While Peter Misek and his predictions are getting tested out in the open, there has been a little chatter about iOS 7. We all are talking about iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and the next iPad Mini (2), but what powers these devices is the underlying software. And it needs, quite literally, a serious overhaul.
Apple released iOS as iPhone OS way back in 2007 when it launched the first iPhone. Since then, the mobile operating system has seen plenty of modifications. Some have been genuinely interesting like lockscreen notifications, while some have been blatant idea-rip-offs (like NC from Android’s drop-down). Some of the new features and apps have gone down well and some haven’t.
But what makes it all plain old boring is that the basic structure, functionality and features have remained static. No wonder you hear a lot of talk about iOS going stale. It indeed has. This is one of the several reasons why people jailbreak their iPhone. Evasi0n, the latest jailbreak tool, has recorded over 7 million (and counting) downloads in the past one week of its existence. Several hundred million devices have been jailbroken. And the only reason: plain old iOS is boring.
Editor’s Note: On a related note, check out our iOS 7 features wishlist.
Apple will definitely need to do an iOS overhaul. Erica Ogg writing for GigaOM talks about this predicted overhaul. A re-building for the iOS is in store and it’s almost necessary that Apple do it. Here’s why:
1. Competition is getting ahead. Android has long been the butt of many jokes but Google has carefully and meticulously changed that in the last two/three iterations of its mobile operating system. Android ICS and Jelly Bean have pretty much cleared all the lags and with capable hardware (from Samsung), the Android platform looks as much, if not more, powerful as iOS.
2. The “cool” factor is slipping away from Apple. The company worked its marketing campaign around the hipster, pirate, outlaw and cool factor. About six years later, that appears to be just melting down as consumer demography and taste appears to shift towards experimenting with Android and even Windows models.
3. iOS has grown to such complexities that two things have emerged consistently: frequent bugs and delayed fixes for the bugs. Apple would have to do what Microsoft did with Win 7. Rewrite the whole thing from scratch. Although it would be easier said than done, we strongly think that Apple will have to create a stunning new interface that carries the relative ease of the present iOS system but innovates to re-introduce the coolness.
We’ve heard rumors about developer logs pointing to iOS 7 so at the moment, we know Apple is working on it. Since the earliest hardware expected is the iPhone 5S (for lack of better nomenclature and creative thinking), we expect the iOS 7 release date to coincide with that gadget’s announcement. That would, by decent estimates be mid-2013.