Apple's recently unveiled iOS 7 is winning an early approval from industry pundits who see the platform as an important step forward for the company.
Set to debut this autumn, iOS 7 will bring improvements including an updated browser, new features for the Siri assistant tool and a new interface that will dynamically adjust itself and include new navigational features.
Though Apple is touting the updated interface as having a more natural and intuitive feel, analysts warn that for some users the switch could be a bit of a learning curve.
Ovum chief telecoms analyst Jan Dawson said: “The new version is almost unrecognisable, which will make it polarising. Some people will love that their phone feels new and different, while others will be disoriented by the newness.”
Other pundits, however, see the transition to the new interface being far easier for users. Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi believes that the company's new mobile interface will be a smooth transition.
“I think Apple has found the right balance between innovating and keeping the familiar,” Milanesi explained. “So many companies out there are either crippled by the install base for fear of leaving people behind, or they go too far. Apple has found that balance.”
Even with the adjustment for the interface, Dawson said that the Apple was addressing key issues with iOS and improving its mobile platform.
“This is a clear statement from Apple that it acknowledges the need to refresh the user interface and is willing to do something pretty dramatic,” the Ovum analyst said. “Many of the new features Apple added to iOS 7 are fixes to problems rather than dramatic or clever new ideas.”
For Milanesi, the new iOS is also a step forward for Apple in its strategy of providing a premium user experience, rather than just building a checklist of features.
“What they have done is not just about cosmetics, it is about going deeper,” she said. “In creating and delivering a user interface that increases the level of engagement with consumers, it is about getting users to use their devices more.”
The company also unveiled the newest version of OS X. Dubbed Mavericks, the update will include a new version of the Safari browser and a number of performance enhancements.
Both Dawson and Milanesi said that the update showed a tendency by Apple to integrate more features from iOS into OS X and leverage the two platforms to advance one another.
“The Mavericks desktop OS is a good upgrade, which continues with the iOS-ification of the Mac OS,” said Dawson.
"The addition of Maps and iBooks and iOS integration for Notifications, Maps and other features are signs that Apple sees iOS as the future paradigm for all its operating systems, and it is driving a slow convergence towards that reality.”
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