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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Two things about iOS 7 that I'm still getting used to

24

September

Anyone paying attention knew that Apple's new system software for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches was going to be a big change. That being said, only about a week after putting it on my iPhone 4S I couldn't imagine going back — except for two minor complaints.

1. Remember these bold, reversed-out badges for each of the email inboxes on your phone that told you how many unread messages you had in each?

Maybe I just got used to looking for them, because I'm having a hard time picking up the light Helvetica Neue indicators in iOS 7 (at right, via Mashable).

Were it up to me, maybe I'd have made these white type on a red badge to mimic the app icon badges on the home screen. Or maybe I'm the only one who spends time looking for them. But I often find myself staring at this screen wondering why I'm not seeing something I'm expecting to see. Just a thought.

2. For quite some time now, iOS has handled dropdown menus as a little spinners, like the numbers on an odometer or that big wheel on The Price Is Right. The treatment in iOS 7 is similar, but different (at lower right, via iLounge.com) — and when it comes up on my phone's screen it still takes me a moment or two to realize what I'm looking at.

Maybe it's just me, and given some time I won't even bat an eye at tools like these. But it does seem like an obvious tradeoff as Apple moves away from skeuomorphic interfaces (a fancy term for making something you're tapping on your iThing screen look like an actual physical object you'd handle in the real world).

At its worst, skeuomorphism is just heavy and unnecessary decoration. But at its best, it gives you important functional clues to what you're supposed to do next.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:02pm]

    

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