Apple's coming mobile platform update, which has more or less gone unchanged since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, will be "black, white, and flat all over," reports Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, citing insiders who asked not to be identified. The overhaul will be led by chief designer Jony Ive, whose signature industrial aesthetic is responsible for today's brushed aluminum Macs and iPhones.
iOS 7 will reportedly drop many of the heavily textured renderings visible in its user interface elements in favor of something more straightforward. The green poker tablet in the Game Center? That's allegedly out. The yellow legal notepad in the Notes app? That'll get a "flat white" look, too. Here's 9to5Mac's Gurman:
In software design meetings with Apple's iOS designers, accompanied by Apple's Human Interface vice president Greg Christie, Ive has shared his reasoning behind his distaste for the texture-heavy (skeuomorphic) interfaces heralded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and former iOS chief Scott Forstall.
Ive stated that software designs filled with physical metaphors do not stand the test of time, according to a person familiar with the design meetings.
According to this person, Ive also shared that because iOS's current applications have several differing designs, Apple's users could become confused. [9to5Mac]
Following the departure of software chief Scott Forstall last October, Apple finds itself having to play catch up, at least from a software design perspective. Microsoft has been using flat design in its new Windows PC and mobile platform for months now (as best exemplified in its colorful Live Tile system). And Google has spent the past year streamlining Android and other software products to look similarly sleek.
Is this the right move for Apple? Depends who you ask. "Me? I'm fine with iOS flattening out and becoming more modern-looking," says Doug Aamoth at TIME. "I'm not completely convinced that it won't throw certain segments of the iPhone-owning population into a tizzy, though." A recent iMore poll similarly found that many folks would love to see "some kind of refinement throughout" iOS 7.
Here's an iOS concept video dreamed up by design agency Simply Zest earlier this month, based on leaks and rumors floating about. (Just to reiterate: It's not the real thing. But it could give users a sense of what's coming):