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Apple is working on a system-wide UI overhaul

Apple is currently working on iOS 7 for its mobile army of iDevices, but it looks like the Cupertino company has fallen behind schedule.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball revealed that iOS 7 is in the works, but the production schedule has fallen behind. So much, in fact, that engineers working on OS X 10.9 have been switched over to iOS 7 for its completion.

Furthermore, Gruber noted that iOS engineers who are carrying the new mobile operating system around have some sort of polarizing filter on their iPhone displays, which has made it more difficult for the public to sneak a peek at the brand-new version of iOS. 

While there aren't many iOS 7 details available at this point (which will reportedly have a system-wide UI overhaul), Gruber has heard that “Ive’s work is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.”

Apple's mobile operating system is likely going through a huge overhaul because it's in the midst of creating entirely new gadgets, such as the upcoming smart watch. Reports have said that the new watch's OS will be built from the ground up rather than starting with the iPod nano's touch operating system (which has a screen about the size of a watch). Also, the iPhone/iPad's OS must be reconstructed to work with the new devices.

The watch is due out as early as this year.

Apple released iOS 6 last September just before the launch of the iPhone 5. The OS was particularly notable because it featured Apple's first homemade mapping app.

Before iOS 6, Apple used Google Maps as its main maps app. But in early 2012, Apple gave Google the boot and decided that iOS 6 would have a brand-new service made by Apple. 

Things didn't go too well in the beginning. The app flunked at both navigation and geography. Many world landmarks, and even continents/countries/cities appeared as distorted blobs or didn't appear at all. It turned into a huge fiasco, which Apple CEO Tim Cook was stuck apologizing for. The iOS 6 maps app manager was also fired. 

Source: Daring Fireball

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A watch?
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2013 9:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is anyone interested in a watch style device and if so why? Seems to me palm attempted this a long time ago and maybe it was ahead of its time for the technology but it was a dud. Sure a certain percentage of Apple fans will pick it up but not enough to start a revolution like the first iPad did. You can get an iPod mini and watch strap and I never seen anyone do that so what makes it different coming from Apple? Whats the draw other than maybe a few sports fans with wireless Bluetooth headset?

RE: A watch?
By Scaredy Retard on 4/3/2013 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm certainly interested in one. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned for my age (29) but it takes .1 seconds to glance at my watch to see what time it is, so if more features can be crammed in there, the merrier. And the less said about people who keep their phones on their desk and have the attention span of a gnat, the better.

As far as strapping an iPod Mini to your wrist, I haven't seen it either, but it always struck me as a gimmick that was cooked up after the fact. Something designed from the ground up as a watch will be a different kettle of fish.

Though I'll also be honest; I pictures these smart watches eventually becoming as advanced as the watches from the anime Psycho Pass and it makes me smile. Following is SFW:

RE: A watch?
By StevoLincolnite on 4/3/2013 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 3

The smart watch has been done.

I present you with this Android powered device:

RE: A watch?
By Mitch101 on 4/3/2013 12:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
RE: A watch?
By retrospooty on 4/3/2013 3:34:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... It was definitely on the market and fully available in 2003 running Palm OS. I played with one for a few mins... Pretty cool for its time.

RE: A watch?
By Tony Swash on 4/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: A watch?
By tayb on 4/3/2013 10:37:49 AM , Rating: 1
I would be interested in a watch depending on functionality and price. It would be nice to be able to see what emails, texts, or other alerts I have without pulling out my phone. Just have a glance at my wrist. It would be pretty nice if it had a light little buzz to notify me, I could look down at my wrist, and decide whether I needed to immediately respond or not. Plus, it also acts as a watch.

I haven't worn a watch in years simply because I don't like how it feels on my wrist but if the watch was fundamentally improved I would add it.

Sony already has a product out:

RE: A watch?
By Nephiorim on 4/3/2013 10:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well to give you one use-case scenario. At a party recently a friend of mine hooked up his Samsung Galaxy to some speakers lying around and then used his watch to control it via bluetooth.

RE: A watch?
By vshin on 4/3/2013 10:42:03 AM , Rating: 1
I don't want an iWatch that's just a stripped-down version of an iPod. However, I DO want an iWatch that can make calls, do facetime, send txts, provide turn-by-turn GPS navigation, and do all this through voice commands and a couple pushbuttons. Ofcourse the watch has to be the same size as a regular watch while lasting a full week on a single charge with regular use. The "screen" has to be scratchproof and the watch itself should be water-resistant to at least 150m.

Yes, I basically want Dick Tracy's watch inside a Rolex. I would pay THOUSANDS for this capability.

I wonder if Apple knows that...
By lagomorpha on 4/3/2013 10:14:12 AM , Rating: 5's_law

"adding manpower to a late software project makes it later".

RE: I wonder if Apple knows that...
By sprockkets on 4/3/2013 11:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
RE: I wonder if Apple knows that...
By nafhan on 4/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: I wonder if Apple knows that...
By Spuke on 4/3/2013 2:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm assuming that OSX engineers can probably jump into iOS work without much transition time. So not really valid.
Why would you assume that?

RE: I wonder if Apple knows that...
By PrinceGaz on 4/3/2013 3:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, the old "they're already working on something similar to us, so they should be able to help us get bits of our project done more quickly".

The sort of quote straight from project management, who know nothing about what the actual software engineers are really doing on a day to day basis, and the amount of new knowledge and experience needed for them to be able to produce software which works efficiently with all other software and the hardware for that platform.

By nafhan on 4/4/2013 2:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
My point was that it may or may not speed things up in response to a comment indicating that it would not. That's it.

Whether or not adding more engineers to a project will speed things up depends a lot on how similar the projects are and how talented the engineers are. I'm making the assumption that Apple has talented engineers and that working on Apple Unix system A is somewhat similar to working on Apple Unix system B. I don't have enough info about the projects or the engineers to say for certain if that's a valid assumption and neither do you.

RE: I wonder if Apple knows that...
By rs2 on 4/3/2013 9:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
That, and also it's extremely likely to introduce bugs.

Time for a iOS Change
By phreaqe on 4/3/2013 10:07:52 AM , Rating: 2
I just really hope that the quote about this having a huge interface overhaul is correct. I am starting to get bored with iOS. i have had 3 iphones and other then the performance getting better with each piece of hardware I really don't feel like the OS is changing. They are making small changes here and their but overall each time i have upgraded to the latest os i kind have this feeling of it still feels the exact same as the old one did. If they don't make any drastic changes I will be making the leap to android or windows phone.

RE: Time for a iOS Change
By lagomorpha on 4/3/2013 11:04:14 AM , Rating: 4
I am starting to get bored with iOS.

Isn't the whole point of an OS to be easy enough that it just works and using it is boring?

If you get your entertainment from relearning OS changes I guess it isn't the worst hobby to have but I think you're not really representative of humanity at large.

RE: Time for a iOS Change
By phreaqe on 4/3/2013 11:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
i don't get excited by relearning os changes, i dont really want change just for changes sake, i want change that advances the OS. I feel like iOS is not innovating anymore. my iphone 5 feels blazing fast to me, but the OS feels dated. When i look at windows phone i get very interested because the OS looks more modern and has features that seem to make it more useful like the live tiles. I am a bit more skeptical of android because i had a droid incredible 2 and the OS(2.3.3 i think) did not feel very polished. i have heard 4 is much better but have not really played with it.

Apple could keep the general interface the same but update it to include things like live tiles or widgets that let me get the information i want at a quick glance.

RE: Time for a iOS Change
By shiruba on 4/4/2013 9:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, I don't think Windows 7's live tiles are "useful", at least not any more than Android's widgets.

As for Android 4 vs 2.x, they are WAY different. The UI is different, and 4 is much faster if the device has enough RAM to run it properly. (Much like iOS, upgrading a device can slow it down if there isn't enough RAM).

RE: Time for a iOS Change
By retrospooty on 4/3/2013 12:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
"Isn't the whole point of an OS to be easy enough that it just works and using it is boring?"

The point of improving the UI is "improving" it to add more useful things like Android and WP8 have... If true, this could get interesting. I am sure if Apple changes the UI they will do a good job of it. I think its long overdue... IOS has been stagnating for the past few years and others have passed it by.

Map Fiasco?
By kmmatney on 4/3/2013 11:24:29 AM , Rating: 2
I never had a problem with the mapping App - as far as my experience is concerned, it is a HUGE improvement over the old Google maps app. Practically all of the issues seemed to be with aerial photos not stitching up correctly - does that even matter for real-life map use? The actual "map" part of the application is great - especially the turn-by-turn navigation. At the very least it forced Google to improve it's own mapping for iOS, finally providing turn-by-turn navigation. I'm not sure they would have finally included that, if not forced by Apple's own application.

RE: Map Fiasco?
By sprockkets on 4/3/2013 12:05:18 PM , Rating: 2
At the very least it forced Google to improve it's own mapping for iOS, finally providing turn-by-turn navigation.

Already forgot that apple made the maps app, not google?

RE: Map Fiasco?
By aliasfox on 4/3/2013 2:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Google didn't let Apple use their turn-by-turn API, which put iOS at a disadvantage in that regard. Anything else, including potential future location-based monetization, was merely the kicker.

Multi-user please...
By tlbj6142 on 4/3/2013 12:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've been holding off on buying an iPad for well over a year, because it doesn't have multi-user support. Let's hope they add it in iOS7.

NOTE: I am aware that Android 4.2 has this capability.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 4/4/2013 11:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
If it takes a bit longer to erase all of that skeuomorphic junk that Forstall put in there, then Im' happy to wait.

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