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iOS 7 beta 4 clarifies phone buttons with icons, takes FaceTime full screen

post #1 of 83
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Apple has tweaked the phone button layout in iOS 7 beta 4, replacing the original, full-width "borderless buttons" with more obviously defined targets for answering, dialing extensions or ending calls. The new icons reduce the use of text on button labels, and allow FaceTime to go full screen.

iOS 7
Source: Apple


The new button appearance in developer release beta 4 diverges from the "borderless buttons" prominently featured in the original iOS 7 user interface that Apple demonstrated at the unveiling of its new mobile operating system (above).

The new appearance, introduced in the release of iOS 7 beta 4, clarifies basic tasks like answering or ending a phone or FaceTime call by toning down the more avant garde aspects of iOS 7 without going so far as to revert to the beveled, glowing buttons of iOS 6.

The images below, from beta releases 3 (left) and 4 (right), present call end and extension dialing buttons slightly differently, using a heavier font on more distinct buttons with subtly rounded corners.

iOS 7 beta 4


The new appearance dials back two of the hallmark design features of iOS 7: its use of Helvetica Neue Ultra Light and full width, rectangular button regions lacking a distinct border. Critics complained about both; Apple's new design is clearer, simpler and less controversial but also appears less elegant, distinctive and sophisticated.

All of the phone buttons are repositioned slightly higher up on the screen, making them easier to target in one-handed operation. This also results in a user interface that looks and feels more like a functional computing device and less like a perfect magazine layout.

Both of the images above depict dialing a contact number that includes a semicolon and an extension. This causes the phone to dial the main number, connect the call and then offer to dial the remaining number (such as an extension or phone tree selection) once the Dial button is pressed. This behavior is unchanged from iOS 6.

Icons stand in for wordy button labels



The new beta 4 build of iOS 7 also replaces text heavy "remind me later" and "reply with message" buttons presented for incoming phone or FaceTime calls (below) with new icons that simplify the complexity of the interface.

iOS 7 beta 4


The Decline and Answer buttons in this build of iOS 7 also dial back their translucency to become nearly opaque, a third example of Apple watering down a feature it originally depicted as a core tenet of the new iOS 7 appearance, but not without good reason. Apple's new design doesn't seem arbitrary, and it's evolving in response to feedback.

As is already the case on iOS 6, Apple provides a way, within Settings, to customize your own "reply with message" options that can be quickly sent with two button touches when you get a call you can't take (below right).

iOS 7 beta 4


New in iOS 7 is the ability to block specific callers (above left). Simply "Add New" and you can select the contact you want to block. All of the phone numbers and iMessage/FaceTime addresses associated with that contact will be added to the list. You can then selectively remove specific ones individually.

Bigger buttons that vanish for full screen FaceTime



For iOS 7, Apple has also enhanced the presentation of FaceTime's Mute, End and Camera control (for switching between the front facing and rear cameras) buttons. Previously an amber translucent in iOS 6, the buttons are now presented in iOS 7 as solid, distinctively color coded buttons.

iOS 7 beta 4


A tap of the screen causes the buttons to disappear, taking FaceTime calls full screen similar to Safari and the new Maps.

iOS 7 is expected to publicly launch in September, with support for new fingerprint scanning hardware, Activation Lock, new Camera features, Audio only FaceTime calling, Siri enhancements, iTunes Radio and more.
post #2 of 83
Whilst it doesn't get rid off some of the ugliness of iOS 7 it certainly will make it nicer on the eyes to use.
post #3 of 83
Significant changes. I mean, while it may seem like tiny details that are just scaling back areas where Apple pushed too far, in reality the sum of these changes is leading to a very differently nuanced UI.

For example, instead of just panes above each other like in the original concept, there is now the idea of objects lying above each other. The buttons present this as opposed to the text with backgrounds we saw before.
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post #4 of 83

Captions for the FaceTime conversation between Ive and Cook? lol.gif

post #5 of 83

After being totally against these changes, I'm starting to really like what Apple is doing with the new iOS. Good work team!

post #6 of 83

Hopefully this means they are bring back bezeled and rounded corner UIButton in iOS 7 SDK. In iOS 7 SDK, Apple removed all the standard UIButton appearances we used in iOS 6 and replaced them with text. So if you want to create an actual button you have to create your own custom UIButton with custom appearance.

post #7 of 83
That's a big improvement. It may be less "elegant, distinctive and sophisticated" but it looks more usable to me. In particular, Slide to Answer (that you slide) was looking a little too much like the buttons (that you tap). That can cause user confusion.

As a personal preference (it is, after all, a UI) I still prefer buttons that look like buttons rather than just another piece of screen furniture.

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post #8 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



iOS 7 beta 4




All of the phone buttons are repositioned slightly higher up on the screen, 

 

Like that, appleinsider fits snuggly between the buttons and the lower edge.

Thank you Apple for helping out in favor of AI.

post #9 of 83
Beta 3 buttons were better regards this. Beta 4 is better in other ways though. Beta 3 reminded me of the wide Go button in my app Min.
Edited by Ireland - 7/30/13 at 10:47am
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post #10 of 83
The rounded corners, bordered, heavier type icons have a clunky ad hoc dated ugly look, that is neither fish nor fowl. The borderless, to the edge buttons look better. If they carry on with this 'design by committee' approach, no good can come of it. Apple needs to remember Jobs' dictum whereby Apple knows what people want better than they know themselves.
post #11 of 83
I prefer the previous layout. It just looks better to me than the rounded rectangle.
Edited by einsteinbqat - 7/30/13 at 4:38am

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post #12 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

The rounded corners, bordered, heavier type icons have a clunky ad hoc dated ugly look, that is neither fish nor fowl. The borderless, to the edge buttons look better. If they carry on with this 'design by committee' approach, no good can come of it. Apple needs to remember Jobs' dictum whereby Apple knows what people want better than they know themselves.
I don't mind the buttons. And no way would Apple ever use buttons that don't have rounded corners. Though I like translucent better than opaque. If Apple is getting feedback that certain things are difficult or confusing I don't have a problem with them making changes. Like adding a little arrow next to slide to unlock. At the end of the day useability will have to trump aesthetics. I just hope by GM Apple has found a way to incorporate both well.
Edited by Rogifan - 7/30/13 at 4:44am
post #13 of 83

Nice to see the evolution of iOS 7 from what was introduced back at WWDC to now. It's going to be fantastic once it gets to final release status.

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post #14 of 83
Tapable areas that go to the very edge of the screen make my brain wonder if there's more there that I can't see because the screen edge has obscured it. Tappable buttons with clearly defined edges remove this doubt. Less elegant? Maybe, I'm not sure. But definitely better IMHO.
post #15 of 83
I like the rounded rectangles.

Now the call interface looks less like Windows Phone 8 and more like iOS.

Apple has always used rounded edged buttons in all of their OSs so this feels more Apple to me and easier to use.
post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

The rounded corners, bordered, heavier type icons have a clunky ad hoc dated ugly look, that is neither fish nor fowl. The borderless, to the edge buttons look better. If they carry on with this 'design by committee' approach, no good can come of it. Apple needs to remember Jobs' dictum whereby Apple knows what people want better than they know themselves.

I honestly think now it looks more polished than before.
post #17 of 83
Next they need to fix how the reminders app looks on the iPhone and make it resemble how it looks in the iPad (in my opinion)
post #18 of 83
Been waiting for video conference on FaceTime for a while now! Hoped it would be on iOS 6. Then pinned my hopes on iOS 7. Looks like its not gonna happen anytime soon!! It would be great to have it as I find a great need for it.
post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

The rounded corners, bordered, heavier type icons have a clunky ad hoc dated ugly look, that is neither fish nor fowl. The borderless, to the edge buttons look better. If they carry on with this 'design by committee' approach, no good can come of it. Apple needs to remember Jobs' dictum whereby Apple knows what people want better than they know themselves.

I agree! Having something that looks like a button on a digitial device with a touchscreen is skeuomorphism and frankly an old way of going about a touchscreen OS. Apple only did this in the beginning so people could adjust easily to using only a touchscreen. Now that everyone has come into contact with modern smartphones, music players, and tablets it's ridiculous to go about this approach like we don't know how to use them without something holding our hands the whole way. This is only holding iOS back. Out with the old in with the new!
post #20 of 83

I have always scoffed at those who jumped onto the "I can't stand the new look" bandwagon. However, I find myself on it desperately trying to find a way off. I hope I do. I hope I wake up one day and say, "wow I guess I was wrong." I just can't get over the flat square corners on everything. It just seems like they took away all of the nice subtle design features that have alway made Apple distinct from a bland PC dialog box.

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post #21 of 83
To me, iOS 7 seems like it was definitely designed with the low cost iPhone in mind. My guess is the face of these phones will be white (like what they did with iPod touch). I think ios 7 will look quite nice on the new colored phones.
post #22 of 83
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Originally Posted by techno View Post

I have always scoffed at those who jumped onto the "I can't stand the new look" bandwagon. However, I find myself on it desperately trying to find a way off. I hope I do. I hope I wake up one day and say, "wow I guess I was wrong." I just can't get over the flat square corners on everything. It just seems like they took away all of the nice subtle design features that have alway made Apple distinct from a bland PC dialog box.
I guess you missed the new phone app buttons which are not flat square corners? 1hmm.gif
post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRaider2011 View Post

I agree! Having something that looks like a button on a digitial device with a touchscreen is skeuomorphism and frankly an old way of going about a touchscreen OS. Apple only did this in the beginning so people could adjust easily to using only a touchscreen. Now that everyone has come into contact with modern smartphones, music players, and tablets it's ridiculous to go about this approach like we don't know how to use them without something holding our hands the whole way. This is only holding iOS back. Out with the old in with the new!
Seems to me the buttons were still there, they just were edge to edge and thus were square, not rounded corners. Buttons have existed forever in the digital world and I don't see them going away anytime soon as they serve a functional purpose. I don't think buttons in and of themselves are skeuomorphic. To me, skeuomorphism would be making the calculator app look exactly like a physical Braun calculator. Or some remote control apps that are made to look exactly like their physical counterpart (I think one of the cable companies did this). I don't see how a rounded rectangle colored green or red constitutes skeuomorphism
post #24 of 83
NasserAE View Post

In iOS 7 SDK, Apple removed all the standard UIButton appearances we used in iOS 6 and replaced them with text. So if you want to create an actual button you have to create your own custom UIButton with custom appearance.

Thus, making apps conform to the new standard takes less effort than retaining the old look. If they kept the old UIButton, too few developers would bother updating.

Apple experienced something similar when transitioning to Cocoa, watching Adobe stick to the Carbon compatibility layer for about six years too many.

 

Rogifan View Post
AnalogJack View Post
The rounded corners, bordered, heavier type icons have a clunky ad hoc dated ugly look, that is neither fish nor fowl. The borderless, to the edge buttons look better. If they carry on with this 'design by committee' approach, no good can come of it. Apple needs to remember Jobs' dictum whereby Apple knows what people want better than they know themselves.
I don't mind the buttons. And no way would Apple ever use buttons that don't have rounded corners. Though I like translucent better than opaque. If Apple is getting feedback that certain things are difficult or confusing I don't have a problem with them making changes. Like adding a little arrow next to slide to unlock. At the end of the day useability will have to trump aesthetics. I just hope by GM Apple has found a way to incorporate both well.

Things are only difficult or confusing in the same way that a Facebook layout change is. Anytime you change something, people will complain, regardless of how improved things are. I think Apple should have stuck to their vision regarding elegance; all this backpedaling feels like giving us what we deserve, instead of what we need.

 

techno View Post

I have always scoffed at those who jumped onto the "I can't stand the new look" bandwagon. However, I find myself on it desperately trying to find a way off. I hope I do. I hope I wake up one day and say, "wow I guess I was wrong." I just can't get over the flat square corners on everything. It just seems like they took away all of the nice subtle design features that have alway made Apple distinct from a bland PC dialog box.

Using iOS 7 in daily life is how to get off the bandwagon.

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post #25 of 83

They still haven't fixed the missing 'to'. That's really embarrassing.
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Captions for the FaceTime conversation between Ive and Cook? lol.gif

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Edited by Tallest Skil - 7/30/13 at 6:39am

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post #26 of 83

Oooooh, I cannot wait for the IOS7 update. It is going to be so supercool.

post #27 of 83
I, too, admire the "elegance" and "sophistication" of the ultra light font. But my 67 year-old eyes force me to value usability over aesthetics. Glad to see Apple is going for a balance of form and function.
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post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

They still haven't fixed the missing 'to'. That's really embarrassing.
It's not missing. They are cleverly returning to the original form of the expression, and not using it in the product name form. As in: "He wants face time with the boss."
Edited by Robin Huber - 7/30/13 at 7:49am
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post #29 of 83
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Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

Significant changes. I mean, while it may seem like tiny details that are just scaling back areas where Apple pushed too far, in reality the sum of these changes is leading to a very differently nuanced UI.

For example, instead of just panes above each other like in the original concept, there is now the idea of objects lying above each other. The buttons present this as opposed to the text with backgrounds we saw before.

 

I tend to disagree.  while it's always nice to see them tweaking things, I would characterise these latest few as crossing over into "unnecessary." Other than the full-screen FaceTime, I don't see any of these as a clear improvement over what was there previously and in a couple of spots, like the "message" button, a bit of a step backwards.  There are still areas of the original concept for the UI that are both less functional and less attractive IMO that aren't being worked on at all.  I take these last few tweaks as an indication that any kind of substantial changes are off the table at this point and I think that's a shame.  

post #30 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
...

iOS 7 beta 4


..

 

I would argue that the one word "Message" button with the word balloon in the bottom right image is really not clear at all.  It *looks* nicer by far, but I think it's a step back usability wise.  It's not currently a thing that you can respond to a ringing phone with a text.  The average user will have to bravely push it at least once before they even find out what it does.  I don't think it's good to have a feature that *requires* the user to watch a TV spot or read a manual to know what it's going to do because most people are not going to know what this button does. 

post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post

Oooooh, I cannot wait for the IOS7 update. It is going to be so supercool.

Me too! :)

 

I personally liked the thin type face and border to border buttons. But the new rounded buttons with thicker type face are good, too!

 

Can't wait! :)

post #32 of 83
It's a start. Now sort out the rest of the UI you ruined.
post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

It's not missing. They are cleverly returning to the original form of the expression, and not using it in the product name form. As in: "He wants some face time with the boss."

Ooh. You're absolutely right. I like this now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

It's a start. Now sort out the rest of the UI you ruined.

Come off it.

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post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

It's not currently a thing that you can respond to a ringing phone with a text.  The average user will have to bravely push it at least once before they even find out what it does.
"Bravely"? What sort of doomsday scenario are you imagining Apple would implement on such a button?

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post #35 of 83

With Jony at the helm of UI design it reminds me of watching a talented desktop publisher try their hand at web programming for the first time.

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post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I would argue that the one word "Message" button with the word balloon in the bottom right image is really not clear at all.  It *looks* nicer by far, but I think it's a step back usability wise.  It's not currently a thing that you can respond to a ringing phone with a text.  The average user will have to bravely push it at least once before they even find out what it does.  I don't think it's good to have a feature that *requires* the user to watch a TV spot or read a manual to know what it's going to do because most people are not going to know what this button does. 


I agree and was thinking the same thing.

 

It seems to me that "Reply with message" and "Remind me later" should be sub-menu options under Decline. Surely Jony Ive's team could find a way to design that in an intuitive way.

post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I would argue that the one word "Message" button with the word balloon in the bottom right image is really not clear at all.  It *looks* nicer by far, but I think it's a step back usability wise.  It's not currently a thing that you can respond to a ringing phone with a text.  The average user will have to bravely push it at least once before they even find out what it does.  I don't think it's good to have a feature that *requires* the user to watch a TV spot or read a manual to know what it's going to do because most people are not going to know what this button does. 

While I agree its not perfect it's not that bad.

It's a pretty nice solution for the feature without all of the washed out text that was in previous betas. That would have probably been harder to understand for some.
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallking View Post


I agree and was thinking the same thing.

It seems to me that "Reply with message" and "Remind me later" should be sub-menu options under Decline. Surely Jony Ive's team could find a way to design that in an intuitive way.

I disagree with making those submenus. When I want to decline a call I want to decline it. Sometimes I will want to send a message instead and now I can that simply right from the call screen.

Can't we all agree this is a better solution than what we currently have?
post #39 of 83
In regards to buttons and the look and feel, Im probably wa'h-ing over trivial stuff, but should not the 'design and feel' be finished before the beta begins work? Almost smacks of in-decision? Won't developers say... 'what the hey'?
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post #40 of 83
Hard corners are no good ever. Every time a hard corner button shows up, it looks like windows 8.
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