Jony Ive Pushing For ‘Flat Design’ in iOS 7 [Report]

jony-iveLate last year, Apple made a much talked about change to its management, firing iOS chief Scott Forstall, and distributing his responsibilities amongst Eddy Cue, Craig Federighi and Jony Ive. Apple said that these changes would “encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”

According to a new report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s collaboration plans are working out pretty well, with the industrial design and software design teams, led by Jony Ive, working closely together on future products.

WSJ notes that previously, Apple’s notoriously secretive policies meant that the company’s two design teams (industrial and software) used to work in isolation of each other while a new product was being developed. There was obviously some interaction between the two teams, but it was a select group of “stealth” software developers that would help out with prototypes. Things are starting to change now:

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.”

Ive, who is well-known for his sleek, iconic hardware designs, now sits in on the human interface team’s regular review sessions to vet new designs, these people said. While he and Christie, known as a blunt talker, have very different styles, the people familiar with the process described the sessions as “pleasant and cordial.”

The report also notes that Jony Ive is pushing for “flat design” in iOS 7. Many have seen Ive’s increased role in software design as an indication of the impending death of skeuomorphism in iOS. While doing a complete revamp of the interface would be a huge project, it seems the design teams are already taking small steps and moving towards this path, as seen in today’s Podcasts app update.

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  • Alan

    Can’t wait to get a glimpse of iOS 7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

    I TRULY believe Ive is the key to freshening iOS. I have all the faith in the world in him, though it may take longer than the next version of iOS for him to fully bring it where he wants it.

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      Yeah, iOS 7 may be a little too early to see his design influence.

      • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

        I know WE know that. The fcuking media… Totally different story. I can just see it now:

        “iOS 7 still bland, even with Ive’s touch. Apple sinking faster than ever!”

        Blah blah blah…

        • bcsc

          The problem here is that I’m not too sure that Apple can afford to wait. If you were to assume that change does start to show in iOS8, that is a year and a half down the road. What I’ve noticed is an ever strengthening grumble of discontent wanting that change. Please believe that I’m being impartial here. I use Android, and if it became what I feel is stagnant, I most certainly would not wait around for Google to sort their OS out. As tech grows, so do many people’s tastes. Even personality wise, I’m much different now that I was 3 phones ago. Taking time to evolve does not seem smart to me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/THExREALxTACO Jeremy Taco Patterson

            Oh believe me, I TOTALLY agree. I’m just not sure Ive has had enough time to REALLY get the changes he wants to see in motion.

            Of course, there’s a much more relaxed schedule for software releases than there is for devices, so MAYBE we will see a partial-refresh for iOS7 and a much shorter time between its release and a fully-refreshed iOS8.

            Or, he may very well be cracking the whip at Apple HQ and have things will underway in time for iOS7. He doesn’t seem like the type to drag his feet or tolerate such from his staff….

  • http://www.facebook.com/phyroath.heng Phyroath Heng

    What is good about iOS is that older phones can be updated to the latest one. Android can’t.

    • bcsc

      That is very wrong. The 3g has been dropped from support and the 3Gs and 4th gen ipod will be also. Even the original iPad does not support iOS 6. While EVERY Android device can be custom ROMed and updated to the latest Jelly Bean. You may want to Google ‘AOSP’.

    • Jamie

      Android “KitKat” aims to bring the latest Android experience to everybody by lowering the OS hardware requirements. This means older devices such as the Galaxy Nexus or Samsung Galaxy S2 may get the update.

  • Daniel Torres

    Flatter than the iOS on my iPhone 5? As much as I like,but I think it is hard to make simpler or flatter than what it is now.

    • kk305

      They are talking about the iOS, not the physical design of a particularly iDevice.