Report: Apple's iOS 7 to Have a "Flat" UI Design
April 30, 2013 1:39 PM
Jony Ive is the man behind the OS overhaul
Apple has reportedly made some pretty big changes to
, including a "flatter" look pioneered by Jony Ive,
Apple’s head of Industrial Design and Human Interface
In the past, software and hardware design
never really crossed paths
under Apple's roof. In fact, a report in March of this year pointed out that Apple's software design team for iOS typically sat in the dark on what the industrial design team was doing, but the two have started collaborating more as of late -- allowing software designers to get an idea of what devices their iOS projects will run on, and also give industrial designers a say in what the software will look like on their hardware.
This change (under Apple CEO Tim Cook) is showing its face with the iPhone/iPad's upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 7.
9 to 5 Mac
reports that Ive has had a huge role in designing iOS 7, and that the new look may shock customers who are used to past versions of iOS.
IOS 7 is expected to have a "flat" look, closely related to the look of Microsoft 8's live tiles. This is quite a break from the user interface designed under former CEO Steve Jobs, which follows a more glossy and life life look. The new OS loses all that shine and
currently lavished on users.
Apple's Jony Ive
While the design is flatter, the ease-of-use remains the same. There will be no learning curve for users, as the idea was to keep things simple (as usual).
The look won't be the only change to iOS in the upcoming version. There will also be an all-new icon set for Apple’s native apps, and tool bars, tab bars and other interface features will get a fresh design.
Apple has also been considering adding more bundled information and options panels within the OS, like Notification Center. This would allow users to quickly glance at many notifications across their system at once. It hasn't been confirmed if we'll see this in iOS 7, though.
The changes aren't expected to please all users, specifically those who are used to the lifelike design with heavy textures. However, Cook has placed all confidence in Ive's ability to create across hardware and software.
"Jony, who I think has the best taste of anyone in the world and the best design skills, now has responsibility for the human interface," said Cook in a
interview this year. "I mean, look at our products. The face of this is the software, right? And the face of this iPad is the software. So it’s saying, Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let’s also have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software, not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel."
Ive stepped in last year when former vice president of iOS software
Scott Forstall got the boot
due to the Apple Maps debacle.
The changes to iOS 7 are not expected to give all developers too much trouble in the future, but apps built for iOS 6 and previous could be considered outdated since they're made to match old versions of iOS.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple was pulling engineers from OS X 10.9 to finish iOS 7. At that time, it was predicted “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
9 to 5 Mac
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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