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Sources: iOS 7 using 'very flat' interface similar to Windows Phone

updated 05:14 pm EDT, Mon April 29, 2013

Learning curve expected to stay minimal

iOS 7 is codenamed "Innsbruck," and will use a "very, very flat" design, sources for 9to5Mac claim. The OS is reportedly jettisoning any signs of gloss or skeuomorphism, making it flat on a level nearing the look of the Metro interface used in Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple has sometimes been criticized for using unnecessary real-world analogies in the look of iOS and OS X, for instance by making its Calendar apps resemble leather daybooks.

The person most responsible for Apple's skeuomorphism after Steve Jobs, ex-iOS head Scott Forstall, was fired last year however, and now software design is being overseen by Jonathan Ive, who also controls the look of Apple's hardware. Ive is believed to be staunchly opposed to skeuomorphism, which would explain the radical shift in iOS 7's aesthetics. These are said to include new icons, toolbars, tab bars, and other overhauled interface elements.

Despite this, the learning curve for the OS is allegedly small, since core functions work about the same as they do in iOS 6. Apple has been testing ways to add more "glance-able" information to iOS, in the vein of Notification Center, but it's unclear if any that testing will see fruit in the new OS, which is scheduled to be shown off at WWDC this June.

One source claims that iOS' shift away from skeuomorphism will be reflected in the updated Game Center, which is even said to resemble the WWDC 2013 logo in some respects. If so, the logo may hint at the overall direction of Innsbruck.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    Can we please get a multi-user option to offer business, personal and 'guest' modes...?

    That would seem pretty 'core' to me?

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    I like skeuomorphism

  1. NordicBastard

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-30-02

    Sheesh, I hope not. Can we please leave the Fisher-Price interface garbage to Micro$oft?

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Windows Phone just sucks. There's no other way to put it. It's an interface for retards. Please don't screw this up, Apple.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Windows Phone's UI problems are not due (mainly) to its UI flatness, they're more fundamental design issues.

    Claims are that iOS7 will behave similarly, just look a lot different, now that Ive is in charge. And honestly, with that guy's design skills and taste, I find it very hard to believe that the changes won't be for the better--the man knows good looking. The man BREATHES good looking.

    I'll predict in advance that, aside from skeuomorph-haters, who will be glad to see anything without gloss and leather, people will scream about how terrible and ugly the changes are, and how iOS is going down the tubes, and six months later everyone will have completely forgotten that it ever looked different.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08

    your comment

  1. NickChapin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-18-13

    I hope nothing looks like the WWDC 2013 logo; makes me think I should be wearing 3D glasses.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Here's my prediction: no matter what Ive comes up with, the Special People will hate it.

  1. Jens24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-02-09

    Windows interface SUCKS!!!! If iOS 7 is going to look like that crap I'll stay with iOS 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. jwdsail

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-05-00

    Ugh.. Anything but Win Phone UI... I'd rather go back to my old Moto V635 flip phone than that crappy UI.

  1. bonaccij

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-19-03

    I think it's important to remember that they say it will take "design cues" from Windows phone 8. I doubt very highly that Apple will be able to go from the high gloss button-where-you-need-it style interface to live tiles. It just wouldn't fly.

    I'd have to agree with Makosuke. If there is one thing that Jonny Ives does... it's sexy. Alright, MAYBE with the exception of the hockey puck mouse, but still... sexy is his middle name. He gets it. The mere fact that the code name is "Innsbruck" should tell people something. Innsbruck is a city in Austria... very modern... lots of design... He must have a warm spot in his heart for the place. You can check it out here: http://www.innsbruck.info/en/experience/sightseeing.html

    I dunno. I have always said I can't EVER double guess what Apple and Jonny have in store. I'm stickin' to that story. He hasn't disappointed me yet.

  1. panjandrum

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-01-04

    Well, let's face it, since Snow Leopard - era pretty things have just gone backwards in terms of UI design at Apple, both for Mac and iOS. Just try managing a large music collection on the iPad, it's just about impossible. I have zero faith in Apple going forward. I hope that Apple can change my mind, but the past couple of years has just be disappointment after disappointment. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Apple release a version of iOS that's just a "good" as Lion (AKA AppleVista).

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    While Ive's hardware designs are magical (even if losing a little practicality like full size hard drives), it remains to be seen how this translates to a graphical interface. Graphic design is much different than hardware design, and it's where Apple has really fallen down the last several years.

    As a long-time graphic design person, I'm happy to lose the skeuomorphism, but I have doubts over how good this will be. It's too easy to get stylized and cute with graphic design instead of real elegance. It's different because the eye needs to read and recognize things, without engaging consciousness that distracts from the task at hand.

    I wish Apple would hire some top-notch graphic designers and user interface people, instead of the engineers they've used lately. I hope Ive is the start of that.

  1. terrymax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-26-99

    panjandrum is absolutely correct -- OSX has lost a lot since Lion was released. What happened to the colours in the sidebar? Why are the Back and Forward arrows now only slighty different shades of medium grey, instead of black and pale grey? Why can't you change vertical scrolling direction preferences for a mouse unless you connect an Apple trackpad? The list of disappointments goes on... It has lost a lot of the user-friendliness that Apple used to be famous for.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08

    your comment

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by Jens24View Post

    Windows interface SUCKS!!!! If iOS 7 is going to look like that crap I'll stay with iOS 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Are you old enough to own an iPhone?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by panjandrumView Post

    Well, let's face it, since Snow Leopard - era pretty things have just gone backwards in terms of UI design at Apple, both for Mac and iOS. Just try managing a large music collection on the iPad, it's just about impossible. I have zero faith in Apple going forward. I hope that Apple can change my mind, but the past couple of years has just be disappointment after disappointment. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Apple release a version of iOS that's just a "good" as Lion (AKA AppleVista).



    Honestly, I've been happier with Mountain Lion (NOT Lion) than I've ever been, in 25 years of Mac use.

    I'd wish for the Finder sidebar to show the actual folder icons again (in color, please), but beyond that, the OS is pretty goddamn awesome.

    The new iTunes, however...is the first release of Apple software ever that I am genuinely unhappy with. And I've given it a couple months at default settings, like I usually do with new and controversial releases. I still find it painful and clunky.

    But then, I use iTunes for work, and my main archive (not "upgraded" yet) is about 80,000 titles: this is simply not what Apple had in mind.

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