iOS 7 Isn't "Smarter" Than iOS 6

Recently, Zach Epstein over at BGR got his hands on Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) upcoming version of iOS 7 and wrote an in-depth review after spending a week with the beta software. Epstein's biggest problem with iOS 7 is the same problem he had with previous versions of iOS: The software isn't necessarily getting any smarter. He argues that iOS 7 is more concerned with design elements than it is with introducing new levels of functionality. This isn't encouraging news for Apple investors, as the competition has been working diligently to dethrone Apple's premium reputation.

Sure, iOS 7 will introduce a host of new features that technically give iDevices more functionality, but in terms of user experience, iOS 7 is still grounded in the same old "open then close" linear user experience as previous iOS versions. For those hoping Apple would take the world by storm with iOS 7 by making it "smarter," I'm afraid they're going to be disappointed.

Rome wasn't built in a night
If Apple investors can learn anything from BlackBerry's history, it's that major software overhauls can take a long time to introduce. When BlackBerry 7 proved to be inadequate against the competition, it took the company about 18 months to release BlackBerry 10.

Instead of Apple waiting more than a year between software releases, the company is likely using iOS 7 as a stepping stone into the future of iOS. To that end, iOS 7's most notable feature is its concept of layering functionality on top of apps, which paves the way for apps to be more interconnected in the future.

Does it matter?
The question I'm left wondering is if iOS 7 isn't innovative enough, will it hold back iDevice sales? Although user experience is an extremely important aspect of the consumer decision-making process, it's not necessarily the most important. It's likely that price will ultimately dictate the level of widespread iDevice adoption. Unless Apple releases a low-cost iPhone to compliment iOS 7, there likely isn't enough "innovation" in iOS 7 to improve Apple's iDevice prospects.

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Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 12:18 AM, iosupdater wrote:

    Visit www.iosupdater.com for a cheap and fast iOS 7 beta UDID activation. Just purchased new Dev accounts and have very limited orders in queue.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 12:31 AM, marv08 wrote:

    The problem with this line of thinking is that neither Mr. Epstein, nor any other geek, is Apple's target.

    And the point that the iPhone 5 IS the best selling phone ever is not even relevant for proving that. The facts that iPhone users use their devices more than any other platform, and the fact that 93% of iPhone users are very satisfied or satisfied with it (a rating far ahead of all competitors) are.

    If you investigate WHY they are satisfied, you will learn that it is exactly for the reasons Epstein is complaining about. People at large do not understand non-linear, they do not like things they do not feel in control of. He virtually asks Apple to destroy itself and feels superior for suggesting such bunk.

    He is of course free to like other things better. That is fair. He should not join the herd of ill-informed lemmings that can't refrain from offering lousy advice. If Apple had listened to one single pundit in the last decade, they would be toast.

    If 93% of your users are happy, you do not do changes for the sake of changing things. And Apple deserves praise for not adding tons of nonsense and junk to their devices. Look at all the lunatic software features Samsung added to stock Android on the Galaxy S4 for a premium example for screwing up something that had a good reputation before.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:04 AM, FreeRange1 wrote:

    What planet is this Fool living on? Watching the demonstration of iOS 7 there was plenty of new stuff that iPhone users are going to love. This type of "analysis / review" is really getting tiring as the people making these click bait articles are nothing more than sensationalists not in step with reality.

    Marv08 countered this ridiculous "review" quite well.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:27 AM, applefan1 wrote:

    What does "making it smarter" mean, exactly? Give an example.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:45 AM, Rockthebest wrote:

    Apple's beta is 0.69. This is wrong. It should be 1.67. This stock is a roller coaster.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:47 AM, Rockthebest wrote:

    I should not have invested with Apple. It is doing poor and afraid Apple may do worse this quarter.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 2:16 AM, JHawkinTexas wrote:

    I believe marv08 hit the nail on the head. Do you think Apple is stupid enough to make the same mistake Microsoft did with every Windows version since XP? I don't think so. I've spent a couple of weeks with iOS 7 and it grows on me more every day. There are a few more tweaks it needs, for sure, before going prime time but most users will feel like they have a new phone yet one that is immediately familiar. Apple is threading a very fine line and I think they've hit about as close as anyone could.

    You don't innovate just for the sake of innovating. Some people don't get it. The iPhone IS the innovation. You don't completely change up an interface after people have invested 6 years in getting comfortable with it and investing in apps and content (cough, Microsoft, cough). That is a sure fire way to start losing your established base of loyal users. The real innovation is coming in the cloud, cloud services, continuously improving integration with other (Apple) devices, and the overall user experience.

    Again, kudos to marv08 for a spot on comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 7:14 AM, garysund wrote:

    I would want several other opinions before I would jump to any conclusions. No matter what any so called critic says it will be the consumer that decides what they like and don't like and that is the bottom line for apple.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 7:19 AM, yragsapo wrote:

    Articles like this remind me of all of the articles that compare market share of iOS phones and Android phones or Samsung phone sales with Apple phone sales. They are statistics that mean nothing, as having market share means nothing if you are making no money off of them. How much money do you think that manufacturers make off of the low-end Android phones? None. They will compete themselves out of the market, just as they did with low-end PC's. The author of this article, just as many journalists, these days, would like to see Apple's products to be just like Samsung's, so they can be in direct competition in all products. There's nothing that makes better news than an all-out war. Unfortunately for the journalists (and fortunately for the Apple stockholders), Apple is not turning their products into Android clones. People like what differentiates Apple from its competitors and are willing to pay a premium for it. Asking Apple to make their iOS more Android-like than they want their iOS to be is ridiculous. Most reviewers are calling the new Galaxy 4's software gimmicks half-baked and not ready for prime time. Don't knock Apple for not matching those poorly-implemented OS features.

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