Last monday Apple gave us a sneak peek at iOS 7. This update introduces a bold new visual style for an OS which was, frankly, starting to look a little stale (I still prefer it over its direct competitors though). Although I like the direction Apple took I think the execution is severely lacking. Especially some of the icons are atrocious. What I find interesting about the new look though is the blend of flat design with the use of distinct visual panes. It makes the OS look a bit less sterile than Windows (Phone) 8 for example. iOS 7 does have some of the same downsides as other flat UIs, most notably the buttons which I always fail to recognize as buttons (a problem in most flat designs I've seen to date).
I'm really hoping this was an early look and the final version is way more polished than the peek Apple gave us this week. I think Joshua Topolsky nails it in his article on The Verge:
Apple is showing that it can adapt, borrow, and tweak ideas from the competition, that it can expand what iOS feels and looks like as well as what it can do. The problem now is that it seems to be buckling a bit under the weight of an end-to-end redesign. I'm hopeful that in the next few months, as Apple ramps up for the introduction of new hardware at its fall event, some of the design and functionality issues that have yet to be addressed will be nipped and tucked.