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iOS 7 to Introduce Redesigned Interface Without Sacrificing Simplicity

by Brandon Russell | April 29, 2013April 29, 2013 2:30 pm PDT


When Apple introduces iOS 7 at (we assume) WWDC in June, the mobile operating system will have a much flatter appearance, backing up an earlier report. Under the watchful eye of Jony Ive, the OS will show off a redesigned UI that’s said to lose “all signs of gloss, shine and skeuomorphism,” 9to5Mac said Monday. Instead, a source who has either seen or been briefed on iOS 7 claims the level of “flatness” is similar to Microsoft’s tiled approach in Windows Phone.

It’s unlikely Apple will get that extreme, but it corroborates a report claiming Apple is ready to give iOS a much-needed jolt of life. Of course, the company will want to retain familiarity among its immense user base, and also iOS’ simplicity, so how far the company is taking a revamped mobile experience remains to be seen. As 9to5Mac notes, flat could simply mean all the skeuomorphic interfaces are being scrapped for a more “streamlined interface.”

“There is apparently no new learning curve in the same way there was no learning curve when the iPods went color,” 9to5Mac’s source said. The core apps and everyday functionality, such as lock and home screens, are largely unchanged. But app icons will reportedly be different, along with tab and tool bars and other tweaked interfaces across the OS.

Perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s minds, though, is whether or not Apple will introduce widgets and other similar features. According to sources, Apple is allegedly toying with the idea of adding more “glance-able” information in new panels, but it’s unclear how the company might implement the idea.

If Apple does detail a much different iOS experience, it’ll be a huge departure from what iPhone and iPad users are used to. But it’s just what the platform needs. Jony Ive reportedly dislikes the skeuomorphic language prevalent across Apple’s mobile and desktop software, and is working to eradicate any and all leather-bound and notepad skins. June and WWDC are not all that far off, so we’ll soon know just how flat the mobile OS is going to get.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...