iOS 7 Concept - Smarter Siri

Oh, here we go, another half-baked iOS 7 concept.

That’s what I was thinking, anyway, as I started watching this. I was pleasantly surprised.

Whilst I think they got some things wrong, there were some nice touches. The panoramic wallpaper, for example — sure, that’s hardly groundbreaking UI genius, but it does seem like the kind of thing Apple should be doing on the surface to revamp iOS. It seems like the kind of thing Apple could actually get right, as well, avoiding the classic Android jerkiness.

Flat icons: check. Everyone knows we’re getting flat icons. You can bet the farm on it. You know Jony Ive is in the factory right now, battering those icons into submission with his glorious Empire-building forehead.

The custom face colors: UGHHHHH. No way in God’s green earth is anyone at Apple letting something like that salmon-colored monstrosity onto the shelves at an Apple store.

As you’d guess if you read my earlier post about iOS 7 concepts, The Case Against Widgets, I am not sold on the idea of Quick Reply to texts, etc. Seems like it’d be nice to have, but once you can do it, you start feeling like you have to do it. No thankee sir.

A side note about settings: I think that the WiFi and bluetooth settings could be more accessible, but I think that it’s also Apple’s plan to make accessing these settings less necessary. The ideal use case for an Apple phone would involve not turning off Bluetooth or WiFi ever, but making the process of switching networks and so on much more intelligent and automated. So far they’ve had to allow control over this for battery reasons and “Airplane Mode” nonsense, but future battery technology should (hopefully) relegate this concern to the history books.

Where I think this concept hits the nail on the head is the Siri extension. It’s not flashy, but opening Siri up to more services and third-party apps has got to be high on Apple’s to do list. Right now they’re being outflanked pretty well by Google Now. The problem with Siri is that it involves server-side processing, which Apple hasn’t shown itself to be particularly adept at. John Siracusa had something to say about this on episode 13 of the Accidental Tech Podcast. They need to do something with Siri to take it from “something fun for the first 3 days after you get an iPhone” to “integral facet of the next generation of smart devices”.

Another day, another concept video. And two weeks after iOS 7 comes out we’ll be seeing iOS 8 concept videos.