Blog / iPad Air

What surprises you about the iPad Air is how small it feels.

For the most part that’s intentional. The side bezels are smaller, the back is thinner, the batteries and screen are lighter. But the effect is to make the apparent size of the screen about 20% smaller. You marvel at the feel of the device in your hands, then wonder why they’re charging the same price for less pixels.

Except… oh, wait. Yeah.

In theory I still hate iOS 7 with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns, but after converting my iPhone to the new operating system I’m running out of steam. It’s still bad in many ways, but there are some thoughtful touches.

  • The white-on-off-white keyboard makes me very angry, but when you see that it’s a sign the developer is doing something wrong. The keyboard should have a lovely tint to it, reflecting whatever’s behind the bottom of the screen.
  • Instead of a beautiful reflective dock, the bottom of the screen is this milky color like a lazy Android knockoff.
  • Apple’s built-in icons look like garbage. Mail and Safari, right next to each other in the dock, appear to be lit from opposite directions. This would be such an easy thing to fix, but I’m done holding my breath.
  • Lots of animations abound in the system. Text messages bump against each other like helium balloons. And by going into Accessibility and choosing Reduced Motion, you can zip between apps with a tasteful fade.
  • Now that it’s possible to store infinite apps inside a folder, I can finally achieve my dream of a one home screen iOS device. Joy.

My struggles with upgrading to iOS 7 this week have taught me another lesson about Apple: assume your mobile devices will be upgraded to the latest operating system without your consent. On a Mac that’s harder to dictate. People have lots of extensions and customizations that a forced upgrade might break. But the curated App Store on iOS gives Apple the freedom to charge ahead knowing that users won’t lose anything.

We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause.