iOS 7 is running behind thanks to a major system wide users interface overhaul under the direction of Jony Ive, forcing Apple to pull engineers from the Mac OS X 10.9 project to meet deadlines according to an industry insider.
Despite these reports of an iOS 7 delay, the new operating system is reportedly on track for a summer release, similar to the rumored iPhone 5S.
The latest iOS 7 rumors come from John Gruber on Daring Fireball. Gruber is a well-connected Apple insider with a good track record on Apple rumors. According to Gruber,
iOS 7 is running behind, and engineers have been pulled from OS X 10.9 to work on it.
This is similar to a move Apple made in 2007 when the company pushed the release of OS X Leopard to later in the year to move OS X engineers to iOS to meet a launch at WWDC.
There are rumblings that WWDC is set for June 10-14th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, though Apple did no yet announce release dates for its annual developer conference. Whether WWDC 2013 takes place on June 10th or not, the even tis likely to showcase iOS 7. The rumored delay could explain, in part, why there is no date yet for the event.
According a report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple may not need to delay the release thanks to the added engineers.
Apple is also expected to ship the next version of its iOS mobile operating system around midyear, other people familiar with the matter have said.
If the WSJ report of Apple shipping iOS 7 in mid-year is talking about an actual release to consumers, which given the reports claim of a summer iPhone 5S launch, may be what the Journal is saying, we could expect to see an iOS 7 beta as early as this month.
Apple typically offers an iOS beta for 60-120 days to allow developers to prepare for the changes and build in new features to their apps. This beta is external to Apple, but not open to the general public.
According to Gruber Apple some Apple engineers are already testing iOS 7 on their Apple devices, but with a “polarizing filter on their iPhone displays”, like the one shown in the video below.
This filter is reportedly to hide what Gruber describes as a “significant system-wide UI overhaul.” This talk of major iOS 7 changes under the direction of Jony Ive is backed up by Rene Ritchie of iMore who claims,
Ive’s work is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.
While we don’t know specifically what changes Apple is planning for iOS 7, there are rumors that software will be the iPhone 5S’ killer feature. Apple is already moving away from skeuomorphic design in the recent update to the Apple Podcasts app.
A number of iOS 7 concepts imagine what an Ive-influenced iOS 7 could look like, including this new iOS 7 lock screen concept shown in the video below.
This is one of many iOS 7 concepts, though none of these designs come from Apple, there is hope we’ll see similar features in iOS 7 soon.
While there is talk of an Apple iPad event in April, Apple may choose to hold iOS 7 until June and launch it swiftly with an iPhone 5S in August, Apple’s release cycles are less predictable than in the past.