes many of the new features Apple added to iOS 7 are fixes to problems rather than dramatic or clever new ideas.

"Notifications, Siri, and Multitasking enhancements and the introduction of Control Center all deal with deficiencies rather than providing surprising new features no-one would have thought of," he says.

"The fact that neither iOS 7 isn’t coming until the fall is a disappointment from a user perspective, but the delay is necessary to give developers time to rework their apps to take advantage of the new operating system and fit in visually."

iTunes Radio

Offering his comments on Apple's new iTunes Radio release, Dawson insists the service will rival Pandora within the music market.

“iTunes Radio as a Pandora clone is a lot less disruptive than a Spotify clone would have been," he says.

"This is a nice free feature that lots of people will probably try out, but existing Pandora users won’t have much reason to switch, especially as the service is still ad-supported unless you have an iTunes Match subscription.

"What would be really disruptive is a service that allowed you to call up specific songs on demand as you can with Spotify, but that would likely have disrupted Apple’s existing iTunes business, and the music industry as a whole, too much."

What are your opinions on the new Apple releases? Tell us your thoughts below