[iOS] I downgraded an iPhone 4S from iOS 8 to iOS 6...

Discussion in 'Smartphones and Tablets' started by Ionising_Radiation, Nov 17, 2015.

?

Skeuomorphic or flat? Applies to all OSs, like iOS 6- vs 7+, Windows 7- vs 8+, OS X 10.9- vs 10.10+

  1. Skeumorphic, rich detail, 3D icons

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Flat, bright colours and simple, sharp icons

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    ... And I found it to be one of the best experiences on an iPhone so far.

    To elaborate on the process: apparently Apple has to keep the SHSH blobs alive for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 so that those devices can upgrade from iOS 5 to iOS 6, and then on to iOS 8 (I'm not sure why it has to be indirect, but it helped me, so I'm not complaining... :)).

    This was done about a month ago, so I'm typing this a little ad hoc. I had to first jailbreak the device that was on iOS 8.1.4, and then I installed OpenSSH. Next, I loaded a module called OdysseusOTA into the device, downloaded the 6.1.3 .ipsw file and did some Terminal magic to restore the file onto the device (more details are in the hyper-linked web page). It was overall similar to restoring a Windows 'nandroid' backup to an Android; it also took about as long (perhaps 20 minutes). I went off to do some calculus, came back, and voila, I was presented with the beautiful, shiny, skeuomorphic lock screen of iOS 6:
    [​IMG]
    I can't tell you people how much I miss that bold, clear type; now let's go to the home screen (and a comparison with that of iOS 9):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First of all, comparing the font - I believe that the iOS 6 home screen font is objectively easier to read than that on iOS 9, despite it being Helvetica. I feel Apple has gone the wrong direction in decreasing the weight of the font (San Francisco actually looks quite good as a UI font - I feel it looks rather similar to Roboto, which is used on Android), as well as removing the drop shadow behind it. This leads to decreased readability as it is harder to discern the words from their surroundings; the effect is considerably exacerbated on light-coloured backgrounds (try it yourself).

    Next, the icons. I believe removing just the 'gloss' effect on the icons in iOS 6 would have gone a great way to reducing the metaphor of the 'button', but Apple has taken the 'flat' design mentality to an unnecessary extreme. Some of the newer icons do not make sense - I'm focussing especially on Game Centre (icon not shown above; look at your own phones), Reminders and Photos. The coloured blobs on Game Centre - exactly what purpose they serve, I still do not understand. The older icon was more richly detailed and implied 'games' much more clearly than does the current icon. As for Reminders - what are those circles supposed to be? Check-boxes (like in iOS 6) would've made much more sense; the different colours of each circle serve no true purpose either. If it's to make the screen look 'livelier' - I apologise, but it serves to distract and confuse instead. I understand that some people might interpret the Photos icon as colours of the rainbow, but wouldn't it make more sense to just use, well, an icon of a photo like iPhoto did? Apple got rid of it on OS X as well and Photos on OS X is also now using that icon - it doesn't make sense:
    [​IMG]
    Many other icons were also 'flattened' just for the sake of doing so, and in the end, lost their rich detail and 'charm', although this is mostly just my own opinion (and you may disagree). The saddest cases, I feel, are of Mobile Safari and Game Centre.

    Next, the app outlines just somehow make the whole phone feel a bit less professional and a lot more childish - the squircle is too curvy (I'm not sure exactly how to articulate this; it's just a gut feeling) and flowy. The simple, rounded squares of iOS 6 give a sense of orderliness, and clarity that I just cannot feel while looking at the iOS 7+ home screens.

    Finally, shading the top bar in iOS 6 made the words at the top easier to read. A similar logic as the home screen font under each app icon: the words are white. In light-coloured or multi-coloured backgrounds, the words in iOS 9 become very hard to read, while the bold words in iOS 6 are clearer, and easier on the eye.

    Now, onto a general screen, Settings (I tried to find ones with a navigation control):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Once again, we see that Apple has deigned to use a thinner weight for the UI font in iOS 9, which decreases readability (even on Retina devices; despite having the same pixel density, my iPhone 4S running iOS 6.1.3 appears to have greater pixel density than my mom's iPhone 5S). Furthermore, the UI doesn't have much contrast in iOS 9 - they are all shades of llight grey (hehehe - innuendos incoming), while iOS 6 uses a cool, greyish-blue as well as a clear line pattern to clearly distinguish between the background and a manipulable item. I believe that the iOS 6 screen is less glaring and is easier on the eye, simply because there is less white.

    Next, the iOS 6 nav bar buttons are clearly delineated and embossed (or recessed), signifying that they can be pressed. Certainly, the iOS 9 button also includes a chevron, but where's the button border? Do we slide from the right to the left or do we press that text? It introduces ambiguity. I am aware that buttons can be turned on in Accessibility (all my friends have thanked me for finding this), but I feel this is a UI feature that ought to be included by default.

    Next, we go to the scroll wheels:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Once again, I concede that the currently high-lighted items on the scroll wheels are in darker colours and are slightly larger in iOS 8/9 as compared to the items deselected, but I still think it isn't as clear as the blue bar across the words in iOS 6. Once again, Apple's choice of a thinner weight of font (screenshot shows Helvetica Neue) is strange as it decreases readability(I've repeated this thrice already).

    Next, the 'cards' view of Safari is plain pointless, and is a shabby attempt to rip-off Chrome; it just makes the screen look cluttered. The 'close' buttons in iOS 7+ are also too close to the page title and furthermore, unlike in iOS 6 where the cross is clearly red, that in iOS 7+ is mixed together. It introduces ambiguity: are we supposed to tap that button, or slide away the card? I have genuinely been confused at least once every time I use Mobile Safari on iOS; I see that cross and I automatically tap it, but then I remember I have to slide.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Finally, here are some epic skeuomorphs from iOS 6 that I really like, and which no 'flat' can ever beat, just because they fail to capture the rich detail:

    Game Centre:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And best of all, the beautiful linen background, colourful weather icons, and rich detail of...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Speaking of Notification Centre in iOS 7+ - I dislike the way the weather is presented, as a large wall of text with unnecessary informality, such as 'the highs will be...'. It's much faster to just show 'H: xx', like in iOS 6. Furthermore, I used this screenshot to demonstrate that too much 'translucency' ends up looking shabby. The clean, simple linen texture looks excellent and professional.

    Having used the flip-clock on my HTCs for so long:
    [​IMG]

    I like a clean, clear, visual representation of the weather. We see the weather, not read it. The same logic ought to apply to our phones.

    Overall, iOS 9 has taken one small step in the right direction, by getting rid of Helvetica and using a font, hand-made for small screens. The new features in iOS 9, especially with respect to the keyboards, ad blocking, privacy, battery monitoring, and other stuff are excellent, but the general UI of iOS 7+ has been more ambiguous, glaring, less readable and more untidy. This is not a good direction to go in, I feel.
    I also haven't upgraded my Hackintosh from Mavericks to El Capitan, primarily because of the beautiful QE/CI effects in Mavericks, as well as the clean, blocky, humanist Lucida Grande font (which exceeds both Helvetica Neue and San Francisco in terms of readability).

    As I mentioned in other threads, but the point remains valid - we press so much for realistic, high-quality 3D graphics with complex terms like anti-aliasing, physical-based rendering, shading, ray-tracing, tessellation, and whatnot in high-end video games and rendering; sometimes half our computer costs can be attributed to the GPU alone. Then why did the industry suddenly press for a regression when it comes to user interfaces, and why do we not accept skeumorphs? A computer directory is still represented as a 'folder'; we still see buttons all around us (such as in lifts, cars, keyboards, whatnot), and we most certainly still use paper and we use folders to store papers in. Perhaps the only 'outdated' skeuomorph we use is the floppy disk icon to 'save' a document or file. However, the younger generation has seen enough of it that they just call it a 'save icon' anyway; why do we need to change what doesn't need to be fixed? We see things with our eyes first before we touch, them. We see in full, stereoscopic 3D. Hence UIs must be aesthetically pleasing and rich in detail, as well as clearly layered, and if possible, simulate the 3D environment and not the flat, two-dimensional monotony that Apple, Microsoft and now Google are using, and advocate because they are 'not distracting'. A pleasing UI is never distracting; it enhances the user experience and makes using and looking at computers fun.
     
  2. Raidriar

    Raidriar Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yeah I did this months ago, made the iPhone 4S as fast as the day I got it out the box. I wish there was a downgrade option for the iphone 5S
     

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