iOS 7 – Hating the new notification centre

I’ve had my iPad 2 for a couple of years now and this is the third major iOS update I’ve had to put on. I don’t mind upgrading the iPad’s operating system as it means I get all the latest bug fixes, features and security updates (at least, that’s the idea) but I always do it with some trepidation as the last two times were both major pains. The good news is that this upgrade didn’t require a system restoration after half-failed upgrade procedures like both the previous ones did. The bad news is that now I have iOS 7. Talk about a bunch of solutions looking for a problem.

I can only assume that iOS 7 was designed by committee. It has that feel to it. Beyond the childish new graphics (which I understand may appeal to some users) there are just a whole lot of new features and tweaks that don’t add anything useful. Luckily the Apple developers must have understood this as they have included the option to turn most of them off. How’s that for confidence in your design? Better yet is that the New Shiny Things like the wobbly background and pseudo-multitasking seem to chew through battery life at an alarming rate. I recommend turning off as many of the new things as possible and get back to actually using the device instead of just gazing at it adoringly.

Unfortunately, one of the new features you can’t disable is the new notification centre. The old version of this utility let you swipe two fingers on the top the screen to see a small summary of any reminders, email, etc. that were awaiting your attention. The new version is similar but requires you to pull down an entire screen, completely covering whatever you’re doing, just to show you less information. My current notification tells me that I have an all day event tomorrow. It doesn’t tell me what the event is and tapping, swiping or swearing at it doesn’t take me into the calendar app where I could check. It’s a real step backward and it’s difficult to understand how the beta testers saw this as an improvement.