The next iteration of Apple's iOS mobile operating system will sport a very flat look, getting rid of glossy icons and user interface elements, and skeumorphic designs, if a new report is to be believed.
Online publication, 9to5Mac, cites multiple people who have seen or have knowledge of iOS 7,codenamed "Innsbruck," Apple's upcoming mobile operating system, to report that it would feature some redesigned elements, which could be on the lines of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system's Metro/ Modern UI. However, the report also indicates that the fundamental elements of the OS would remain the same including its core apps, home and lock screens, so that existing users feel at home, and there's no learning curve. The similarity to Windows Phone would be in terms of getting rid of elements like gradients completely.
iOS 7 is reportedly getting a new icon set for native Apple apps and revamped tool bars, and tab bars among other UI elements across the OS. It's however uncertain if Apple would add settings toggles or some kind of widgets offering glance-able information to the OS. There's also talk of Apple introducing various swipe from left/ right style-options to bring different elements of the OS, much like the notifications center slides down from the top right now, but there's nothing certain on that front.
Redesigned interface elements could imply that app designers and developers who use Apple's default UI elements might need to revamp their apps in-line with the new changes but most big names already use their own UI design, so it would not pose a major problem.
This is not the first time that we're hearing about iOS 7 featuring a flat UI. Earlier this month, Daring Fireball's John Gruber had also mentioned a 'rather significant system-wide UI overhaul'. iMore's Rene Ritchie also stated that after Scott Forstall's exit and Jony Ive taking charge of iOS, the company might make some UI changes but developer APIs were likely to follow a fixed roadmap. He also warned that Ive's work might make 'rich-texture-loving designers' sad.
An earlier report by The Wall Street Journal had claimed that iOS 7 would feature a 'flat design', that is 'starker and simpler' citing 'people close to the company'.
Apple had announced a major reshuffle of its leadership late last year. Forstall, who was in charge of iOS development left the company, and design guru Jony Ive was given additional responsibility of giving overall direction to iOS, as part of his new role as leader of Human Interface (HI) across the company.
Apple is widely expected to showcase iOS 7 at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be held between June 10 and 14 at its usual venue, Moscone West in San Francisco, California.