More details emerge about Apple's "flat" UI plans for iOS 7

We already knew that Apple was redesigning iOS 7 ahead of WWDC 2013, and could even be having problems making the vast changes in the short time that they've had. Many iOS users feel that the current app-based interface is getting a little long in the tooth, and with other alternatives offering excellent experiences, Apple needs to make some radical alterations. 

It seems that they are. 9to5Mac reports that Jony Ive, the new head of iOS design, has been making some big changes to the look and feel of iOS. One source is quoted as saying that the new iOS is "black, white, and flat all over," a long way from the current look and very similar to the Modern UI found on Windows Phone. A report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that changes to iOS would be "pretty conservative" which may have been the case when the report went out; according to 9to5Mac, the interface has been changed "several times" this year. 

The report goes into detail about changes Ive is going to make, including a change to the lock screen to reduce the textures; Notification Center improvements; a redesign of Apple's own homescreen icons, but not the actual app-based layout; and redesigns of all of Apple's core apps, right down to over-the-top animations. Almost everything in iOS 7 will benefit from a "flat" design ideology, according to 9to5Mac.  

Apple is also planning on adding more social integration with Flickr and Vimeo, on top of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Maps and Siri are also reportedly getting updates to better integrate with your car. iOS engineers are reportedly prioritising the iPhone over the iPad, perhaps indicating Apple's desire to claw back some lost market share. 

Source: 9to5Mac | Image via MacRumors

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That mockup is terrible. If I didn't buy a windows phone because I hated it, didn't buy windows 8 because I hated it, probably not getting the new xbox, then why in the world would anyone copy such a horrible design concept?! Why move away from high color, high detail icons for such basic and old tech in appearance UI elements? It's ugly, and already looks old. No..... just... no

I'm tired of the physical metaphors you current have in some iOS applications. So if Apple is heading away from that design paradigm, I'm stoked.

'One source is quoted as saying that the new iOS is "black, white, and flat all over,"'

Oh, please no. Haven't we moved beyond black and white interfaces?

so far it looks as though they're getting pretty desperate here to add as much social integration as possible. cool concept, feel like its going the windows phone route, but i really want to see the complete app redesign

Are iPad users likely to see the new flatter UI in iOS 7 as is the case for iPhone users? How will older apps adopt to the new flatter UI? It sounds like the windows 8 fiasco to me, maybe worse. It's way too confusing if apple copies Microsoft.

subcld said,
So its basically a windows phone clone WTF

Don't be silly. It will be the most revolutionary thing you've ever seen. Invented by Apple...

They'll no doubt spin it with their usual glossy talk and convince the Sheep it's new and innovative.

But then, since when has Apple not just copied another companies product and marketed it better, they've never really come up with anything first.

LOL at all the people making comments about the mock-up-image in the article. People need to get their heads out of their behinds.

In retrospect I'd actually give iOS a shot personally if this actually happens. I hate shiny. Flat, matte, and minimal is how I roll.

I'm really curious to see what this ends up looking like. The rumors are rather surprising, so I'm definitely intrigued...

they won't provide iOS update to any of the legacy phones ( even iphone 5 ) as these phone already got iOS 6 update. i think 5s will be the only phone to get iOS 7 as this is totally new os and maybe apple might stop sales of previous iphones because they are making a cheaper version of iphone. #justsaying

dranzer006 said,
they won't provide iOS update to any of the legacy phones ( even iphone 5 ) as these phone already got iOS 6 update. i think 5s will be the only phone to get iOS 7 as this is totally new os and maybe apple might stop sales of previous iphones because they are making a cheaper version of iphone. #justsaying

Apple =/= HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia.....

There is a reason why Apple customers are repeat customers and it is because they make outstanding products that they support for years.

Shadrack said,

There is a reason why Apple customers are repeat customers and it is because they make outstanding products that they support for years.
iPod, Power Mac, Maps, iTunes Windows. And don't forget the OS updates they do provide aren't free.

EDIT: MobileMe <--- Forgot one

OS updates they provide aren't free? Was MS suppose to give away Windows 8 as well?

iTunes for Windows rocks and performs brilliantly well even on my wife's old 2005 Windows MCE PC. The people I know who use iTunes love it. The only people I know that don't like iTunes don't use it because they don't use Apple products. Then there are folks (probably like you) who haven't used iTunes since v5 in 2004. Yes, when iTunes for Windows first came out it was a steaming pile. Since v9 it has been rock solid.

iPods have and always will be a symbol of the 2000's and are iconic. MobileMe evolved into iCloud which is still considered a successful product.

I'll give you Power Mac though... Yes, the Power Mac back in the 1990's was fail. Here is a cookie.

Edit: I take back the Power Mac (I was thinking of something else). Power Mac was a good product. What didn't you like about it?

Edited by Shadrack, May 24 2013, 11:00pm :

Shadrack said,

Apple =/= HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia.....

There is a reason why Apple customers are repeat customers and it is because they make outstanding products that they support for years.


I don't know about others but Nokia supports its products for years.

Shadrack said,
OS updates they provide aren't free? Was MS suppose to give away Windows 8 as well?

iTunes for Windows rocks and performs brilliantly well even on my wife's old 2005 Windows MCE PC. The people I know who use iTunes love it. The only people I know that don't like iTunes don't use it because they don't use Apple products. Then there are folks (probably like you) who haven't used iTunes since v5 in 2004. Yes, when iTunes for Windows first came out it was a steaming pile. Since v9 it has been rock solid.

iPods have and always will be a symbol of the 2000's and are iconic. MobileMe evolved into iCloud which is still considered a successful product.

I'll give you Power Mac though... Yes, the Power Mac back in the 1990's was fail. Here is a cookie.

Edit: I take back the Power Mac (I was thinking of something else). Power Mac was a good product. What didn't you like about it?

My point wasn't that all these products sucked, it was that not every product Apple makes do they support for years or that they suck.

FloatingFatMan said,
Ah, good old Apple. The eternal copycats.

How are they different than anybody else?
Compared to Samsung, they are pretty tame.

FloatingFatMan said,
Ah, good old Apple. The eternal copycats.

Naw, it is called innovation....

If the rumor is true and if the new UI looks like Metro...I certainly do not want to hear Apple complaining about copying anymore.

There is a difference between copying with permission and copyright infringement. I will give you one guess which one Apple complains about.

ILikeTobacco said,
There is a difference between copying with permission and copyright infringement. I will give you one guess which one Apple complains about.

About everything that sells good and threatens them, irregardless of how similar it looks? And it will be extremely difficult to come out with something that looks unique. They just waited too long and let the competition lead the way, that the design is still changing all the time shows they have serious problems.

FloatingFatMan said,
Ah, but Samsung aren't known for a certain famous quote.

"Good artists copy, great artists steal"

Neither Apple. Picasso said it first.

Damn you copycat Picasso!

I like the iPhone's (4, 4s, 5) design. I just find the current UI hidious. So if they make it more like Windows Phone I would certainly consider it. I just wonder if they're going to offer tools for developers to easily change their apps to fit the new UI design principles. One of the things that I love about Windows Phone is how there isn't a transition between core functions and third party apps. They all feel part of the same UI. If Apple can offer that as well then combined with their appstore it would make for a very attractive offer.

To each their own. I'm actually somewhat on the opposite of that coin. I like Apple's current phone design AND the OS. I personally don't care for the Windows Phone OS design. For some reason it just eats at me. It feels so unfinished to me, although I admit I have only played with demos. If Apple goes to the same design, I think I will have to consider Android for my next upgrade. Just have to wait and see.

It would seem that Apple considers adding apps to the core OS as 'integration' .. Sounds more like 'inclusion' to me..

TrekRich said,
Or we could just wait and see what they come out with!

I prefer the mass hysteria around pure speculation and rumors. It makes it easier to spot who has a brain and who is a robot.

Flat interface? Didn't they learn from Windows 8? It has 5% of the market share after more than a year or the real release on MSDN and last preview, and from these 5% half of them are not interested in the flat interface and ugly colors.

Some companies become so big that they just thrive to lose customers, good luck, more people to Android

john.smith_2084 said,
Flat interface? Didn't they learn from Windows 8? It has 5% of the market share after more than a year or the real release on MSDN and last preview, and from these 5% half of them are not interested in the flat interface and ugly colors.

Some companies become so big that they just thrive to lose customers, good luck, more people to Android

Yeah but once apple starts doing it users will lap it up and think it's the best thing since porn. Then everyone will claim that Microsoft copied apple with Windows 8

Disappointing it it looks a lot like Metro. Apple has a history of coming out with new/unique designs and ways of doing things.

techbeck said,
Disappointing it it looks a lot like Metro.

Where have you actually seen iOS 7? The image used in the article is a concept. Additionally, Apple supposedly using a flatter UI does not translate to them slavishly copying Microsoft's Metro design.

Manish said,

Where have you actually seen iOS 7? The image used in the article is a concept. Additionally, Apple supposedly using a flatter UI does not translate to them slavishly copying Microsoft's Metro design.

IF it looks like metro...then it will be disappointing.

techbeck said,
Disappointing it it looks a lot like Metro. Apple has a history of coming out with new/unique designs and ways of doing things.

Apple Fans will call it new and unique regardless as well as Apple-haters calling it out as a rip off of Android or MS or Playskool or whatever. Nothing will change with iOS 7.

techbeck said,

IF it looks like metro...then it will be disappointing.

yea, not a fan of metro myself, and i wonder if they'll have live tiles on such a tiny screen. (unless the new iphone has a bigger screen)

techbeck said,
Apple has a history of coming out with new/unique designs and ways of doing things.

Yeah, a history. They haven't done that for years.

Shadrack said,

Apple Fans will call it new and unique regardless as well as Apple-haters calling it out as a rip off of Android or MS or Playskool or whatever. Nothing will change with iOS 7.

not that i support this idea, but, isn't Android a copy of IOS? IOS was the industry's first real Smart phone OS and since Android came out later, doesn't that make Android a copy?

rippleman said,
not that i support this idea, but, isn't Android a copy of IOS? IOS was the industry's first real Smart phone OS and since Android came out later, doesn't that make Android a copy?

yea, i guess a Ferrari is a copy of a model-T...

Buttus said,

yea, i guess a Ferrari is a copy of a model-T...

To some, a car is car, the piont is everyone always says Apple copies this and that but in the end, everything is copy...

Edited by Deleted Bye, May 26 2013, 4:20am :

Since I just got an Element case for my iPhone 5, I'm hoping this is true. I'd like to stay with one phone for more than a few months

I love how Windows Phone (even Zune way back when) has made such a big influence on the design industry. The flat design is so beautiful and clean. From logos, websites, and now OS and Apps UIs... love it

However, if Apple flat out copy Windows (such as that mockup above), I'll be ticked lol.

j2006 said,
I love how Windows Phone (even Zune way back when) has made such a big influence on the design industry. The flat design is so beautiful and clean. From logos, websites, and now OS and Apps UIs... love it

However, if Apple flat out copy Windows (such as that mockup above), I'll be ticked lol.

Why? Everyone copies everyone now a days.

I really hope that mocked up image is correct. It is a beautiful design language that Apple has invented all on their own with no need for inspiration from other companies. They should call it something like "Metro" and everyone will think it is the greatest thing ever. I guarantee that all of Apple's competitors will start using this as their design language, Redmond can start their photocopiers, and Apple will be forced to drag all those companies into court to protect their unique, original design.

Maybe we should wait to see what Apple have actually done (rather than random concepts) before we get the sarcasm stick out

DomZ said,
Maybe we should wait to see what Apple have actually done (rather than random concepts) before we get the sarcasm stick out

That's a novel idea, why don't we do this for every company then, Microsoft included!

DomZ said,
Maybe we should wait to see what Apple have actually done (rather than random concepts) before we get the sarcasm stick out

Will you kindly look at the top right of this page at the box named "Forum Posts" and go into each of the 5 different Xbox One posts that I see and repeat exactly what you wrote here? Because currently the Xbox will sell for $770, have no games but will be a 24 hour Porn hub, will take your voice and picture and send them back to Microsoft, and is so underpowered that everything will be rendered in the cloud and sent back to you at 3 frames/minute, along with many other rumors with no basis in truth.

So if you could do that, let me know when you are finished because I would like to see what the response is. Just trying to make sure we treat both sides fairly, because that is all you really want, correct?

Apple will not be using square tiles and it won't be metro like at all. How do I know this? The agreement between Apple and Microsoft not to copy each other's UI was made public during the Apple-Samsung trial.

StephenBratz said,

Will you kindly look at the top right of this page at the box named "Forum Posts" and go into each of the 5 different Xbox One posts that I see and repeat exactly what you wrote here? Because currently the Xbox will sell for $770, have no games but will be a 24 hour Porn hub, will take your voice and picture and send them back to Microsoft, and is so underpowered that everything will be rendered in the cloud and sent back to you at 3 frames/minute, along with many other rumors with no basis in truth.

So if you could do that, let me know when you are finished because I would like to see what the response is. Just trying to make sure we treat both sides fairly, because that is all you really want, correct?

Uh huh... way to stay on topic...

Shadrack said,

Uh huh... way to stay on topic...

Is this article about staying on topic? If the article is not about staying on topic, then your comment is off topic and it must stop now!

Shadrack said,

Uh huh... way to stay on topic...

Maybe we should look at the rules that Neowin have actually written (rather than random notions of what should be) before we get the sarcasm stick out

StephenBratz said,

Is this article about staying on topic? If the article is not about staying on topic, then your comment is off topic and it must stop now!

lmao!!

StephenBratz said,
I really hope that mocked up image is correct. It is a beautiful design language that Apple has invented all on their own with no need for inspiration from other companies. They should call it something like "Metro" and everyone will think it is the greatest thing ever. I guarantee that all of Apple's competitors will start using this as their design language, Redmond can start their photocopiers, and Apple will be forced to drag all those companies into court to protect their unique, original design.

The way a concept is executed is the to success....

Come on Apple, release this already. I have 2 iPhones ready to be ordered and 2 iPhone 5's ready for IOS 7. This will also look splendid on an ipad Mini with retina. Also waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 to see what updates that has over my Note 2.

JHBrown said,
Come on Apple, release this already. I have 2 iPhones ready to be ordered and 2 iPhone 5's ready for IOS 7. This will also look splendid on an ipad Mini with retina. Also waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 to see what updates that has over my Note 2.

Well obviously we have to wait for the unveiling of the next iPhone, just like every other iPhone release.

JHBrown said,
Come on Apple, release this already. I have 2 iPhones ready to be ordered and 2 iPhone 5's ready for IOS 7. This will also look splendid on an ipad Mini with retina. Also waiting for the Galaxy Note 3 to see what updates that has over my Note 2.

Well, considering the fact that iOS 6 isn't a year old yet and Apple has a set release schedule on iOS i think you need to calm down and be patient.

Shadrack said,

Well, considering the fact that iOS 6 isn't a year old yet and Apple has a set release schedule on iOS i think you need to calm down and be patient.

Um no! I am in control of my own emotions. As a matter of fact, tonight Im going out to get laid just because of this article. You calm the .... down!

JHBrown said,
Um no! I am in control of my own emotions. As a matter of fact, tonight Im going out to get laid just because of this article. You calm the .... down!

Are you high, drunk or both?

dr_crabman said,

Are you high, drunk or both?

How about neither! Being a GI for almost 18 years, it would get me put in jail if I were either of those things at work. However, I am getting laid tonight after work. For some reason women love men in a uniform. Now how about you? Are you drunk or high, or just trying to be smart ass on Neowin?

I know with each major update they drop support of a phone. I'd love to see iPhone 4 still being supported, but probably just 4s, 5

Dan~ said,
I know with each major update they drop support of a phone. I'd love to see iPhone 4 still being supported, but probably just 4s, 5
I would bet money that they only drop the 3gs from support this round.

Yes, I think this will be for 4+ since 4 is still sold new on the Apple Store, unlike the 3gs. It'd be weird of Apple to not support a phone that was sold at least up until the iOS 7 release.

Seriously doubt they would drop support for the 3GS and 4 at the same time. iPhone 4 will get iOS 7. I'd bet money on it. This isn't Microsoft and Google we are talking about here...

Dropping 3GS support could mean cleaning up the non-Retina resources from the stock apps and OS. Might be shaving only a few dozen megabytes, but hey.

Gabotrilius said,
"on top of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube"
YouTube?? WTF

Even though the YouTube app is not integrated into iOS, you can still share your videos on YouTube from Photos or the camera roll. iOS doesn't come with stock Twitter and Facebook apps either, but the sharing options are still there. That is what that sentence meant.