Apple launched iOS 7.1 beta 3 for developers and according to reports, this could probably be just one of the many more betas before the public version of 7.1 comes out, purportedly in March. iOS 7.1b3 contains quite a bunch of subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the interface.
I don’t think everyone would agree that the changes look good – in some places, the interface doesn’t look symmetric or minimal in a good way – but some of them are really refinements that were much-needed. Here’s a look at some of the major changes. Tell us what you think:
The icons are now “filled” and the keys look darker. Presumably to improve contrast. The previous betas had the dark keyboard option removed and placed again but this is a subtle change to the white keyboard.
Redesigned Call Interface
One of the biggest changes is in the call/phone interface. Instead of the large (and ugly) rectangular buttons for Accepting or Declining a call, iOS now uses circular buttons. Agreeably, this reduces the usability slightly (larger buttons are easier to tap on) but it adds a symmetry to the overall circular theme of icons in iOS 7. (Control Center toggles, dialer buttons, icons on the call interface etc.)
There are subtle changes to the Dialer too. While the gradient on the numbers seems to have disappeared, the large rectangular call button is gone and replaced by a single circular button. Again, it looks good but it’s not really the most useful change in terms of accessibility.
The power-slider gets a massive redesign and whether it’s a good positive change is certainly debatable. Instead of the blaring red sliders, you have a large rounded rectangular space with a circular slider. And a simple circular cancel button.
Turn off Parallax Easily
Toggling the parallax effect (Motion) has been integrated with the wallpaper selection interface which is a smart and a more intuitive move. Instead of having to head over to Settings → General, you can now toggle the parallax right from where you are picking the wallpaper. I don’t think that this, however, changes the way iOS 7 zooms in the selected wallpaper.
Changes Music and iTunes Radio
The Repeat All and Shuffle buttons/links in the Music app are now highlighted to seem more prominent. Also, there’s a “New” link in iTunes Radio (under stations) so you can create new stations faster.
In addition to these changes:
- Icons for Phone, FaceTime and Messages have been darkened.
- A new option to Reduce iOS 7’s White Point has been introduced in Settings → Accessibility → Increase Contrast.
What do you think of the changes?