With each iOS update, I find myself excited and nervous. Why, you may ask? Because I’m happy to see if some of the rumors are coming true, all while being scared about what’s going to be taken away. With the recent iOS 7 update, I found myself happy at first with the update, but then quickly upset with some of the design.
Within the first few hours of downloading the newest iOS software, I was loving some of the new features. The updates within Mail were, and still are, great. The swipe motion to reveal “More” and “Trash” was a change for the good. The makeover that took place for Safari was spot on too, even though it did take a little bit to get used to. Old habits die hard, but I was willing to part with the old to happily usher in the new. Unfortunately, this is where my honeymoon ended with iOS 7.
After fooling around with the usual suspects on my iPhone 5, I started venturing out to see what else had been tinkered with. A lot of the stock apps like Notes, Reminders, Newstand, etc., had been revamped to take on the new physique of iOS 7. At first glance, I wasn’t too pleased with the facelift most of them had received. I’m not trying to be too harsh, but the more I looked at one changed icon, the more it made me dislike the other and vice versa. Once I opened the Calendar, I kept having a hard time viewing my work schedule from day to day. I was getting more frustrated by the minute. I switched to my iPad mini to see what things looked like on there. The Calendar was easier to read and thumb through than my iPhone 5. I was a bit relieved.
I continued to fool around with my iOS 7 devices and kept shaking my head at certain things, while smiling with delight for a select few other things. I kept saying to myself that it seemed like the update was more appealing to a female….could this be? Had this update been reimagined to appeal more to women? I couldn’t get this thought out of my head and it seemed more supporting evidence was staring me in the face. Why?! Before this update, had men dominated the iPhone market and now a shift had taken place. I feared I was going to have to live with the iPhone for another year before I could switch to another phone because of my contract. It was time to calm down and do some research before I made any knee jerk reactions.
One of the first articles I found confirmed my suspicions, others were remarking how the design seemed more appealing to women. As a matter of fact, Jim Edwards quotes tech blogger Jim Lynch saying iOS was “designed for a gaggle of giggling 13 year old girls” and a “feminized mess.” Wow, I couldn’t put into words my feelings any better than Jim Lynch. The overall look and feel of it reminded me of Easter. How you might ask? The colors were extremely bright and almost too bubbly. There were bright yellows and blues, light pinks and muted reds. It was extremely loud with or without the brightness on the lowest possible setting.
After further reading Jim Edwards article titled, “Was The New Apple Operating System Designed For Women?” my suspicions became exceedingly more clear. Consumer demographics for the iPhone had seen a shift since the iPhone first hit the market. iPhone early adapters were expected to be male and mostly likely from California and New York, with only 28 percent of those buyers female. This trend has shifted however.
In 2010 the demand for the iPhone was higher among women. The percentage of women wanting an iOS device was 30.9%, whereas only 28.6% of men reported desiring an iOS device. Instead, men were moving towards Android devices by more than 10 points. By 2011, women were 18% more likely to purchase an iPhone than men. This was shocking to me since I had drank gallons and gallons of the Apple Kool-Aid. What am I to do now?
The only option I could think of was somehow offering two distinct appearance options for iOS. Why can’t I keep the classic look of iOS’s of the past. I mean come on, the original home screen look of the iPhone is iconic, right?! If the current look of iOS 7 was what the original iPhone had would it’ve gone over a huge as it did? In my opinion, no. So why alienate those who’ve remained loyal to the brand? Give me the option at least.
Apple sometimes has a difficult time delivering user customization. Jailbreaking iPhones has allowed owners the ability to customize certain aspects of their phones to maximize their enjoyment. Coincidentally, Apple has included some of these modifications in subsequent updates. The ability to remain with the classic iPhone look should be an option. Evidence this practice works is in iconic American muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevy Camaro. They evolved over time, but eventually they embraced some of the designs that everyone sought after. I realize evolution of a product is a necessary evil to remain relevant. What I don’t understand is the casualties you create during your growth spurts. Have no fear though Apple, I am still waiting in line with my cup to drink more of your Kool-Aid. It’s just not as sweet as it used to be.