Apple announced a major reshuffle of its leadership late last year. Out went Scot Forstall, the man in charge of iOS development, 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.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Sir Jonathan Ive is ready to put his stamp on Apple's next generation mobile OS. The report cites "people close to the company" to claim that iOS 7 will feature a 'flat design', that is 'starker and simpler'.
Some suggested that in Apple's next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more "flat design" that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn't have further details. Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative. For the past few years, Apple has unveiled versions of its mobile operating system in the summer.
The report also says that the iOS team is now getting access to prototype iPhone hardware much earlier in the development cycle, compared to the earlier practice when the hardware team would share the same solely with its own software team.
That dynamic is changing, according to the people close to the company. The stealth software developers still exist. But now, Apple's mobile software, or "human interface" team, which has been led by executive Greg Christie, is being briefed about industrial prototypes earlier, these people said. The person described the change as "a thawing."
As the report notes, this is exactly the kind of increased collaboration that Cook was hoping for when he put Ive in charge, though it mentions that the Mac and iOS engineering teams are likely to remain independent for now despite the shared functionality and codebase.
Apple is widely expected to showcase iOS 7 at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), typically held in June every year.