iOS 7 'flat' redesign may have leaked, image suggests

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.

Source: iDownloadBlog via MacRumorsImage via iDB

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It seems the biggest issue is what is considered flat. Flat doesn't have to mean it is like the Windows Phone UI. It could be more like how icons were on Windows 3.1 or Mac OS in the early days.

You simply remove the gradients from the color so everything is one solid color, not going from light to dark or vice versa (gradient); and dropping things like drop shadows which makes the icons appear to float.

However looking at the blurry shot, none of what I mentioned was done. As you can see with the App Store icon you can still see the gradient in the blue. If it was flat it would be a single solid color.

Look at Vanilla Android and you will get a better idea.

I just noticed how very weird the entire display is angled "inside" the phone's frame. The icons aren't even straight. I'd be pretty surprised if this was real. It looks like someone have pasted a display into the image and not cared to angle it right.

First of all, it's a picture of a picture of a picture. There's no way in hell it's the actual homescreen since the rows / columns don't even line up (see the bottom portion where the Music icon is).
Second, the background of the Photos icon is white as hell, one can juust about make out the flower.
The one I'll give you though is the Settings icon where there is a noticeable difference.
Other than that, nothing to write home about.

It's fake or very early alpha. The dock is missing (probably remaking it to look like ML dock) and the icons are white (probably redoing them too). I wish they would change the pictures icon. What does a flower have to do with pictures? A picture of a flower maybe?

Wow, the colors look wonderful.

Suggestion: can you please send the Windows 8 designer at Microsoft for 2 week training course at Apple? They can learn something.

Hate to copy everyone else (ah, who am i kidding!?) but this is got to be fake.

In fact, who wants to put money on it? Comeee ooooonnn? What, no one?

"iOS 7 is sure to put the platform back on track if it can deliver a unique and usable interface..."

Back on track? It's hardly a failing operating system, as much as the author would clearly love that to be the case.

Maybe it's so grainy because of those filters that apple makes people put on the phones running it? Maybe they would be testing it on an iPhone 4 because it is supposed to run on them?

Could you please fix the thumbnail for the article; it shows an iphone-esque device with win 8 on top, which establishes a bad impression for the article within.

The author of this post must be very desperate. The best that this image really suggests is that it's a jailbroken device with one of countless icon mods. If you by that image then the iOS 7 flat design has been leaking since years ago.

The screenshot though could be fake have certainly served its purpose to generate awareness.

I guess theres that bombastic presentation script filled with words like "Incredible, Awesome, Amazing,Magical" already written and the presenter hard at work practicing for WWDC.

Or could there be Apple lawyers looking into the new design to see who they can sue?

The screenshot was a very early alpha beta shot. i am sure a lot has changed since then. if the picture is legit that is.

Why is this front page news? It's an unconfirmed grainy as hell screen shot that was taken a while ago. It's not really that flat (please don't tell me I need glasses 20/15 TYVM). And Really it could be faked who would release a picture taken that ****ty, sorry but if your going to leak something take a decent pic.

Walrush said,
No way that's real.

They're going to rip off Windows Phones High Contrast mode by the sounds of it.


Yes, last I heard rumored was a major focus on a monochrome B&W UI so this isn't at all what I had in mind.

error404ts said,
Developing on an iPhone 4? Only 4 rows of icons?

Yeah, the image was reportedly taken a long while ago of an iOS alpha, possibly before 5 was even released.

On top of that it's likely iOS 7 will run on the iPhone 4S, so obviously it needs to be tested on that too. Not saying this is real btw.

thatguyandrew1992 said,
Transition effect?

Now if that's the case, that would be essentially a Windows Phone pivot transition... I would be VERY surprised if Apple ripped such a UI element...

But that is what it looked like to me as well. I just thought it too hard to believe to mention. Lol

In this world of powerful cameras in our pockets, people still can't take photos of leaks devices, or UFOs. Useless people are useless.

no matter what they do, the homescreen is still going to look the same when populated by third party apps. I don't think the hundreds of thousands of apps are going to be updated with new icons in the short term, or even at all.

vcfan said,
I don't think the hundreds of thousands of apps are going to be updated with new icons in the short term, or even at all.

Pretty much all of the third-party app icons in the image on the left already have had their layer of gloss removed.

yes,not talking about gloss. im talking about if apple were to drastically improve the look of icons, it would be a mess for a little while since you have to rely on third parties to update.

Tartan said,
Umm is it just me?......I don't see any difference at all.

Hence the excessively bad picture to hide it as much as possible. So fake...not sure how it makes neowins front page. Ah now I remember...click bait!

AWKM said,

Hence the excessively bad picture to hide it as much as possible. So fake...not sure how it makes neowins front page. Ah now I remember...click bait!

What do you have to back up that it's fake? There's nothing to suggest it's fake.

benbuffone said,

What do you have to back up that it's fake? There's nothing to suggest it's fake.

The opposite apply as well........

Fritzly said,

The opposite apply as well........

Not the case. The widespread media coverage it's garnered is evidence of at least some credibility. There's loads of fake iOS 7 images that float around, but this is the first that's come out properly, and is completely inline with the rumours we've been hearing.

benbuffone said,

What do you have to back up that it's fake? There's nothing to suggest it's fake.


There is no burden on me. It's on you - posting garbage stories on the front of a once proud tech site and then using the soft out of "may be true/ it's a rumour" is poor. Even on the 9to5mac twitter message ardent Apple fans are laughing their asses off at it.

Click baiting to the max and you know it.

Just to help you along...try counting the rows.

AWKM said,

There is no burden on me. It's on you - posting garbage stories on the front of a once proud tech site and then using the soft out of "may be true/ it's a rumour" is poor. Even on the 9to5mac twitter message ardent Apple fans are laughing their asses off at it.

Click baiting to the max and you know it.

Just to help you along...try counting the rows.

If we're guilty of 'click baiting', then every other tech outlet is, who reported the same story. With regards to the rows, this image was reportedly taken of an iOS 7 alpha, possibly before iPhone 5 was even released.

benbuffone said,

If we're guilty of 'click baiting', then every other tech outlet is, who reported the same story. With regards to the rows, this image was reportedly taken of an iOS 7 alpha, possibly before iPhone 5 was even released.

Translated:

"Everyone else is posting crap so we will too"

Get a grip man.

I agree with AWKM.

1: Apple wouldn't test a new OS on an old device. They aren't stupid.

2: What's to say this isn't just a blurry photo of a jailbroken iPhone 4 with a custom SpringBoard theme?

This is not worthy of a news article. Come on, guys.

Shad Pilgrim said,
I agree with AWKM.

1: Apple wouldn't test a new OS on an old device. They aren't stupid.

2: What's to say this isn't just a blurry photo of a jailbroken iPhone 4 with a custom SpringBoard theme?

This is not worthy of a news article. Come on, guys.

He needs to demote himself. And if he didn't write this junk - that guy too.

benbuffone said,

Not the case. The widespread media coverage it's garnered is evidence of at least some credibility. There's loads of fake iOS 7 images that float around, but this is the first that's come out properly, and is completely inline with the rumours we've been hearing.


The fact that other sites reported on this hardly gives it credibility... What a strange argument. Using that logic, if more than one person told me that unicons exist, that would be credible...

benbuffone said,

Not the case. The widespread media coverage it's garnered is evidence of at least some credibility. There's loads of fake iOS 7 images that float around, but this is the first that's come out properly, and is completely inline with the rumours we've been hearing.


What "widespread media coverage" are you talking about dude? Which sites? I see it no where on The Verge or CNET.

M_Lyons10 said,

The fact that other sites reported on this hardly gives it credibility... What a strange argument. Using that logic, if more than one person told me that unicons exist, that would be credible...

Exactly. It's only widespread for three reasons coinciding:

a) Apple. Lots of people are eager for Apple rumors. Any news here causes minor explosions online.
b) iOS 7. Supposed to have some noticeable design changes. A lot of people are eager to hear about that. Even greater explosion factor here.
c) Visuals. It hardly ever happens that we see a photo of software from Apple, which casts some doubts on this from this point alone. No recent OS X and iOS releases have had any leaks of this kind as far as I know. But... Since it hardly ever happens: when it does, there's obviously a lot of attention.

Personally I wouldn't pay that much attention to this rumor.

Shad Pilgrim said,
I agree with AWKM.

1: Apple wouldn't test a new OS on an old device. They aren't stupid.
.

While I think this is as fake as it gets, they need to be testing the new OS on every device that will be running it, that would at least include iPhone 5 and 4S, iPad Mini, iPad 4 and 2, iPod Touch 5th gen and probably iPhone 4 and iPad 2 & 3.

AWKM said,

Because it's fake.

There's a million fakes 'leaked' every day, the fact that this has picked up so much attention gives it some credibility.

benbuffone said,

There's a million fakes 'leaked' every day, the fact that this has picked up so much attention gives it some credibility.


... What? No. Just because it has attention doesn't confirm or deny it, it just makes it a rumor with attention.
To confirm or deny something, you need multiple people to confirm or deny it.

benbuffone said,

There's a million fakes 'leaked' every day, the fact that this has picked up so much attention gives it some credibility.

It doesn't give it any credibility, really. I mean, according to the rumors that gained a lot of attention, the iPhone 4s was going to be called the iPhone 5, have a 5in screen, and an all new tear drop design. We all know how that turned out.

thatguyandrew1992 said,
I read that in the Joker's voice...

Let's put a ((0,-1,0),(-1,5,-1),(0,-1,0)) convolution matrix on that face.

benbuffone said,

There's a million fakes 'leaked' every day, the fact that this has picked up so much attention gives it some credibility.

Fail.

benbuffone said,

There's a million fakes 'leaked' every day, the fact that this has picked up so much attention gives it some credibility.


It only picked up a lot of attention because iOS 7 hasn't been seen and it'll supposedly get some design changes. So many who're eager for iOS news... I don't think there's anything suggesting this is either real or fake, so take it with a grain of salt.

That's hardly impressive or really a difference at all. I guess the reports of it being "conservative" are very well justified.
Literally broken my confidence in change in iOS, if it is indeed as shown above, I will definitely not be purchasing it.

Um that looks like the worst photoshop I've ever seen. The screen isn't even centered correctly.

Either that or he's using a camera / phone to take a picture of an iPhone that's taking a picture of another iPhone. And if that's the case then we need Xzibit in here...

Dot Matrix said,
That's not flat, by any measure...

Guess what, iOS 7 was never going to look like Metro, if that's what you mean. Of course, I for one think that's a good thing. Personally, I still think of Metro as being better suited for print than for UIs

Ali Assal said,
By the way I can see no the difference between the two screens.

Have a look again, the one on the right doesn't have borders for example (check the settings icon) and the ipod icon is flat, with white note on top of flat orange background.

CSharp. said,

Guess what, iOS 7 was never going to look like Metro, if that's what you mean. Of course, I for one think that's a good thing. Personally, I still think of Metro as being better suited for print than for UIs

No, I know, but all indications have pointed that iOS was loosing the skeuphomoric look and going for a digital look. What's shown above is neither digital or flat.

benbuffone said,

Comments like this don't really have any backbone - if you can't see the difference then you need your eyes tested.


Along with me and everyone else who liked his post? Seriously, who are you?

Dot Matrix said,
That's not flat, by any measure...
Apple will announce it as re-inventing the Flat UI which (in their world at least) will make it flat as they define flat as how they they envision flat to be..

Dot Matrix said,
That's not flat, by any measure...

If you can't see three sides, it's flat. Apple will next announce that they've designed everything flat - everything will stay the same, just a play on words, and people will still believe their DISGUSTING OLD STINKY STALE OS is new.

Crying man, GG gentlemens.