New iOS 7 Design “Black, White, and Flat”: Report

Ive will stare you down.

For anyone who owns an iPhone or iPad and plans on upgrading to iOS 7 when it finally rolls out (probably this fall, along with new hardware), Apple-centric blog 9 to 5 Mac offers an idea of what to expect when the much-anticipated software makes its debut.

Be prepared for a whole lot of tasteful minimalism.

According to unnamed sources speaking to the blog, iOS 7 is “black, white, and flat all over.” Apple senior vice president of industrial design Jony Ive, who is heading up the software revamp, is an advocate of “flat” design, which strips out “realistic” elements in favor of stripped-down, basic shapes. In other words, iOS as it exists today—with screens full of digital wood shelves, green felt, and real-world objects such as yellow notepads that act as metaphors for applications—is going bye-bye in favor of texture-free squares and circles.

The redesign extends from the lock screen (which the blog suggests will feature “a shine-free, black interface”) to the app icons (“While the Home screen app icons lose shine, shadows and gloss, the buttons are still round and just as tappable”). In addition, iOS 7 will feature new panels for “quick access to information” such as weather and Wi-Fi toggles.

“According to people familiar with iOS 7′s development, Apple’s designers and engineers are prioritizing an overhaul of the iPhone’s version of iOS over the iPad’s software,” the blog added.

Details of Ive’s redesign have been leaking into the blogosphere for some time. Earlier in May, sources speaking to Bloomberg reported that the iOS overhaul could extend into 2014, as Ive and his team shift from a sweeping redesign of the interface to focusing on individual apps such as email. The general expectation is that Apple will offer a first look at the new iOS during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

Apple has already suggested that no new products are arriving before the fall. “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014,” CEO Tim Cook told media and analysts listening to the company’s most recent earnings call, according to a transcript produced by Seeking Alpha. “We continue to be very confident in our future product plans.”


Image: Apple