Jony Ive to usher in big changes in iOS 7 with system-wide UI overhaul

According to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, “iOS 7 is running behind, and engineers have been pulled from OS X 10.9 to work on it.”

“iOS engineers with carry privileges all have some sort of polarizing filter on their iPhone displays, such that it greatly decreases viewing angles, thus making it difficult for observers to see the apparently rather significant system-wide UI overhaul [led by Jony Ive],” Gruber writes.

Full article here.

Over on Branch, iMore’s Rene Ritchie writes, “Ive’s work is apparently making many people really happy, but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.”

Read much more on Branch here.

35 Comments

    1. I want a better calendar app:
      1. Attaching a contact to the location of a meeting, so when I have a meeting with John Smith at Widgets Inc, all I have to do is add his contact to the meeting. Then when the reminder pops up I click the address to map it a get directions. This must be smart enough to allow me to select a phone, an address, or an email as appropriate.
      2. Setting custom reminders times instead of being stuck with the six presets. Even better would be reminders based on travel time (remind me 10 minutes before I have to leave).
      3. The ability to add a phone number to an invite so I could iMessage or text invites.
      4. The ability to edit Facebook events or at least copy a Facebook event to my family calendar.

        1. Yes, Apple Apps can use an overhaul – improvements do need to be made.

          Apple takes the complex things of an operating system and makes it intuitive to use – it just works. No worries of configuring and setting this or that… it beautifies and excites but does not get in your way. Graphic should interest us and be recognizable. With such simplicity in iOS already the lustre of the graphic button icons draws interest.

          Flattening the icons to BASIC colours and HELVETICA is stripping away the EXCITEMENT that such a beautiful OS already is. We need improvements not stripping away of the tiny amount of candy already there. ALSO NOT to say we need MORE candy… no… it has enough – ICONS do pop off the screen very nicely. BUT to FLATTEN them is so so wrong… that fashion has passed and WINDOWS 8 with TITLE is not interesting… Jony you are going the wrong way, sorry dude.

          FIX the integration not the GRAPHICS.
          Fix the functionality between OSX and iOS.
          DO NOT dumb down the only visual interest.

          OLD school STERILIZATION of the dimensional graphicOR the HELVETIC-IZATION to make a simple sweet OS appear even more SIMPLE does not do justice here. Simple and Plain equals more boring. This goes against Apple DNA. Stop it Ives before you mess up and lose your job. MARK MY WORDS.

          expecting – negative votes hurray – but I know I am right

          1. “…but I know I am right”

            What you know is that you have an opinion. And as you suggest, others will have their own opinion. None of which are right or wrong.

          2. Right on many levels.

            The wonderful texture-rich and vibrant illustrative icons are well rendered and more importantly — understandable from kindergarten to retirement.

            Miss the old TV illustration for the original You Tube home screen iPhone App.

            In my computer stable still have the first 17″ Powerbook G4 laptop (2003) running Panther and the Sherlock icon is one of my favorites.

            Guess an abstract artist would cheer the dumbing down of representative art to linear lines and Helvetica. Mondrian versus Frederic Edwin Church.

            Sir Johnny: Why not offer a compromise to both camps and provide individual choice, such as options in a software update, either representational or graphic?

            With customizable choice — everybody wins.

    2. The one thing that I want re-instated in iTunes is multiple windows. It a feature I used to use all the time, when adding tracks to my iPhone. I want to have a window open so that I can see the list of what’s already on the device, while still being able to see my iTunes music while selecting new tracks to add. I’ve found a work-around, sync my phone via wifi, and view the song list on the phone, while selecting new songs on the computer, but I should be able to do this in iTunes; this aspect of ‘simplification’ complicates things more than simplifies.
      Sort it, Apple.

    1. The UI of iOS6 may be boring to Android users
      but for Jony to HELVETI-CIZE it – sterilizing it to a state of none appeal – perhaps to make it all flat and BW – would be wrong for Apple. The further simplification of the UI (specifically graphically with flat icons) is so meaningless at this time.

      If the UI is including an overhaul of the users functionality and usage for us USERs; (iOS, already the most easiest and universal OS ever), to mess with things now is critical. These are areas where Apple must still fight several court cases still – and – provide proof that RIM and WINDOWS has tried to mimic Apple also. And that Android is merely a SKIN of candy-coated-eye crap. Blackberry z10 – OS10 is a confusing mess. Windows Surface OS is also a mess to use. Apple should not be inspired or concerned with votes of a boring OS. Ages 1 to 99 are using iOS and loving it… it makes sense – PLEASE Jony do not stay from the origins Jobs set forward.

      Lets, hope Jony doesn’t mess-up here.
      Can he make it anymore more intuitive?
      Is cleansing the icons making iOS more Windows TILE like?
      Hmmmmm, I believe he is going in the wrong direction.
      So 70’s retro Flash – flat boring icons Oh gosh…
      Better do a good job Jony or you will be fired.

    1. This MUST be done judiciously and selectively. If you don’t you end up with a horrible conglomerate that is Windows 8.

      I know of no one who uses a Mac for 40+ hours a week that wants the Mac OS X interface to become mostly the same as the iOS interface. They are two different work environments in which you do two vastly different things. The interfaces need to be different.

      There are some aspects of iOS that should migrate to OS X and some from OS X that should migrate to iOS, but a wholesale merging of the two would be a total disaster.

      1. Agreed wholeheartedly. You should take only the elements that translate well to the other platform and integrate them in. I think a good example of doing that was Launchpad. I know it gets poo-poohed a lot, because power users certainly don’t need it, but I think it works well as a visual launching tool for people familiar with tablets. I find myself using it more and more and appreciate how I can organize apps into folders, iOS-style.

        But Launchpad fades into view when you need it. It doesn’t replace the desktop.

        ——RM

      2. “I know of no one who uses a Mac for 40+ hours a week that wants the Mac OS X interface to become mostly the same as the iOS interface. They are two different work environments in which you do two vastly different things. The interfaces need to be different.”

        Yes. Yes. YES.

        1. i can accept the differences… yes I use OSX more then 60 hrs a week – for work – and LION has caused some troubles but opened up some wonderful refinements too.

          Small things like creating a folder with selected items – beautiful — wish it was included in OSX 10.5.8 — BUT — does iOS need this – hell no… its a different environment and should be. Well said Wii.

    2. NO NO NO NO NO !!!!

      iOS is for touchsreens with ARM processors, Mac OS for desktop productivity applications. DO NOT merge the two — in fact, scrub a lot of iOS-like crap out of the Mac OS that was introduced in the last 2 major releases. There is absolutely no compelling reason to dumb down a desktop OS or weigh down a lightweight mobile OS.

      Evidence? just see how terrible WinDoze 8 is.

    3. “I think the next big thing from Apple will be the way it ties OSX and iOS together in a much bigger way.”

      No, NO NO!!! I HATE the iOS look and function on my Mac. Leave OSX AS IS.

  1. If there’s a market for “rich textures” then third-party apps with them will sell well.

    It’s time for a fresh look for iOS. So long as the great app library continues, rock solid stability and beautiful hardware remain a staple of the products I’ll sacrifice a little leather to for some steel.

    1. So retro 70s is now a fresh look – please – Apples’ iOS does not need flattening or change in the graphics. We need better integration – better functionality – clearer easier smarter ways to use BOTH OSX and iOS… and they do not need to be the same. STEEL — hahahaha oh damn — Apple was mostly chrome with iTune long ago – get a grip man.

    2. one does not need a MARKET for apps with ICONS that are dimensional in appearance… to be successful.

      Textures in graphic terms would refer to the appearamce of some dimensional effect like – smooth – glossy – shiny – rough – coarse – bumpy – grainy… Most Apple icons in iOS are glossy shaded shadowed – and THIS also have been the choice of 3rd party developers. Some have made flatter looking cartoon like icons.

      But the interesting thing here is to ask…

      WOULD this make things simpler to use?
      WOULD it make iOS easier to understand?
      WOULD it make for more memorable and iconics?

      NO way. It would not look fresher but rather old school design – dated and stupid. Its a dumb down of such a simple beautiful OS. It would make things none exciting. It would not improve usability or understanding. The platform is already successful – Do do this – adds nothing but TAKES away the lustre iOS has.

      Very very bad move if true.

  2. When ever you make aesthetic changes to anything, someone is going to like it, and someone is not. Just the way it goes.. Hopefully more people like it than not.

    My wish list, get rid of Gray text.. its hard to read under most any conditions..

  3. As expected, I must say.

    You will note, the first inductee into the Ives doctrine, Podcasts.

    Brilliant.

    Hopefully Steve, touched you and said, “Remember” before he passed.

  4. I am a rich-texture-loving consumer. I hate the flat bookmark and app icons I’ve been seeing on my iPhone’s Home lately. I’ve always loved the faux 3D look of iOS. And even though some see it as stale, I’ve been stuck on an old Palm Centro since 2008. THAT was a stale UI! Now that I FINALLY have an iPhone, it’s changing before my very eyes!

    Gggrrrr!

    I agree that functional issues in Apple’s software should be addressed first and foremost. I’m looking at you, Siri.

    1. Yes. Jony would be stripping away something that is a none-issue… Let the graphic icons be more 3D like or rich in colour and texturized so long as they are identifiable not GENERIC.

      To also change the UI user side to a more complicated functioning less understood OS (like Windows 8 or Blackberry RIM) – all I can say is Jony be careful your job is on the line here.

      Apple needs to remain where it is… and fight the copycats to the death first… then Apple can CHANGE all it wishes.

  5. Probably another fail iOS update. Not much better from ios5 to ios6. People will get excited because it has a fresh look, but nothing different. Until iOS finally takes a lot of jailbroken ideas (they have before)’the iOS will keep lagging behind.

  6. I hope the changes aren’t too big. Really, iOS isn’t broken in any significant way. The “grid of icons” paradigm still works. I hope they’re not going to go away from that. I played with a colleague’s Android phone once, and it was insane figuring out where everything was. Even the phone’s owner hadn’t worked it out yet.

    I guess if we have to make changes, I’d suggest dynamic icons and a way to organize your apps onto multiple app screens, rather than the limited folder concept.

    But really, iOS ain’t broke, and I’d hate to see it broken in the name of “fixing” it.

    ——RM

  7. wait…I thought iOS 6 was perfection under glass!? now you’re telling me there’s something else?! better?! my fanboi senses are going into deep dark depression…i mean the next thing your gonna tell me is there is no such thing as faux multi-tasking and walled gardens
    and over-hyped eco-systems…MAKE IT STOP!!!! ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Making the existing Apple apps more effective would be a very welcome improvement. Here are a few basic functions that would be useful:

    Mail:
    – add the ability to schedule emails
    – add the ability to see if an email has been opened

    Calendar:
    – Add the ability to only see weekdays in ALL views
    – Add the ability to click on the task and drag it to expand the date range. Not move it from one date to another. But, expand it from 1 day to a 2 day event.

    Time Machine:
    – Add the ability to change the interval between saves. 3rd parties do it.

    iTunes:
    – add the ability to find duplicate files based on several criteria like time, song name, artist name, etc. Multiple fields.

    Nothing creative here. Just adding features that I miss having.

  9. There’s one heck of a lot of extrapolation going on in the comments above. There is *no evidence* that everything is being Helveti-cized. There is only a single comment on Branch
      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.
    reportedly from the WSJ that mentions this change. Perhaps a few chill-pills are needed here…

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