When Apple shows off new software at WWDC 2013 in June we could see iOS 7, a new version of the popular iPhone and iPad software which delivers a new flatter look with a fresh user interface and a design that could offer a new way of interacting with iOS powered devices.
Apple has yet to formally announce iOS 7, but Apple’s past WWDC announcements include new version of iOS. This year it is reported that Jony Ive is taking a big role in the looks of iOS 7. This could help deliver a more Ive-centric take on the software which would reportedly feature less skeumorphism, the technical term that describes the real-world look of apps like stitching yellow legal paper etc.
A new report from 9to5Mac delves into the iOS 7 rumors with comments from multiple sources providing a vision of what we can expect in iOS 7.
Previous iOS 7 leaks pointed to a major user experience overhaul, one that put the iOS team behind schedule and required Apple to recruit OS X software engineers to help with the project.
iOS 7 is Flat & Fresh
According to the report, IOS 7 is flat. This means skeumorphism, shine and other visual styles are traded in for something that according to one of 9to5Mac’s sources says has the, “level of “flatness” approaching recent releases of Microsoft’s Windows Phone “Metro” UI.”
For users who haven’t used a WIndows Phone, the Metro user interface focuses on Live Tiles with a look that is significantly flatter and lacking of visual shine than the iPhone. The image below shows Windows Phone 8 compared to iOS 6.
Ideally this interface could be simpler and could carry over to apps like the Calendar, Reminders Contacts and Notes, all of which mimic real world items that some users may not be familiar with.
Even if these apps see a makeover similar to the Podcasts app, the sources tell 9to5Mac that the overall “system fundementals like the Lock and Home screens) mostly operate in a similar fashion to how they do today.”
iOS 7 May Deliver More Info
One iOS 7 rumor that is not a solid inclusion according to the sources is a new Notification Center feature that would deliver more “glance-able” information.
This information could reportedly arrive via a gesture that shows more information and or settings to the sides fo a notification center. We’ve seen similar information arrive in iOS 7 concepts like the one shown in the video below. It’s unclear how much information Apple might put in this area, but it might look similar to this.
This would not be unique to Apple. The Motorola RAZR HD delivers a swipe to one side for fast menu options, similar to the iOS 6 method for accessing Spotlight. The HTC One ships with HTC BlinkFeed, a service that integrates social networks and user selected news into a quick glance at what’s happening. Facebook Home is also available on a handful of devices, bringing Facebook information to the lock screen, possibly the most “glance-able” of all.
Users shouldn’t get their hopes up too high for some form of widget-like iOS features. 9to5Mac reports that it’s unclear if this will make it into iOS 7. If it does not arrive, we may see it in an iOS 7.1 update.
If predictions hold true, iOS 7 will be a key part of the WWDC 2013 announcement on June 10th. Apple will then let developers test iOS 7 on their device until the fall when the iOS 7 release date will likely arrive next to the rumored iPhone 5S. Tim Cook hinted at fall releases for “amazing new hardware, software, and services” in the Apple Q2 2013 earnings call.