Apple’s iOS 7 beta 2 brings with it much-anticipated iPad support, and while we’re still some months out from a full – or fully optimized – release, the new version is already looking arguably more at home on the tablet than it does on the iPhone. Dividing opinion with its pared-back chrome and greater emphasis on typography, iOS 7 marks a considerable shift away from the iOS we’re by now familiar with, and the minimalistic aesthetic suits Apple’s bigger-screen mobile devices well.
The “layered” appearance is carried over, with greater animation now between the various levels of detail on the homescreen – such as how the wallpaper, icon grid, and other UI elements pan when you swipe from side to side – along with the parallaxing which animates the iconography.
As for how it works in practice, 9 to 5 Mac put the new beta through its paces in a quick video demo (which you can see below). The software still feels unfinished, unsurprisingly, and in some places more akin to blown-up iPhone apps than specially developed for the tablet.
Nonetheless, the flatter icons, slimmer text, and other aspects of iOS 7 we saw at WWDC suit the iPad well. One explanation for the only partial optimization may well be the sheer workload Apple’s engineers are dealing with: rumors before the Worldwide Developer Conference indicated that the company was prioritizing the iPhone and would follow up with an iPad-specific version of iOS 7.
Some of the apps have been changed, however. The Music app, for instance, looks different from the iPhone version and, indeed, the iOS 6 for iPad version; there’s also a new Photo Booth app.
We’ve still likely got a fair few iOS 7 betas to go through before we get close to the final build, though already the new platform is shaping up nicely. Criticisms of Apple’s design continue though, TechCrunch reports, surveys of user opinion by Polar since WWDC suggest that in fact a greater percentage of users prefer the new icons than dislike them.