Lately, it’s difficult to be heard above the constant screaming negativity towards Apple’s latest operating system.

Heck, I’m guilty of joining the chorus too, this is a piece I wrote on this blog last week: Five user experience problems with iOS7. It’s a fair summation of the problems with iOS7, in fact it only scrapes the surface according the comments underneath it.

As Marc Shillum (featured in this post about Apple and the key to consistent marketing experience) stated recently, what we perceive to be the product, the iPhone, is in fact “an ongoing service relationship with a company that is delivered through software we have little control over”.

Basically the operating system is the product, not the phone. No wonder there's so much outcry when Apple tweaks its operating system, or as with iOS7, completely rewrites it.

So in order to inject some positivity into the conversation, and to provide much needed balance, here’s a list of brilliant things about iOS7.

Let’s start small

The Clock app tells the right time now...

I know this is only minor but it’s attention to details like this that makes the UX that much more rewarding and gives you confidence in the developer.

Now if only they can make the Weather app constantly represent what’s happening outside and the Compass always pointing in a relative direction then I’ll be really happy.

Kick out the chrome

Removing most of the chrome from the design has given the display a much needed contemporisation.

The old grey bars on the top and bottom are gone. Instead we can now witness Ghost Rider in all his flaming, full-screen glory. 

There’s a financial positive here in that Apple has basically saved itself from manufacturing bigger screens and handsets, by making the iPhone appear bigger with nothing but a mere optical illusion.

Control Centre

Apple’s new Control Centre, accessed simply by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, is a brilliant cross-section of easily accessible features.

Here you can switch wi-fi, Bluetooth and sleep mode on & off quickly.

It also provides you with a brand new torch feature (admittedly it just leaves the flash on, but still, it’s very handy.)

You also have fast access to music controls and here’s an under-appreciated one – brightness controls, which are usually hidden in the general settings.

Lock screen music controls

This has made my commute a far easier experience.

Without unlocking your phone or double tapping the home button, you can now directly skip tracks, pause and see the full track details of whatever is currently on the iPhone stereo.

Great if you're in a rush but you really need the right T'Pau track to help power your way there.

This also works for the Spotify app as well as iTunes.

Find My iPhone

We saw this at work in our office only last week when someone who shall remain nameless (alright, Matt our head of social) lost his iPhone quite innocently and soberly in a taxi.

Find My iPhone has been part of the iOS for a few years, but now there’s an added bonus – Activation Lock.

The moment you turn on Find My iPhone, your lost iPhone will lock itself and can’t be unlocked, erased or reactivated without your Apple ID and password.

You just have to remember to keep Find My iPhone switched on in your settings. Isn’t that right Matt?


You’re probably aware that you can double-tap the home button to access any currently running apps, and that by swiping up you can kill a specific app.

Did you also know that you can kill up to three apps at the same time by using multiple fingers? You do now. You’re welcome.

This screengrab was achieved with no small amount of teamwork by the way.

Timestamps in Messages

A quick little tip, based on something that I’d become quite frustrated with until today. How do I know what time a message was sent?

“I’ll be there in ten minutes” a message might read. "Ten minutes from when?" I'll scream at my nearing-sentient device.

Just swipe to the left to reveal all the timestamps.


Apple has introduced a few more improvements in it’s most recent update, which address some initial user experience problems.

If you were one of the many users experiencing motion sickness from the ‘zooming in and out’ feature when turning an app on or off, or the parallax floating effect in the background, good news – you can turn it off now.

Just go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Reduce Motion. You’ll also find this lessens the drain on your battery and processing power.

There’s also been some bug fixes to certain user’s inability to send iMessages over the data channel and the addition of iCloud Keychain functionality to aid security.

Your thoughts...

I’ve already talked long enough elsewhere in the iOS7 problems post about how much I admire the new non-skeomorphic design, which really is the most immediate and definitive improvement within iOS7.

Now it’s your turn. There’s been plenty of commentary based on the rubbishness of iOS7, so why don't you let us know how great the iOS7 is instead in the comments below…

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 25 October, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

686 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (9)

Save or Cancel
Paul Halfpenny

Paul Halfpenny, Technical Partner at McCormack & Morrison

I had to use my wife's iPhone 4S the other day when helping her with her email and it was strange how dated iOS6 seemed.

For me, the transition to iOS7 and iPhone 5S is a breath of fresh air and a massive leap forwards. After spending a good deal of time with it, I wouldn't want to ever go back.

almost 5 years ago


Ali Moghadam

It's funny how hate is the first response to an Apple update. Except for maps. That was such a flop. The flack was well deserved.

Personally, I like it a lot. I don't miss the old look at all (although the lock screen clock is a little harder to read. The ultra light font is in general).

The shortcuts to everything are really helpful, but I've noticed myself scrolling through pages and pulling up the control center by mistake though. That's a little annoying - but I don't mind adapting for the other cool stuff.

The swipe to go back/forward feature in Safari is nice. I use an iPhone4, the oldest phone it will work on, and it feels faster and more responsive than it has in ages - regardless of what others say, it's given me a reason to hold on to my aging handset for another generation.

almost 5 years ago



its such an interesting piece.. also check dis site for responsive designing,digital marketing

almost 5 years ago



It's taken 7 versions (and multiple dot releases) of an operating system to get to "The Clock app tells the right time now."

Does that not strike anyone else as [odd / unbelievable / fill in your own shock statement here]?

almost 5 years ago



So now all we need is a half way decent mail app.

almost 5 years ago


Ben Adams

IOS7 is great, I'd rather see increments of valuable additions in an OS then blatant lets-think-of-everything-before-people-actually-use it approach

almost 5 years ago


Ben Adams, Founder and Director at Function 22

Great article by the way

almost 5 years ago


Philippe Gaboury

One thing that irked me in the "missing" chrome is how some items are now impossible to see if your background image includes some white spots. Apple used to add some shadowing to all elements to make sure they stood out no matter your chosen background and that is no longer the text. I now have to either struggle to see the clock or battery status on my iPad or find another picture of my three kids to use.

almost 5 years ago

Margaret Robertson

Margaret Robertson, Owner at Personal

I think the improvements far outweigh any issues, as the UI is nicer IMO and it has some neat features particularly around image management and email deltion and call blocking . I don't remember having any issues with the clock ( you should try dealing with a Blackberry ! ) - but then I am old school so also wear a wristwatch. The biggest problem has been battery life , but now I understand how to disable apps and thanks to this article reduce motion control - am hoping that will improve.

almost 5 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.