JONY IVE CHANGES HIS MIND: Apple Makes One Of The Biggest Changes Ever To Beta iPhone Software

Apple released an updated to iOS 7, the beta version of its iPad and iPhone software, yesterday.

iOS 7 is the new version of Apple’s software, which will be out in the fall. It’s a complete redesign. 

In the iOS update, Apple thickened the primary font used throughout the system. Apple is now using Helvetica Neue at a regular weight instead of Helvetica Neue light.

Here’s an example of how the two look different:

font tweaks

It may seem like a small difference. It’s not.

On App.net designer Nevr Mrgn said this is probably the biggest change Apple has ever made to one of its beta software releases. It’s a complete change of heart from Jony Ive, Apple’s leading designer. 

The lightweight font was one of the biggest criticisms of the new iOS.

App maker Marco Arment called the font choice, “one of Apple’s biggest recurring flaws: letting cool come before functional.”

Respected designer and typographer Erik Spiekermann called the use of Helvetica Neue light a “youthful folly.” He says it’s just not readable

He’s not a fan of Helvetica Neue as a primary font, overall, but a shift to a regular render of the font is an improvement. 

The new, thicker font is going to be much easier to read. It’s the font used in messages, email, and elsewhere in the OS.

Apple decision to change has gotten people very excited

Beyond the functional improvement to iOS, this font change represents something much bigger.

iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS ever. It’s being led by Ive, who was previously in charge of just hardware for Apple.

Nobody knows if Ive has the skill set to do software. They also don’t know if he’s going to be wed to certain controversial decisions, like lightweight fonts.

Ive’s willingness to change the font shows he’s willing to hear constructive feedback and adapt.

This is great news, because there is a lot of stuff wrong with the new iOS that needs tweaking.

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