How To Talk Your Friends and Family Through iOS 7

It's already happened to you and now it's happening to the ones you love. They're staring at their iPhones in bewilderment and disbelief. Everything that made so much sense a few days ago is different, and scary. You want to talk them through the change, but where can you start? Here's a template:

[Mom/Dad/Bro/Sis/Grandma/Grandpa/Roommate/Stranger crying at Starbucks], you're going through some changes right now. I know it can be scary, but it's all natural. As an operating system grows, parts of it morph and shift and change. Some of the parts you grew up with aren't the same as they used to be. But this is life from now on and it will be OK. It's just part of growing up!

Things look different...

Oh my! What happened to your slide to unlock?! Where are all the old icons? Where did these colors come from? And where did all the leather stitching go? Relax. Take a deep breath. Everything is exactly where you left it! It just got a fresh coat of paint (and run over with a steamroller).

Some things that used to be flat aren't so flat anymore, and there's a new depth to your homescreen! Your apps are changing too. It feels kind of funny, but these are all good things, a part of maturation that we all go through. You can't sleep in a skeuomorphic crib forever.

...but it's still you on the inside.

For all that's changed, the really important stuff has stayed the same. All those emails in that new mailbox? Still yours. The bookmarks in that new Safari? Still yours! The dates on the new flat calendar, pictures in the flat gallery, music in the flat library? You guessed it.

It's going to take a little while before things feel normal again, but all the important parts of the phone you had yesterday are still there. And while you're still getting used to how things look and feel a little different, just remember that the iOS you spent years with isn't gone, it's just grown up now. And most importantly it still loves you. It always will!

You'll find new abilities...

You might find your lockscreen has grown from a just a home for a slider into much much more. Slide up from the bottom and you'll see a whole new world of toggles. It can be scary to have so many options—so many choices—but you'll learn to love having them at your fingertips. Soon you won't know how you got by without them!

And you'll find it's easier than ever to juggle a whole bunch of ideas. You're getting to be a very busy person with lots of friends and social networking and iOS is growing with you! Sharing all your pictures with your special friends is easier now too. Just...be careful what you share, please.

...and new challenges.

Your brand new phone-home is better in a lot of ways, but there are new things you'll have to take care of now. Your lockscreen is a little leaky, so don't leave your phone with creepy strangers. Don't do hang out with creepy strangers in general.

There are some other little annoyances you might want to nip in the bud as well. Also you have to always remember to wear deodorant from now on.

Don't be afraid to explore.

There's only one way to really get used to your new operating system, and that's to dive in and explore it yourself. It's OK, the urge is completely normal. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you exactly how to do it; it's very instinctual and nothing at all to be ashamed of. Just please remember to wash your hands afterwards, all right? Phone screens are filthy.

Everything will be just fine.

It may feel like the rug is getting pulled right out from under you, and in a lot of ways it is, but the important thing to remember is not to worry. I went through this, your friends are going through this, everyone goes through this sooner or later. And when you come out the other side, you and your phone will have a deeper connection then ever.