Saturday, May 25, 2013

Jony Ive's changes for iOS 7 summarized: 'black, white, and flat all over'

Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, now oversees its software design, as well. For months, it's been rumored that a revamp of iOS' UI was coming with iOS 7, with rumors saying that the design would be a “flat” design that de-emphasizes flashiness. Starting on Friday, confirmation and details on the UI overhaul began emerging.

9to5Mac, speaking to unidentified sources who claim to have knowledge of the changes in the upcoming iOS 7, said that Ive's new design ideas can be summarized in just a few words: "black, white, and flat all over." In other words, the sources said, Ive has opted for simplicity -- as expected -- and has decided to drop the shiny icons, textures, and the lifelike design features.

One caveat, though, is that the sources added that Apple has re-architected iOS 7′s new interface several times in just the past few months. That means that until the new software is unveiled at WWDC, interface elements could still change dramatically from what the sources call Apple's current vision.

Many of Apple's apps are texture-heavy, and these designs were favored not just by the now ousted Scott Forstall, but by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Ive, however, believes that software designs that are similar to their real-life counterparts don't stand the test of time.

Because of that, Ive wants to alter some of iOS' built-in apps -- such as Notes -- which mimic their real-life counterparts. He also wants to standardize on a single software design theme so that iOS' many built-in apps, look more alike than they do now.

Here's a brief summary -- very brief -- of the changes coming in iOS 7:

Lock Screen:
With iOS 7, Apple will drop the shiny, transparent time bar on the top of the Lock screen in exchange for a shine-free, black interface. Additionally, the square-grid for entering a pin code has been replaced with round, black buttons with white text and white borders. Additionally, sources say that notifications on the Lock screen may see improved manipulability with gestures.
Notifications Pane:
For instance, Apple’s Notification Center drop-down panel currently has a dark linen background. In iOS 7, according to people familiar with the software, this design becomes a dark grey/black color with white text.
Home Screen:
While the Home screen app icons lose shine, shadows and gloss, the buttons are still round and just as tappable.
App changes:
... most of Apple’s apps have been redesigned to fit the white, black, and flat theme of the new operating system. For example, the shredding animation for deleting virtual passes has likely been removed from Passbook.

Additionally, the iPhone’s Notes app has replaced the yellow notepad design for a flat white look.
Notably, these are just examples of Ive's design modifications. The sources said that Ive has basically tweaked every area of the operating system, while at the same time keeping the essence of iOS.

There will, in addition, be new features.

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. The company's keynote address, typically when new products and updated features are unveiled, is scheduled for June 10.

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