The Date Picker in iOS 7 is Truly Terrible

At around the 41:00 mark of this week's episode of The World's Greatest Podcast, The Prompt, Stephen Hackett brought up that the date picker in iOS 7 sucks, saying it was low contrast and lacking in acceptable tap targets. Myke Hurley agreed, but Federico Viticci dissented. Federico likes it, he said.

Much as I like and respect Federico, I'm with Stephen and Myke on this.

Without getting into the intricacies of how and why iOS 7's date picker sucks balls, trust me when I assert that it truly does. From an accessibility standpoint, it's an abject failure. Its biggest problem, to me, is its low contrast — it is way too difficult for me to see well enough so as to make out the month and day. I'm forced to squint mightily, which makes my eyes hurt and my mood grumpy. I hate it. The date picker in iOS 7 is the quintessential example of everything that's wrong with iOS 7 for visually impaired users like myself. Just horrible.

I much prefer iOS 6's slot machine-esque interface. It's markedly higher contrast, has much better touch targets, and the typography, in style and in size, is much easier for my eyes to pick up. Moreover, iOS 6's date picker is the quintessential example of everything that was right with iOS 6, accessibility-wise. Say what you will about skeuomorphism, but iOS 6 did a lot right by visually impaired users, and the date picker was one of those things.

The point here is that if normal-sighted guys like my pals Myke and Stephen complain about iOS 7's date picker, then you can only imagine how users like myself with much lesser eyesight feels about it. In a broader context, it's criticism like the kind I present here and the comments following my review for TidBITS of iOS 7's vision-related Accessibility features that, in my opinion, should give Apple pause and compel them to hopefully reconsider some of their design choices with iOS 7. I love it on the whole, but it's substantially worse in many ways from an accessibility perspective. All summer, I anticipated discontent amongst members of the accessibility community, and I hope Apple is taking these feelings seriously by taking steps to look into these usability problems. Not only for me, but for Stephen and Myke and others too.

A good start would be fixing the dumb-as-shit iOS 7 date picker.