Tuesday, September 19, 2017

iOS 11 Reviews

Nick Heer:

The differences in iOS 11, then, continue to balance new functionality with further complications. But this should be no surprise to those who have used Apple’s ecosystem of devices for several years; it is merely accelerating a trend of growing the features of iOS without forgetting its roots. iOS was, in many ways, a fresh start for the future of computing and each iteration of the OS has built upon that. Sometimes, as above, it feels as though these additions are moving a little too fast. I notice this most when additions or updates feel perhaps incomplete, or, at least, not wholly considered.


The new Dock, which allows for more efficient app switching, also seems to have played a role. But regardless of why it took so many years for such a natural interaction to debut on Apple’s touch devices, we should focus on the what of it. Is it good?

Oh, yes. Very.


In practice, though, this treatment means that the top quarter of the screen is used rather inefficiently in an app’s initial view. You launch Settings, for example, and the screen is dominated by a gigantic bold “Settings” label. You know you’re in Settings — you just launched it.


Fans of clarity and affordances in user interfaces will be delighted to know that buttons are back. Kind of.

The gigantic titles and generous spacing are especially annoying on the iPhone SE, as they take up a larger proportion of its already small display.

Federico Viticci:

With iOS 11, Apple’s iPad vision feels resolute again. Multitasking is blending with multitouch, giving drag and drop a new purpose; the Mac’s best features – from file management to the dock – have been rethought, simplified, and extended specifically for iOS.


iOS 11’s most notable redesigns, including the App Store and Control Center, lay new foundations and fix what didn’t work before. Refinements – in some cases, reversals of ideas that didn’t pan out – are one of iOS 11’s overarching themes.


But perhaps more importantly, unlike iOS 10, iOS 11 presents a cohesive narrative for both the iPad and iPhone. A story where, for the first time in years, the iPad is informing some of the design principles and features of the iPhone’s software.

Lukas Petr:

Perhaps my biggest complaint [about the new App Store] is the drastically reduced information density. You now see fewer apps in the viewport. Plus, at the Today tab, you see just one featured app at a time.


Contrary to what was said at WWDC, the new App Store actually has smaller amount of curated content at any given time. Why? Because all the carefully crafted lists inside individual categories are now gone.

Pierre Lebeaupin:

Why obsolete perfectly good 32-bit code and apps? I do not have all the answers, but I have a few. Let us first see why 64-bit is the better choice if we have to choose between the two, and why Apple chose not to maintain both.


iOS devices have traditionally been quite RAM-constrained, and even if that eased a bit in recent years, any RAM savings are worth taking: they allow more tabs to remain active without having to be reloaded, more apps to remain frozen and only have to be (quickly) thawed instead of having to be relaunched, etc., improving the overall experience. And so to keep having the 32-bit library stack loaded in RAM in most iOS devices just next to the 64-bit library stack was starting to look like a waste of precious resources.

Previously: iOS to Drop Support for 32-bit Apps, Apple and Design Details.

Update (2017-09-19): Wade Cosgrove:

Increased font weights across the board in iOS 11 are A+. So much easier on the eyes, even if not dramatically different.

It’s a shame this took so long since iOS 7 made everything thin, but it’s definitely appreciated.

Update (2017-09-21): Dan Masters:

“Big text is legibile, until it’s not. A lot of artist & page titles around Music just can’t be easily read because the font cuts them off.”

See also: Josh Centers.

Update (2017-09-25): Paul Haddad:

iOS 11’s large title navigation bars, yay or nay?

Update (2017-10-14): Pierre Lebeaupin:

I must wait even longer because the browser has to allow for the possibility for the gesture to be a drag and I must also move even less during that time because then the browser will interpret it as a drag.

Update (2017-10-28): Since updating to iOS 11, I’ve been having problems with OmniFocus not receiving background push notifications promptly, leading to it rarely synchronizing until after I manually open it.

I’m also seeing No Service quite often in areas where I used to have 2 bars. Flipping Airplane Mode on and off seems to fix it.

Update (2017-11-08): Hacker News discusses some of the bugs.

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