Apple has released a new iOS update, and with it comes quite a bit of changes. Some notable smaller improvements allow you to tell Siri when to stop listening, browse events in your calendar in month view, and improved TouchID on 5s devices. These are all small updates, yet very beneficial, but the biggest headline is the addition of CarPlay. Although not yet available in cars, this is the newest addition to iOS we have seen in a while. Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will be releasing models this year that are compatible with CarPlay, in which apps will be shown on the car’s dashboard for a hands-off experience. According to Apple’s website, many other manufacturers will have CarPlay available in the future including BMW, Land Rover, and Chevrolet. If you are in the market for a vehicle, I would definitely look for CarPlay. It is cumbersome using GPS on your iPhone while driving, so the navigation on the car’s dashboard will be a huge benefit.
Along with the introduction of CarPlay, there are also a lot of interface and design updates. Some of the design changes are very apparent to users, however some may not be as recognizable. Answering phone calls and powering off are two of the more noticeable changes, but small things like new weather icons and the keyboard are more subtle. The weather icons are filled in instead of just outlines, and the buttons on the keyboard have a darker tint and the shift and delete buttons are supposed to be easier to use. The new icons to power off and answer calls give the interface a simpler design. This is a great small change to keep the entire interface consistent. The weather app is designed beautifully. The icons are simpler, also keeping the new update consistent. After using my iPhone over the last day, I can say that the shift and delete buttons do seem easier to use. I used to touch the wrong button quite a bit before the update, but after one day I can already see the improvement. These are all minor changes that, together, create a very well designed and consistent interface.
So why does Apple make these very minor updates that some people will never even notice? Because Apple understands that, in the words of graphic designer Santiago Borray, “Design is like a mom, nobody notices when she’s around, but everybody misses her when she’s not.” iOS 7.1 doesn’t have anything drastic, but the simplicity and detail of the new design is what makes this update worthwhile.
Apple writes “Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed. And in taking away design elements that don’t add value, suddenly there’s greater focus on what matters most: your content.” Elements that were once well designed, like the large slide-to-answer bars, have lost their aesthetic. This update is just another instance in which Apple is staying ahead of the curve, keeping iOS a beautifully designed interface.
For the full update, visit: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7-update/