Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone in the summer, and with every new iPhone comes a new version of iOS. According to many, including BlackBerry, iOS is getting a little stale; the UI has been around - in one form or another - since 2007, and Apple hasn't changed many of the core design elements. Contrastingly, Android has had many design overhauls, with Google adopting a rather robotic look with Jelly Bean.
The Wall Street Journal has published a new report which talks about iOS 7, and what it will look like under Jony Ive. Scott Forstall, Apple's old VP of software who was responsible for iOS since its inception, recently left Apple and with it the development of iOS. Apple appointed Ive as the head of iOS, and iOS 7 will be the first view into his ideas for Apple's mobile operating system. The Apple design team have been provided with hardware samples much earlier in the design cycle, in order to tailor iOS to the actual handset, according to the WSJ.
In regards to the design of iOS 7, the WSJ reports that it will be "starker and simpler" with a new "flat design" ethic. Apple is aiming for "greater collaboration across hardware, software and services" in regards to the iPhone, iPad and iOS. Apple's hardware and software teams currently work very closely with each other, at Steve Jobs' request.
The WSJ's report does contain one rather worrying line however: "Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative." Users are clamouring for changes in iOS, including the addition of widgets (unlikely, and a claim that goes back to the iPhone 3G); the ability to set apps as default, rather than Apple choosing their own apps; the ability to switch phone functions, like Wi-Fi and 3G, from the homescreen via buttons; as well as a myriad of other UI and UX changes. Apple being "pretty conservative" with those changes won't endear users to iOS.
Of course, Apple may be playing down iOS 7 before they unveil it at WWDC in a few months time, but the WSJ is usually fairly accurate. iOS is fast becoming Apple's most contentious piece of software, with the eyes of every iPhone user being on it almost everyday; "pretty conservative" change is just not an option.
Source: Wall Street Journal