Despite Grumbles, Most Actually Prefer iOS 7 Icon Designs To iOS 6, Study Finds

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iOS 7 is getting a lot of mixed reaction from blogs, critics and the Twitterverse, but it’s actually winning over a lot of people, according to polls created by Polar, a mobile polling tool built by Input Factory to gauge user and community sentiment. Polar’s results find that in general, its users prefer iOS 7 versions of system icons almost two to one vs. the existing versions, with over 46,401 people total chiming in on the subject.

Those numbers represent the cumulative totals for all votes gathered on individual iOS 7 icons by the service since their unveiling at WWDC, and the data reveals that not only do people tend to prefer the iOS 7 versions overall, but they strongly prefer them in most cases. The redesigned Phone icon, for instance, garnered 80 percent pro-votes, with just 20 percent preferring the older design, and the Messages app icon was preferred by 84 percent of respondents, vs. just 16 percent for the older edition.

The iOS 6 equivalent won out in just a few cases, including the Reminders, Safari, Game Center, Camera and Calculator app, and even in those cases the margin was much smaller than it was for those preferring the iOS 7 design of other apps, generally speaking.

iOS 7 is still fresh, and it was always bound to be divisive in terms of how people accepted the significant new changes in appearance it brings to Apple’s mobile OS. Consider that even small changes in Facebook’s website and mobile app design prompt massive upheaval, petitions and general revolt, and yet also don’t seem to do much in terms of affecting the social network’s engagement or user growth.

Most assuredly, iOS 7 will have its vocal critics and its vocal defenders, and the icons themselves are already a huge subject of debate. But this survey is a good reminder that there’s a vocal minority paying a lot of attention to the changes now while they’re new, but that’s not necessarily reflective of how anyone will actually see the shift. Polar’s users seem firmly in the corner of the new look, and I’d suggest that’s probably about where we see general consumer taste fall, as well, if the average user even cares enough to share an opinion.