In October of last year, Apple announced the departure of Scott Forstall, who had been the Senior Vice President in charge of iOS. The shakeup saw Jony Ive expand his role beyond hardware to providing “leadership and direction for Human Interface software teams across the company”. According to the Wall Street Journal, signs of this move can be found in iOS software teams being briefed about industrial prototypes and what a source described as “a thawing”. As the person responsible for iconic hardware, Ive as his title would suggest, is taking a more active role related to software and is said to be pushing for a more “flat design”.
Greg Christie still heads up the human interface team, which meets regularly with Ive to discuss new designs. While this certainly is not out the ordinary, it does appear to signal that changes made late last year are working as intended. It’s still not clear as to what affect Ive will have on the design of iOS 7 and it would be unfair to expect any major signs of his influence until iOS 8.
Interestingly enough, today’s update of the Podcasts app saw the removal of some skeuomorphism design, specifically the audio scrubbing controls. It would not be surprising to see these sorts of small, yet positive impacts on iOS design over the coming months.