Remember how we announced earlier this week that Apple chief designer Jony Ive aims to strip iOS 7 of the operating system's skeuomorphic elements? Apparently that's a much bigger task than originally anticipated, as AllThingsD reported this morning that Ives is bringing engineers from the Mac OS X 10.9 team to help finish iOS 7 in time for the preview at WWDC on June 10-14.
If the news from 9to5Mac is correct, it's time to brace ourselves for the greatest overhaul in iOS's design since its first appearance in 2007. Under the leadership of Apple's chief design honcho Jony Ive, iOS 7's design will embrace the current trend toward "flatter" user interface (think: Windows 8) and turn its back on the glares, flares, and skeuomorphism familiar from current and past iOS releases. How flat? In the words of one articulate source, "very, very flat."
We've got free apps highlighted, some hints of what might be upcoming in Jony Ive's redesigns of all things iOS, and some struggles Cupertino (and developers) seem to be having with iCloud. All of that and more in this week's stories too hot to miss.
Apple last week released an update to its much-reviled Podcasts app, which brings a host of long-overdue features, including custom stations, iCloud syncing, and On-the-Go playlists. But perhaps most appreciated is the removal of one of Apple's signature pieces of skeuomorphism, the reel-to-reel tape machine. Clearly this is the work of Jony Ive, a known critic of the design style. When he was given free rein over Apple's human interfaces after Scott Forstall stepped down last October, we expected some changes would be made to iOS, which incorporates many of these type of real-world mimicry. But by dumping the tape deck — certainly one of the more intricate elements Apple has designed — it seems as though he's taking a stand, not just for Podcasts, but for all future versions of iOS.
Just when the rumor mill was poised to start churning out reports of thinner, lighter, more powerful iPads, Apple had to go and throw a big bucket of cold water on our hopes for a spring refresh. Instead of teasing us with an invitation to a press event, Apple rather unceremoniously added a top-of-the-line model to the existing catalogue, likely signaling at least six more months of the current design.
It's the battle of the social media titans. LOL, JK. Facebook unveiled some rather interesting stuff today if you like searching among your friends for plumbers or Grateful Dead fans (you probably know who, right?) and making calls to your Facebook friends. And on the other hand, former player MySpace is letting itself be used by Justin Timberlake to launch his new album. Heck, they're probably paying him. What a gig. So what else happened that wasn't about social media? Let's have a peek.
All-in-ones are meant to be seen. From the Twentieth Anniversary Mac to whatever Dell's selling these days, all-in-one computers are built to embrace their top-of-the-desk status, beckoning users with sleek curves and handsome enclosures. Nowhere is this more true than with the iMac. From the early days of Bondi Blue to the newest aluminum-and-glass marvel, the iMac has always represented Apple's unabashed pursuit of physical perfection. In a sense, it could be the ultimate representation of form over function; every sacrifice has been made for the sake of design, every decision has been made for aesthetics.
The average Apple user doesn't know Sir Jonathan Ive. When the subtle diamond-cut bezel of the iPhone's unibody construction rests in their hand, they don't consider the prototypes that didn't make the grade, or the long nights spent poring over every detail. But they do, of course, know Steve Jobs. Even among Apple diehards, Jony Ive was always positioned as Jobs’ dutiful sidekick, the one who turned his fantasies into reality.