iOS 7 rumors have kicked up recently with the iPhone 5S release inching closer and closer. The latest relate to the interface design of Apple's upcoming operating system. Rumor has it the company is looking to implement a flat design throughout iOS 7. With companies like Google and Microsoft already making use of the flat style language in Android and Windows Phone, things may be starting to shift, with Apple following Android and Windows' lead. Read on for more information about iOS 7 flat design rumors for the iPhone 5S.
With chatter around the Web about the tackiness of skeumorphic design, or design with lots of texture and faux-material, there has been talk of moving toward a flat design pattern for iOS 7 this summer. With Scott Forestall gone (one of the main people at Apple responsible for everything looking like leather and linen), this change is more likely than ever. John Gruber of Daring Fireball has a great explanation on his blog as to why the flat design has suddenly taken off,
The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces - these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design. They're unnecessary in print, and, the higher the quality of the output and more heavy-handed the effect, the sillier such techniques look. They're the aesthetic equivalent of screen-optimized typefaces like Lucida Grande and Verdana. They work on sub-retina displays because sub-retina displays are so crude. On retina displays, as with high quality print output, these techniques are revealed for what they truly are: an assortment of parlor tricks that fool our eyes into thinking we see something that looks good on a display that is technically incapable of rendering graphic design that truly looks good."
Despite Apple being the first to sell tablets and phones with high resolution displays, they're undoubtedly last to adopt a GUI designed around a high resolution display. Users always expect new hardware designs from Cupertino when the fact of the matter is these days, software design is more important.
It isn't only Google and Microsoft who have taken notice to this new trend toward flat-design. With mobile design making its way to the desktop, an increasing number of websites have taken to designs that are more minimal--making use of fonts and flat shapes as opposed to fake objects pretending to be real. As Gruber points out, the old state of things required this but we're more than ready to move past it. Tablets are increasingly replacing books and magazines, why shouldn't Web pages look like real pages?
What is most interesting about this trend is not that it looks pretty on our screen but what it implies about the state of Apple. In regards to the company lately, many are quick to say "That wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs," and the like. Though one has to point out that Apple used to lead the industry when it came to design. Companies are still imitating the Macbook line of computers. Many doubted a smartphone that didn't come with a physical keyboard in 2007. Fast forward to 2013 and you wouldn't be able to spot a physical keyboard for miles (figuratively, obviously). For the first time in a while Apple is, not second, but third in implementing a design. Third.
And that's without counting the various websites and app developers who've adopted the style in their projects.
It's not all bad though. No one but the workers at Apple know what is in store for the company's products. Sir Jony Ive could quite possibly be including some new, unknown design aesthetic to go along with the new flat design. We'll find out soon enough.
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