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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    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 [I]panes[/I] above each other like in the original concept, there is now the idea of [I]objects[/I] lying above each other. The buttons present this as opposed to the text with backgrounds we saw before.
  • Reply 3 of 82
    gibbogibbo Posts: 1member


    Captions for the FaceTime conversation between Ive and Cook? image

  • Reply 4 of 82
    rcoleman1rcoleman1 Posts: 153member


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

  • Reply 5 of 82
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 82
    command_fcommand_f Posts: 273member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 82
    irelandireland Posts: 17,454member
    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 [URL=https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id511900470]Min[/URL].
  • Reply 9 of 82
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,058member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    I prefer the previous layout. It just looks better to me than the rounded rectangle.
  • Reply 11 of 82
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    analogjack wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 82
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,061member


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 82
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    analogjack wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    zachlachzachlach Posts: 18member
    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)
  • Reply 17 of 82
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 82
    analogjack wrote: »
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 82
    technotechno Posts: 674member


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 82
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
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