It’s another year, another beta, as Apple has now released the latest version of its iOS software for developers to navigate, chew over and generally kick around, to see how it works.
This version features some bug fixes and a number of refreshed design elements with the iPhone in mind – including toning down of the colours on some of the icons, a tweaked keyboard, with a slightly bolder font, and changes to the actual iPhone app.
The overriding impression with the keyboard changes is that Apple is aiming to improve contrast and make the letters more legible.
The colour on some of the icons has deepened, making them a little less ‘neon’ in style.
The most radical difference compared to iOS 7, though, concerns the phone app itself. Apple seems to be working towards greater simplicity with its focus on straightforward circular buttons.
As MacRumors.com notes, “The standard incoming call screen with rectangular buttons has been replaced with a black background and two round Accept and Decline icons.” While the current rectangular ‘call’ and ‘end’ buttons have been replaced by smaller round buttons without writing on them, instead sporting a symbol of a phone handset.
Other changes involve the ability to turn the parallax effect on or off when selecting a new wallpaper and a new look for the power off screen when shutting down the phone.
Apple has also added an option in the Accessibility’s contrast menu, making it possible for users to reduce the operating system’s white point. Finally, on the Music app, there are new, more prominent, shuffle and repeat buttons and iTunes gets a revamp for its ‘new’ button.
Apple’s release notes to developers suggest the software will undergo a considerable beta testing period and is not yet ready for public usage.