Yesterday evening, I shut myself off from the world for about an hour while I downloaded iOS7. When my phone was updating, I sat around without much to do — no one to text, no way to tweet, no Siri to consult — and waited patiently. I had avoided all of the spoilers yesterday about what the update would look like (this is sort of like my personal Breaking Bad), and was anticipating the major changes my phone would bring. Finally, the slow update process finished, and I started swiping my screen. And I didn’t recognize anything at all.
Suddenly, my seemingly normal, nicely subdued iPhone became this bright mess of colors and cartoonish icons. What felt like a grown-up’s phone seems to have been replaced with a five-year-old’s toy. As a friend said, “Well, now the iPhone has truly become a Game Boy that also sends texts.”
While Apple has a long-standing history of questionable aesthetics, this new iOS update — and the upcoming release of the clunky and ugly iPhone 5C — seems like a major departure from the streamlined look Apple has promoted in the last few years. Even the new iPhone 5s — which you can now purchase in gold, if you’re feeling extra gaudy — doesn’t seem to match the interface of iOS7, which seems to have been designed for children and those who need everything to be animated. Meanwhile, my eyeballs could use a break.
I know in the grand scheme of things, whining about my expensive computer phone’s video game-like graphics and animations is a pretty ridiculous thing to do. But it seems like now, part of 21st-century living involves not the embracing of new technology, but rather the begrudging acceptance of it. Oh, if only being a Luddite were truly possible in this fast-paced, high-tech, plasticized world.