Every time we create one of these files we notice just how much has changed. I’m not talking about the obvious stuff like iCloud, Siri or Notifications. I’m talking about the small stuff. It’s an eye-opening experience looking this closely at what makes up an interface.
You don’t notice this level of detail on a micro level, but you’re aware of it on a macro one. When you pick up your phone to send a tweet or check an email you’re seeing hundreds of these details a second. Those details add up to make the experience what it is. It gets me thinking about the endless hours of debate and decisions that must have occurred around a seemingly meaningless change to the weight of a stroke, or the depth of a shadow. For the most part, I think these changes aren’t meaningless – they’re purposeful and intentional. Some of these changes make things more consistent, others make things more useable. There are however, a few that might leave you scratching your head.
One thing to be sure of here is that this OS is tighter from a design standpoint than its ever been before. Apple’s passion and attention to detail is something that every designer and developer needs to have. Without it, you’re simply not putting your best foot forward. Now, go make epic shit.
Examples of changes between iOS 5 and 4:
iOS5 introduces a white drop shadow to an inset table view cell (iOS5 on left, iOS4 right)
The stem of the shift symbol on the keyboard is shorter in iOS 5 (iOS5 on left, iOS4 right)
The carrier name now has a deep inset shadow in iOS5 (iOS5 on left, iOS4 right)