According to multiple sources who were in contact with Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, Apple’s iOS 7 will feature a move to much flatter design, a move that is being driven by Jony Ive. There has been plenty of chatter of the differing opinions within Apple regarding skeuomorphic designs. Ive, whose SVP of Industrial Design, is also now in charge of interface design, taking over for the departed Scott Forstall, is said to be firmly entrenched in the flat design camp. Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ive was pushing for the move to flat design. The ‘leather bound’ design of the Calendar app and the lined yellow notebook in the Notes app are perfect examples, where application designers look to recreate a physical object. These apps feature rich textures, gradients and icons that have a gloss. Backing up Gurman’s report is John Paczkowski from All Things D who tweeted, “..hearing same. Fewer heavy textures.” Look no further than Windows Phone for a sublime look at flat design in action. So just exactly how drastic will the interface makeover be when iOS 7 is announced at WWDC?
Codenamed “Innsbruck”, likely for the name of the city located in the valley halfway between Munich, Germany and Verona, Italy, the iOS 7 update will include a whole new icon set for the core apps. This would be in addition to the design elements themselves within the applications. Polarizing filters will reportedly decrease viewing angles in an effort to increase privacy of your iPhone.
This coat of paint will likely be the subject of much debate, depending upon how drastic Apple moves in this direction. One source seems to think it’s a major shift in design thinking calling it “very, very flat”, while another said it approached the level of flatness found on Windows Phone.
Skeuomorphic design was not without its hardened supporters within Apple, with Steve Jobs among them. iOS has seen a layering of new features, but the core functionality hasn’t changed since it was first introduced in 2007. The design elements are also still largely the same, so a new, more modern look should be a welcome sight. If sources are correct, there will not be any sort of major shift in core functionality. While the UI might be front and center for discussion, the bigger issues are how Apple plans to move forward with the operating system. No word yet on what major tentpole features will be coming to iOS 7.