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Apple ditches "too thin" font from iOS 7

Beta 3 introduces a new, thicker system font to the new operating system. What else might Apple change before the full release?

The font used in the original designs has been decried as "too thin" by many designers

When it comes to design, Apple has in the past been characterised - in both positive and negative terms - as perfectionist control freaks. But here's a clear sign that's no longer the case. With the release of the third beta of iOS 7, it's responded to widespread criticism among designers of its typography - and replaced the strikingly thin system font Helvetica Neue Light altogether. Downloading the new version of the iOS 7 beta now sets the main font as the thicker Helvetica Neue Regular.

So far the response has been a positive one from the design community. As Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, argues in this blog post: "Light weights look cool (more so at larger sizes) and work well in advertising and logos, but are generally harder to read. The system font’s most important job is to be legible to as many people as possible in as many conditions as possible, so the previous choice was simply a bad design choice."

If something as fundamental as a system font can be changed at this stage then two things are clear: Apple is clearly listening to designers, and the design of iOS 7 is clearly not set in stone. Is there anything else you'd like to see changed before the full release? We'd love to hear your views in the comments below...

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What do you think of Apple's font change - and would you like anything else altered in iOS 7? Let us know in the comments below!

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