iOS 7 As Defense

by Christopher Paul on June 27, 2013

Marco Arment writes that Apple practically had to radically alter its UI in iOS 7 to help separate itself from copycats – namely Android.

Copying iOS 7 is going to be a big problem for cheap hardware. iOS 7’s appearance and dynamics require a powerful GPU and advanced, finely tuned, fully hardware-accelerated graphics and animation APIs. This will hurt web imitators most, but it’s also going to be problematic for Android: while high-end Android phones have mostly caught up in GPU performance, and recent Android versions have improved UI acceleration, most Android devices sold are neither high-end nor up-to-date. The gap is much wider in tablets, and even “high-end” tablets usually have insufficient GPU power to drive their high-DPI screens.

He notes there are challenges to the bold move. App developers who do cross-platform development are going to suffer the most. But if Apple’s message at WWDC is as Marco believes, it will shift resources to updating apps that take advantage of the new look.

I know I’m looking forward to updated apps. It wasn’t iOS’s UI that bothered me so much as the apps. Good apps like Dots and Letterpress look great. Other apps can, too. They just have to put in the effort. Perhaps that will be easier, now.

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