Critics Mixed on iOS 7: 'Apple Is Innovating' But 'Consistent With Expectations'

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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Apple on Monday unveiled some significant changes to its mobile-operating system, iOS 7, that have some industry watchers singing the company's praises.

Upgrades for the software that runs iPhones and iPads include multitasking for all apps and the ability to preview an app before opening it.

“Over the past six months, Wall Street has been challenging Apple with the claim that it isn’t innovating," noted Carl Howe, VP of research at Yankee Group, commenting specifically on a CNET article. "This keynote was Apple’s opportunity to rebut that claim, which Tim Cook and his team did by not only announcing a completely rethought iOS mobile operating system, but introducing new Mac hardware, a new version of its Mac OS X operating system and new cloud services including iTunes Radio and iWork for iCloud."

Calling it the "most exciting developer keynote" since the launch of the iOS App Store in 2008, Howe says Apple "laid out both a new vision of mobility as well as ways that developers can profit from it. ... Apple is innovating – at least for them."

Apple says iOS 7 says the user interface is improved with "subtle motion, an elegant color palette and distinct, functional layers that make it feel more alive."

“iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone," said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning."

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, a longtime Apple watcher, wasn't disappointed in Monday's keynote at the Worldwide Developer's Conference, but he wasn't exactly jumping out of his chair, either.

“While we were impressed with the features introduced in iOS 7 and with the refreshed MacBook Air and Mac Pro products, these announcements were consistent with our expectations. While our surveys indicate Apple’s iPhone has lost near-term market share that will likely continue through the summer or until the iPhone 5S launch late in the September quarter, we maintain our belief Apple has a strong product pipeline that should result in reaccelerating Y/Y earnings growth during H2/C2013."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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