I'm an iOS developer so I got my hands on this yesterday, anyone else tried it yet? The best summary I can provide is that they gave iOS a face-lift without changing many of the core aspects of how you use the device, and then added in a couple of badly needed features for 'power users'.
I'm actually quite impressed, but not completely blown away, by everything so far. The look and feel is definitely better, but it's not going to change my life or anything like that. Everything works basically the same way it did before, it all just looks prettier. That's subjective though, IMO simple = clean = pretty, others may disagree. After a few minutes you get used to the new interface and really forget it's there, that is until you access something that's buried deep in the settings menu that hasn't been re-written yet with the new interface - it's then that you see the stark contrast between the old and new and realize how much better the new is.
It's still in obvious beta form as there are a few glitches here and there, but it's one of the more stable betas I've tested and for me is stable enough that I'm using it on my primary phone.
It's kinda like using an Android device Sorry, couldn't resist...
The one thing I don't like in theory is that apps automatically update in the background, though in fairness I don't know exactly how this works, if it can be disabled, and what impacts it has on battery life and data usage. I've got some testing to do here. Also, no widgets in this release.
A few things that I really like are:
- New, cleaner UI
- I always found the skeuomorphic design of iOS goofy, though it never really bothered me much, this design is way better
- Control Center, and I like how it comes up from the bottom vs in the notification tray ala Android
- Notification Center, the changes here are nice and I like the new content and look
- Safari changes, I like the new full screen look and the easier navigation thru pages, and like the new tabs interface as well
- Camera app is much better, easier to change between shooting modes
- Finally the ability to actually blocks calls
- iTunes Radio is cool, there's nothing really materially better than with Pandora but is nice to have it integrated and save the $34 a year or whatever on Pandora
One could easily make the argument that Apple is just catching up to Android with this release, and I really can't fault them for it. I think Scott Forstall really hurt iOS by sticking around so long and they did the right thing in turning him loose, they just have to hope it's not too little too late. I do like their take on things though, thinks like having the control center coming from the bottom vs a section in the notifications bar and the way navigation works in safari are to my liking...those are my personal preferences though.
Apple didn't do anything to really wow us with this release, but it's a solid product that I think almost everyone will enjoy.