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iOS 7 vs. iOS 6: Which is Better?

On June 10th, Apple unveiled iOS 7, the most cutting-edge iPhone/iPad update we’ve seen since the iPhone was created. It features many drastic changes from the most recent version, iOS 6.

Some people are excited about the completely new version, but others are reluctant to embrace it. They find iOS 6 to be perfectly fine; they don’t see why Apple had to completely revamp it. You know what they say: if it ain't broke, don’t fix it.

We took a look at some of iOS 7’s most prominent features and compared them to the features of iOS 6. Is the new update better than the current one? Well, it’s for you to decide. Take a look at some of the stark contrasts we found between iOS 7 and iOS 6 and see if you like the new version better.

iOS 7 has a much flatter interface

Apple replaced blue with white in the main color scheme, and they stripped away most of the textures, gradients, and gloss found in iOS 6 to achieve a “flatter” look. We think that the old interface looks a little dated, and the new one refreshes the iPhone/iPad experience for everyone. Of course, we know that not everyone would agree with us. Some people may find the new interface a little bare, dull, and more difficult to navigate.

iOS 7’s icons are fresher & more modern-looking

iOS 7’s icons – compare them to iOS 6’s icons below:

Gone are the bold, shadowy iPhone/iPad icons. iOS 7 will bring you softer, brighter, flatter, and more rounded icons. The new icons look fresher and more modern, but no one can predict whether or not everyone will embrace them. Theverge.com calls the new icons “shockingly basic, and more childish than elegant.”

iOS 7 has a control center

Right now,iOS 6 makes you exit your app and open settings just to adjust some things, like the brightness of the screen, WiFi settings, or sounds. It’s quite annoying sometimes, isn’t it? Well, you won’t have to do that once you update your phone with iOS 7! With the new update comes the ability to swipe up from anywhere on your screen to open a settings hub whenever you want to adjust something on your phone. You won’t even have to exit your app!

There’s a cool new iOS 7 feature: the AirDrop

How many times have you had to text or email a photo or document to another person in the very same room? It seems kind of unnecessary, so that’s why Apple came up with AirDrop, a feature that lets you share photos, videos, contacts, or any other type of file with a simple “share” button. Available on iOS 7, AirDrop transfers the file to the other person using wifi and Bluetooth. The best part is that transfers are encrypted, and there’s absolutely no setup required!

iOS 7’s version of Safari is different

Whether the new version is better or worse is completely up to you. Apple says that with the new Safari, “browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful.” Buttons and bars stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them, and the tabs are more consolidated and easier to browse. You’ll also have an easier time sharing links and reading articles on your Reading List. Probably the best feature of the new Safari is that iCloud will now remember your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers for you. With 256-bit AES encryption, that information is highly secure.

Which is better?

We can safely deduct that the iOS 7 will be much easier to use, but not everyone will agree with the bare-boned design, and there seems to be some things Apple neglected to change. For example, the weather icon. The Verge finds it annoying that, despite the fact that the calendar icon displays the correct date and the clock icon is updated to show the current time, the weather icon remains unchanged. “Apple seems to ignore the utility of glanceable information,” The Verge writes. “Keeping safely to an annoying dance of swipes and secret menus to get to basic information, like the current temperature.” We agree. Apple, please keep this in mind when you’re ready to design iOS 8! As for now, we like iOS 7. It’s cleaner, fresher, and smarter.

What would you say about this?

There are multiple opinions about this update. Some people say that iOS7 is a providence of UI designs; others say that most elements were shamelessly ‘copied’ from Android OS. What’s your opinion? iOS users rise to the fly 🙂

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13 responses to “iOS 7 vs. iOS 6: Which is Better?”

  1. Rix Banga says:

    All in all it was a much needed update BUT (as a designer myself) I think it generally seems ok but very unfinished. Icons are too child-like, gradient on control centre is puke-worthy and safari looks terrible.

    But I’m not a hater – I welcome the new UI but am very much hoping for a more “finished” look; better icons, stronger icons, slightly thicker font/ui icons all round.

    What would be incredible is if Apple allowed some customisation to the UI (so we can fix the ugly bits) – but history shows, that will never happen.

  2. Abhi Rock says:

    Apple always innovate the great design and technology. And with iOS 7 they have proved that. The torch feature is very helpful in control center and you can use on lock screen also so no need to unlock you iPhone.
    And as designer point of view its tremendous change in iOS. Its totally new layout with remarkable background and icons. Looks fresher than previous iOS’s.

  3. Simon says:

    I’m glad my article provoked a genuine, deep conversation about the topic. I hope you found my comparison enjoyable and thought provoking. 🙂

  4. SkyKak says:

    For the most part it’s really good, but some navigation items are really annoying, such as the new UI Picker View. That thing is annoying! When things are too minimal, and simplistic, you start to lose functionality. Buttons are just ‘TEXT’ now, instead of a button, so it’s harder to press… meaning you might be tapping it a few times before you actually get the ‘text’ button. I’m sure some of these things aren’t finalized yet, so I’m excited to see what the final release looks like.

  5. t ocon says:

    I’m not saying this is a bad thing just an observation, but the graphics are a lot less complicated from a design stand point and may downplay some photoshop skills etc. I do both web design and graphic design and from a web design point i’ll be able to use css3 gradients and corner-radius to style buttons etc and less physical images(jpg,png). So it may not be a bad trend to adopt at all and a lot easier to template web sites to where i just change rgb values to customize web sites buttons ,containers and etc.

  6. Man_On_Fire says:

    I love the new UI, but am not completely pleased with the new icons. They are close, but not there yet visually.

    • alexbulat says:

      Are they too flat for you? You got used to those bulgy icons?

      • Man_On_Fire says:

        To clarify, the flat design works great on the control panel for example, but the application icons on the home screen for game center and photos just don’t seem to make much sense to me. How am I supposed to think a group of colored splotches translates to a game? Looks pretty, but not the most intuitive. The Safari icon is more over simplified or childish looking. Might have been better to retain a more bold look for it or just go completely flat.

  7. Sameer Halawani says:

    IO7 is much great as it is simpler and cleaner

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