With Scott Forstall out of the picture now at Apple, everyone is now wondering what surprises iOS 7 will have in store for us now that Jony Ive is playing a more integral role in its aesthetic development. With iOS 7 expected to be in beta for developers by WWDC, rumors are starting to trickle out regarding some changes we can expect to see.
In a recent report from 9to5Mac, Mark Gurman notes that Apple's upcoming mobile OS will showcase a "flatter" look. The redesign is described as a change that may appeal to new users but which many folks accustomed to the status quo of iOS may find off-putting.
The new interface is said to be "very, very flat," according to one source. Another person said that the interface loses all signs of gloss, shine, and skeuomorphism seen across current and past versions of iOS. Another source framed the new OS as having a level of "flatness" approaching recent releases of Microsoft’s Windows Phone "Metro" UI.
That said, the overall ease of use of iOS will reportedly remain largely in-tact, along with the device's core functionality. What's particularly interesting are reports that Apple has been exploring new ways to make more information on the iPhone visible at a glance. While it remains to be seen if and how Apple will go about this, there is certainly no shortage of compelling iOS 7 concept videos that detail some clever solutions.
For instance, this video highlighting how multitasking might be implemented on iOS is rather clever.
In any event, if one wants a little taste as to how Ive's design aesthetic will translate over to iOS 7, look no further than the updated Podcasts app which, under Forstall, saw a remarkably horrible transformation into a tapedeck, which was universally panned.
As for other changes we might see in iOS 7, Bloomberg a few days ago fleshed out some more details, relaying that Ive has been "shunning realistic images, such as wood bookshelves for the Newsstand feature" and exploring "dramatic changes to the e-mail and calendar tools."
Ive is also methodically reviewing new designs, seeking to avoid a repeat of last year’s release of map tools that were widely panned, and he’s encouraging collaboration between the software and hardware divisions, which operated in silos under co-founder Steve Jobs, people said.
Lastly, it's been reported that Apple, in an effort to ensure that iOS 7 is ready to go for WWDC, has pulled engineers working on OS X development away to help out on the iOS side of things. This, of course, is not an unprecedented move for Apple. The company did something similar back in 2007 to get the original iteration of iOS ready to go in time for the first iPhone launch. That said, the always-reliable Jim Darlymple confirmed recently that iOS 7 will ship on time, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.