iOS 7 to Come With Significant UI Improvements, Running Behind Schedule


John Gruber of Daring Fireball, Rene Richie of iMore, MG Siegler of TechCrunch, Tim Stevens of Engadget, Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web and others had an interesting discussion about iOS 7, the next generation mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on Branch.

Here are some of the highlights:

iOS 7:

  • iOS 7 will come with significant systemwide UI improvements.
  • It is currently running late and Apple is apparently pulling engineers from OS X 10.9 and other non-profit generating projects to work on it.
  • Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief who also provides leadership and direction for Human Interface software teams across the company after Scott Forstall’s departure seems to already making his influence felt.
  • It will make rich texture loving designers sad, but apparently people at Apple are really happy with the work. We’ve previously heard that Ive has been pushing for more “flat design” that is starker and simpler.
  • Apple engineers who have iOS 7 installed on their iPhones apparently have some sort of polarizing filter that decreases the viewing angles, to make it difficult for someone to accidentally get a glimpse of the UI improvements.
  • Apple is likely to give us a glimpse of iOS 7 at the Worldwide Developer Conference 2013, which usually takes place in June.

New Hardware:

  • Apple may have an event in April or May to launch the next generation iPad mini and full-sized iPad with iPad mini like design.
  • Apple is also gearing up to launch iPhone 5S in July or August.
  • The new iPhone may come with a biometric scanner, which could be used for identification and payments.

Siegler also notes that the Passbook team is currently in shambles and is being restructured possibility due to the exit of Scott Forstall.

As I’ve said previously, though Apple has added tons of new features in iOS with every major update, it hasn’t made any major improvements in the UI, it is looking outdated and it is high time Apple re-imagines the user interface in iOS 7. It’s good to hear that we’re going to finally see significant systemwide UI improvements in iOS 7.

I can’t wait to get a glimpse of iOS 7. What about you?

Via: Branch, Image Credit: App Advice

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  • Deose

    I was thinking, didn’t iOS 6 just come out? Why so quick to start talking about iOS 7? Then I realized that iOS 6 isn’t as new as I thought, just the jailbreak for it. Before the jailbreak I never updated so to me iOS 6 still feels some what new.

    Looking forward to the adventure the jail breaking community will go through in iOS 7!

    • iPhoneHacks

      Yeah, more importantly it needs to be seen if iOS 7 addresses some of the reasons why people jailbreak their device.

      • ffac789

        Even if it did I would much rather keep my jailbreak. There would have to be MANY improvements, some which I doubt Apple would ever take part in.

      • Sebastian Rasch

        Oh I would be very happy if I wouldn’t need a jailbreak anymore but I don’t see that coming at all.

        • iPhoneHacks

          Yeah, I guess the number of reasons may come down, but there will still be enough reasons that will encourage users to jailbreak.

  • bcsc

    I don’t understand how the UI looks dated. Apple changes the wallpaper in major iOS updates. 6 major versions and there have been the addition of wallpaper ability, and then 2 very different water wallpapers. What more visual style could people ask for. I sure hope Ive does curb this radicalism, and creates a more flat and simple design.

    • Rounak Jain

      I’d take the UI (leather, linen etc.) as it is as long as the Home screen gets some more, much needed, functionality like live icons.

  • Pacomacman

    I’m a little worried about this ‘flatter design’ as that’s what Microsoft did with Windows 8 and it looks awful. Let a designer at your interface and we end up with terrible Metro style interfaces which I hate with a passion. Again Microsoft have a habit of changing the look and feel of their Office interface quite regularly, and can anyone honestly say the ribbon interface is better than menus and toolbars? Often we find ourselves going backwards. If Apple aren’t careful they will alienate those that want consistency and stability. Change might silence the vocal minority crying out for change but not necessarily good for Apple in the long run.

    • Sed P

      The metro interface is great its alot cleaner the rows and rows of icons. Add to the fact that the live tiles give u more info than the ios icons do. The rows. As a whole windows 8 and windows phone have a intriguing os that only looks to get better…which is probably why ios is trying to change things up now they’ve gad the same boring os for years

      • bcsc

        It’s refreshing to hear something other than a bias filled rant about anything except Apple and how awesome they are. I agree with you Sed. Windows Metro UI is great, it ads style that you can adjust to your taste, and as you say is interactive with the live tiles. if you want boring rows of icons, shrink the tiles and you still get more function and that ‘everything identical’ look than you do with plain static icons. Windows 8 especially, is brilliant. It has all the strength of Win7 but add an entire Metro/app layer to it. I can see how this would seem terrible by members of this iOS community when this stagnant interface coupled on the iphone has not changed in years. iOS needs an overhaul. Water left stagnant in one place too long starts to stink…..OS’s do too.

  • Adrianblanco22

    I don’t think that iOS 7 could make big changes about the UI because there are a lot of iPhone users that are people in their 50’s and older who couldn’t be able to use such big improvements

    • Sebastian Rasch

      lol, just lol. Interesting, how you think of elderly people. My father is 75 and just got his first iPhone. He’s adapting surprisingly fast. And that’s due to the intuitive design, not because it was similar to something he ever used before. If the design changes significantly but stays intuitive, 50 year old or older people will adapt to it nearly the same way we do. I find your statement very arrogant.
      People that have difficulties using iOS devices shouldn’t use an iPhone in the first place. But if they do, there’s no reason not to change the UI just due to the fact that they might have problems with that – because they don’t.

  • Luigi

    having some diferente dialpads for the phone, sms bubbles and sms walpaper customizations, settings menu like landscape ipod, keyboard colors…. If they had this on IOS 7 I would call that a very good effort and improvement…. short of that, it’s just a waist of time updating, except if they put portuguese on Siri for me LOL

    • blah blah blah

      So what you want to change is themes? There is one very simple way to change all of the visual style of your phone whenever and to whatever. Android.

      • Luigi

        Im not saying that android’s, dont look cool, and as you say they are customizable all the way… But i want safety, batery life, and the flow of IOS, not to mention the multi-touch response of the iphone is way better even compared to the SIII…

        • blah blah blah

          That’s not quite accurate. Apple has recently been found to be responsible for 81% of all mobile vulnerabilities.(google ‘apple 81 vulnerabilities’) Even the apps are reported to leak more personal user data than Android apps. Battey life is questionable, depending on what apple does to iOS. Right now reports say battery life was killed with 6.1.3. If you want Battery life on an android, it depends on which you chose. My S3 outlasts my iPhone. I have installed a custom ROM that is fantastic for battery life. To each their own, but until you use an Android full time and see that the OS truly is superior, just be sure to enjoy what you have now. I was a fanboy until I bought an Acer tablet, within a week of use, I realized that there is tons more functionality to Android. Either way, enjoy your iPhone, but take a serious look at Android. Once you use it, you will never go back.

  • geekinit

    Can’t help but wonder what flat design means. If you ask me, Apple just needs to concentrate on the home screen and giving us more options with UIViews. Right now I feel like I do too much memory management with what’s on the screen. If they are trying to remove rounded rectangles and gradients that are Apples signature, I’m gonna get pissed.

    • Rounak Jain

      Could you elaborate on the UIView mem. management thing? I thought ARC meant that you no longer have to worry about retain release.

      • geekinit

        Well, ARC does that to an extent.. unless you already have an app written with 40,000 lines of code and don’t feel like modifying and retesting everything. More specifically its UITableView cellForRowAtIndex path that’s a pain to manage if you add a lot of custom UI to it.

    • bcsc

      If Apple could create some kind of ‘App drawer’, it would help with not having to cram all ones apps onto the homescreens. Especially with folder limits, who wants 3 Games folders? Imagine if a phone could have only a specific few apps on the homescreen and have the rest of them accessible by pushing the ‘App Drawer’ button. Apple should invent that in iOS 7. Then I wouldn’t be required to remember so many app locations.

  • Rounak Jain

    “Apple engineers who have iOS 7 installed on their iPhones apparently have some sort of polarizing filter that decreases the viewing angles”
    it’s amazing how much this sentence excites me

  • Damian W

    I hope iOS will look and work more like OSX. It is time to revolutionize the iOS again.

  • Rudy

    More improvements = more bugs. Either way i can’t wait to check it out. Still think apple needs to tweak their platform a little more.

  • Cooper

    Improve Siri to make it actually usable and I’ll be happy.