How iOS 7’s Font Change Looks in the New Beta 3

The number "7" in iOS7 style

By Kyle Wagner from

The number "7" in iOS7 style
iOS 7’s switch to the Helvetica Neue Ultra Light typeface was one of the bigger design points for the new OS. But it came with a catch: It looked, in places, pretty bad on non-retina screens. The fix was simple enough. Just change it back to regular weight.

Here’s what that looks like, courtesy Panic co-founder @Cable on Twitter:

How iOS 7's Font Change Looks in the New Beta 3

And here it is on non-retina iPad, via iOS engineer @youens.

How iOS 7's Font Change Looks in the New Beta 3

(Go to site to click “Expand” if compression is making the GIF appear fuzzy; you can see the details more clearly that way anyway.)

The newer version for both GIFs is the frame with the lighter blue background, instead of grey. The differences can be seen all over the OS, in Messages, Weather, and other first party Apple apps. Most of the text had been readable on non-retina iOS 7-compatible devices, but some things like badges and smaller alerts just looked bad. Still, this throws the weight of the entire OS off from where it had been, even if just slightly.

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Nicely done beginner’s guide to iOS design

iPad and iPhone diagram

iPad and iPhone in portrait and landscape viewsBy Ben Taylor from

As someone who does work on both the development and design side of iOS apps I find that many designers struggle with the transition to UI work, or with the different processes involved in iPhone and iPad app design. In this guide I’ll describe the deliverables you’ll be expected to produce, outline the constraints of the medium and introduce fundamental iOS and UI design concepts.

The Medium

Knowing your medium and its quirks is an important part of being a good designer. I’m sure you’ve been witness to large print-outs with horrible pixelation artefacts – the result of misunderstanding print media. Similarly misunderstanding the role of pixels on screen can result in blurry, squished, or pixellated designs.

iOS devices come in two main form factors, the iPhone and the iPad. (For simplicity I’ll be leaving the iPod Touch range out. In almost all cases it can be treated like an iPhone, so let’s ignore it for now.) While this seems quite simple on the surface the iPhone 5, the iPad mini and Retina screens have added a bit of complexity. The most important difference is between the devices that have Retina screens and those that don’t. A Retina screen shows an incredible level of detail which makes good design look even better. Unfortunately it also makes certain mistakes much more obvious.

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