Apple’s next major mobile software release, iOS 7, will feature a flatter design losing artificial textures and skeuomorphism. According to a new report published by 9to5 Mac, iOS 7 is expected to introduce a complete redesign of the operating system but will continue to keep the basic functions and behaviour of the OS.
Last October, Apple fired Scott Forstall and made Jony Ive the head of human interface design. It has been widely reported that Ive was never a fan of the skeuomorphism used in iOS and actually leans more towards a flatter and clean design.
While the look of the updated system may be surprising to some, iOS 7 is reportedly not more difficult to use than earlier versions of software platform. There is apparently no new learning curve in the same way there was no learning curve when the iPods went color. While iOS 7 does look different, its core apps and system fundamentals (like the Lock and Home screens) mostly operate in a similar fashion to how they do today.
iOS 7 is codenamed “Innsbruck,” according to three people familiar with the OS. The interface changes include an all-new icon set for Apple’s native apps in addition to newly designed tool bars, tab bars, and other fundamental interface features across the system.
A recent update to the Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad could give us some clue to what we could expect in iOS 7. When Forstall was heading the iOS team the app featured design of an old tape recorder and later when the app was updated under Ive’s leadership the skeomorphism was replaced with flatter design elements and focused more on ease of use.
The report on new features in iOS 7 points us to new gestures being investigated by Apple that could reveal more information to the user by just swiping left or right of the screen, just like how Notification Center can be accessed by swiping the screen downwards.
Since Jony Ive now leads both hardware and human interface design teams, the software design teams now get early access to the prototype designs so that the software and hardware look even more similar. Apple feels that this move will “increase collaboration across hardware, software & services”.