What’s “black, white, and flat all over?” If you answered iOS 7, congratulations, you’ve been paying attention to the many rumors about the redesign direction of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest mobile operating system.
Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac has gained some exclusive tidbits of information about the redesign of iOS 7 from some anonymous insider sources. It has already been widely reported that Jonathan Ive, the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, is now also in charge of Apple’s human interface design. Ive has been pushing to remove the skeuomorphic design elements that have long been a part of iOS.
Now Ive has brought his vaunted minimalist hardware design approach to help redesign Apple’s software appearance. According to 9to5Mac, Ive explained his distaste for skeuomorphic icons by stating that “software designs filled with physical metaphors do not stand the test of time.” This led Ive to take a holistic redesign approach to iOS 7 in order to ensure that all aspects of the software would fit with the new minimalist design ethos.
Much of the redesign effort was focused on replacing “linen and leather textures” found throughout the current iOS. These textures were instead replaced with white, dark grey, or black colors. These changes were implemented in the design of the Calendar app, the Notes app, the Mail app, and the Maps app. Each of these apps was also given a unique color button in order to minimize user confusion.
Other applications saw more significant changes. The App Store, Newsstand, Game Center, Camera, Safari, and Weather apps all received makeovers. According to 9to5Mac, the Weather app will now include animated weather representations.
Game Center and Newsstand have had their skeuomorphic design elements removed. The appearance of Safari for the iPhone has also been altered with a different style of tabs. All of Apple’s “Store” apps have also received the minimalist treatment with a flatter appearance and a basic white coloring scheme.
Although the iOS 7 home page icons remain essentially unchanged, they lose some of the shadowing and gloss effects that were present in earlier versions of iOS, as well as the overtly skeuomorphic design elements. Similarly, the shadowing effect was eliminated from the onscreen keyboard.
Other redesign efforts focused on improving the user’s accessibility. Some potential software prototypes include quick access panels to weather and financial information. Other quick access panels that may be included are for Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, and Bluetooth access.
Apple has already announced that it will be unveiling its latest version of iOS at the Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, that starts June 10 in San Francisco. 9to5Mac’s sources report that it is very likely that an iPhone refresh will occur in the fall to complement the redesigned iOS.
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