Rumors that Apple is preparing major design changes with iOS 7 continue to heat up, with new reports suggesting a more muted and flat design aesthetic.
Last October, Jonathan Ive became responsible not only for the look and feel of Apple hardware, but also its software. By most accounts, Ive is not a fan of the skeuomorphic heavy design cues that currently dominate iOS.
Sources have described iOS 7 as “black, white, and flat all over.” This refers to the dropping of heavy textures and the addition of several new black and white user interface elements.
Though no one outside of Cupertino seems to have pictures yet, based on its description, it sound an awful lot like a certain redesign Microsoft did to its software last year.
Sources say that over the past few months, Apple has re-architected iOS 7′s new interface several times, so until the new software is announced at WWDC, interface elements could dramatically change from what Apple has been testing internally in recent weeks, reports 9to5mac.
In software design meetings with Apple’s iOS designers, accompanied by Apple’s Human Interface vice president Greg Christie, Ive has shared his reasoning behind his distaste for the texture-heavy (skeuomorphic) interfaces heralded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and former iOS chief Scott Forstall.
Ive explained that software designs filled with physical metaphors do not stand the test of time, according to a person familiar with the design meetings.
The Huff Post writes that the new, modern look that Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of industrial design, has cooked up will make today’s iPhones look tacky. Say goodbye to fake leather, yellow notepads, and wood grain; many aspects of the traditional iPhone look are going to be scrapped.
There is a believe that apps such as Mail, Calendar and Maps will gain a more unified look. The report suggests that all apps will share a similar white base each with its own unique color scheme.
The green felt from Game Center and the wooden shelves from Newsstand have also reportedly been removed.
With iOS 7, Apple will drop the shiny, transparent time bar on the top of the Lock screen in exchange for a shine-free, black interface.
Additionally, the square-grid for entering a pin code has been replaced with round, black buttons with white text and white borders. Sources say that notifications on the Lock screen may see improved manipulability with gestures.
Apple fanboys (not to mention shareholders) are likely anxious for something new from the computer maker. As Business Insider pointed out, 230 days will separate iOS 7’s launch in June and the iPad Mini’s launch in October – the longest such gap in three years.
However from financial standpoint, it’s not good as Apple will have nothing new to goose its sales and profits. It gives rivals eight months to introduce new products that can sap at Apple’s core business.
That’s why it forecasted a midpoint revenue guidance of $34.5 billion for the June 2013 quarter, which is a 1% drop on a year-over-year basis. It also guided to EPS of $7 for the quarter, a 25% decline, reports Business Insider.
The new iOS 7 is expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2013.