What to expect from iOS 7

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The past few days, rumors have been going around as to what Apple would be featuring in its new iOS 7 when it introduces the upgrade to its mobile operating system in the upcoming WWDC2013. According to multiple sources familiar with the upcoming iOS 7, the operating system will be sporting a redesigned UI that is seen to attract new iOS users but might, however, alienate those who are long accustomed to the platform.

The new iOS7 interface, according to sources, is expected to be very flat and would be losing all signs of gloss and skeumorphism that dominated previous iterations of the OS. As such, iOS 7 is expected to approach the Windows Phone’s Metro UI in terms of design flatness. Flat, in terms of design philosophy, is based on simplicity and sets aside heavy textures and digital metaphors of real-world objects usually found in skeumorphic design. This is foreseen to introduce a more timeless interface across the iOS ecosystem.

Historically, iOS is widely perceived by many as an intuitive and user-friendly operating system. And with its vast user base and market share, Apple obviously would not want to introduce design changes that would frustrate or disappoint its customers. Thus, sources state that while the look of the iOS 7 might be surprising to some, Apple guarantees that it will not be more difficult to use compared to earlier versions. No new learning curve would be necessary, the same way that there was no new learning curve when the new iPods were introduced. Core apps and system fundamentals, such as the Lock and Home screens, are expected in a similar fashion as they are today.

Codenamed Innsbruck, the interface changes to the iOS 7 include an all-new icon set to Apple’s native apps, newly designed toolbars and tab bars. The company is also said to be testing ways where the OS would be able to provide more on-demand information and system options. According to speculations, this feature could be implemented via left or right swipes of the display, similar to Mac track pads.

Apple’s iOS redesign stems from the previous reshuffling of the company execs the past few months. With Scott Forstall, then Senior VP of iOS leaving the company, Jony Ive is now in charge of both Industrial Design and iOS. Ive is long known to be the mastermind behind Apple’s hardware successes with the iPad, iPhone, iPod and the Macs.

The change in design philosophy of the company is also a radical departure from Steve Jobs thinking back in the day. According to company insiders, Jobs, like Forstall, is a proponent of skeumorphism in iOS. iCal’s leather stitching design was literally based on a texture on Job’s Gulfstream jet, according to one former UI designer.

Meanwhile, amid fears that the iOS 7 changes might win some users but lose or disappoint others, Apple CEO Tim Cook seems both excited and confident about what they have in store for its massive fan base. More so, Cook’s choice of putting Ive in charge of software design resonates his mission to further integrate the company’s products and its internal culture.

Source: 9to5mac.com

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