The big news regarding iOS 7 transitioning to a new flat design isn’t big news at all, despite headlines which would like you to believe otherwise. It’s been a slow news cycle, made worse by the lack of new iPhones, iPads and new hardware in general. I’m not counting the 16GB camera-less iPod touch, while new, is a blip on the radar. That’s not changing next week either, with any new hardware likely to be on the Mac front. What is on the agenda for next week is the introduction of iOS 7 in all of its black, white and flat glory.
Jony Ive, the same guy who is responsible for the exquisite design of Apple hardware, now oversees iOS. Gone is Scott Forstall and his love of skeuomorphic design. Despite only a handful of stock apps on our iPhones, the designs are woefully inconsistent and in many cases, they are becoming dated. It’s why we are wowed when seeing stuff like Clear, Fantastical and others. These apps have utility and beauty. That’s a good combination. People even managed to get excited by the WWDC app this week. Hey, look flat, bright colors. Revolutionary!
Ive didn’t just land at Apple, issued his first iPhone and charged with redesigning the look and feel of iOS. Don’t for a second think that he hasn’t been thinking about perfecting the look, if not the way iOS works. Guys like Ive are wired that way. With the vast and talented resources of Apple, this does not appear the scale of change that will occupy the vast amount of time that’s has gone by since Ive took over.
It’s been almost a year since iOS 6 and Ive has been heading up iOS since late last year. Outside of 9to5Mac providing intel on possible support for Vimeo and Flickr integration and possibly AirDrop for Wireless, there hasn’t been much in the way leaks when it comes to the features of iOS 7. Plenty of wish lists and I’ve got my own pie in sky hopes, but nothing is coming from Cupertino.
I suspect that the changes to the UI will be subtle, with varying appreciation levels. Remember, we live in a world where people like TouchWhiz. All in all, it will bring a fresh and welcome change to iOS. With just one week remaining until they take the wraps off iOS 7, I couldn’t be more excited. I may be alone, but I’m betting that Apple’s not pulling in engineers for the sole purpose of creating flatter icons or to remove heavy handed gradients. I’d wager that under Tim Cook they have managed to keep a tight lid on bigger, possibly game-changing features. You couldn’t have set a better stage. Everyone is focused on flat design, looking for the jab, when the uppercut is coming.
Photo credit: Ariel Verber