Posted By oomphhq on September 16th, 2013

Oomph and iOS7 – made for each other

Oomph Header

On September 18th, Apple are releasing iOS7, “the biggest change to iOS ever” according to Tim Cook including a completely redesigned, stunning user interface. While there are over 200 new features, the biggest changes are more focused on design and UX (user experience). Timed to perfection, we are proud to announce some major changes to our platform that will keep our clients at the forefront of touch device publishing.

The Oomph digital publishing platform has been built to allow our customers embrace Apple’s ecosystem. It provides rich layering and functionality that draws upon Apples’ native code and features. So with iOS7 launching, we’ve made a few changes of our own!

These changes will ensure that all iOS apps powered by Oomph will remain the highest quality in terms of stability and performance, will be future proofed and extremely easy to use. This is all part of our commitment to empower our clients to create amazing digital experiences for their readers/ users.

iOS7 is based around the simplification of design. Apple has literally stripped back the operating system and rebuilt it giving content a new springboard. There has been plenty of commentary about new designs, and Jony Ive (senior VP of design at Apple who was responsible for iOS7 design element) has been both lauded and derided for the flat designs. The Tumblr Jony Ive Redesigns Things and the commentary “Do these pixels make me look fat” are testament to this. Apple may have taken out the gloss and use of skeumorphism but they’ve replaced them with engaging features such as gyroscopic effects and translucency that creating a sense of layers that invites immersion and exploration.

iOS7

iOS7

As Oomph CEO Keith Ahern puts it, “We decided early on that Oomph should be a rich multi-layered multi-media viewer – with native UI controls hidden until necessary – we wanted the content to fill every pixel of the screen.  We have been very, very lucky that Apple have also taken that approach with iOS7, UI controls only pop up where necessary and the whole UI is made of layers. Oomph and iOS7 will continue to play very nicely together and make for a very satisfying end user experience that surprises and delights.”

Sitting above our Creative Director’s desk read the words “Designers are the rockstars of the tech world”. iOS7 seems to be Apple’s way of tipping their hats to designers and saying “Go for it!” Our developers in Brisbane may argue this point, but in reality, our developers have been our secret source – doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes so that the designers can focus on creating innovative apps.

iOS7 indicates a coming of age for the touch device. More people access the internet on touch devices than PCs. These redesigns provide a richer foundation that allows designers to bring mobile experiences to life rather than needing to educate people about how to use these devices. We expect to see a new generation of apps that are even more exciting and immersive than before. And with the mobile industry becomes increasingly more competitive, the winner will ultimately be the consumer.

Keith continues “I would humbly suggest that Art Directors have already been thinking in an iOS7 mindset by using Oomph.  However, there are may other changes such as new user interface patterns for navigation and gestures, new fonts and iconography.  Technically we are embracing the background downloading that iOS7 brings, meaning that apps can always be up to date with the latest content.  All of this adds up to an even more engaging and more satisfying tablet experience.”

Some highlights of the new Oomph/ iOS7 combination.

1) Full support across both iOS6 and iOS7 support. In some cases, we have worked to replace custom code and controls with native control giving increased support and stability to the platform.

2) New designs and a while new skin for all apps. New Oomph has flatter designs and iconography akin to iOS7 and we have adopted iOS7 fonts and tint colour throughout.

New Oomph

3) Layers, Translucency and Parallax – We have introduced blurred overlays and now both the top and bottom tool bars will be transparent, allowing a sense of layering as you scroll and see content flow underneath. Parallax becomes a central theme; angle the device and the layers will appear to float over each other. The sense of layering becomes important not just for design but allowing you to navigate to information. The deeper you go, the more complex the information you access.

Translucent and parallax

4) Sharing – We’ve moved our sharing functionality from the left hand middle up to the top right tool bar using standard iOS7 sharing functionality including Facebook, Twitter, Email and calendar.

New Sharing

5) Collections – Oomph has always allowed readers to book mark their favourite sections for later. However, we have super charged this feature and created Collections tab that work like a virtual ‘scrapbook’ allows readers to flip through their favourite content and share with their friends. Readers could build their own selection of  Gourmet Traveller recipes or Sydney restaurant guides. Coles Magazine App users could search online and build a selection of their favourite christmas meals and ideas.  The Hunter Valley Wine Guide readers could save their favourite tasting notes, add comments and keep them in one easy to reach space. 

6) Contents and Cover have moved to the top tool bar allowing the bottom tool bar to be about utility functionality, making the apps a bit more browser like and standardised.

7) We’ve created a New Download Manager with a unified library, store, download and collections. The aim is to simplify issue management for readers based on extensive customer feedback. The new store front will be used by publishers to help promote content, subscriptions and special offers (coming soon).

8) Auto Update for Apps – you can set your apps to update when the device is within WIFI areas taking background downloading to a new level. No longer will your iOS device has a long backlog of apps that you have not gotten around to updating.

In the next few days we will be providing more hands on information about how to build and design apps using these new features. Stay tuned!

So what do you think? All feedback is welcomed as are new ideas for the platform.