Current iOS 6 home screen (left), leaked iOS 7 home screen (right)
For several months we've known that celebrated designer and Steve Jobs' right hand man, Jony Ive, has been heading the team redesigning the interface for iOS 7. It's been reported he's doing away with any signs of skeuomorphism -- that eye-roll-inducing design choice seen primarily in apps such as Calendar, Find My Friends and Podcasts.
iDownloadBlog has posted an image of what appears to be a redesigned version of the iOS home screen; a bad quality photo at best, but it clearly shows a flatter icon design, as rumoured. 9to5Mac went on to post a tweet with the image, claiming, however, that this was an early iOS 7 alpha, and "things have changed a lot since this was taken."
iDB went on to note:
When you look at the current state of stock apps icons, it seems that all of them were designed by different teams. Most of them have a different look. They don't have unifed features that tie them all up together. Some of them have a gloss effect. Some of them don't. Some of them have borders. Some of them don't, etc...
Judging by the image, it appears that icons are more unified and carry a cohesive theme. Recently, iOS developers have been straying from the native iOS design, in favour of interface designs that exhibit decidedly flatter features. Apps like Clear and Google's iOS offerings favour a cleaner, flatter design over iOS' mixed up concoction of skeuomorphic apps. iOS 7 is sure to put the platform back on track if it can deliver a unique and usable interface, and it's a good time to do so given looming competition from Android and Windows Phone.