Jony Ive's pulling all stops to redesign iOS 7 and bring a fresh coat of paint to the stale operating system. In an exhaustive report by Gurman of 9To5Mac, it is being suggested that Ive's looking to recaliber the entire design philosophy behind iOS 7 to make it more in-trend with a lot of flat-UI elements.
The new iOS 7 has been code-named Innsbruck according to a few people familiar with the process.
The era of flat design started about when Windows put forward a very-flat interface for its mobile and Windows 8 OS. Consequently, designer folks at Google and other companies (like Layervault, for instance) have been pushing forward the flat UI concept. Although it does appeal to a lot of us, it doesn't necessarily have the sophistication of other forms of design.
Jony appears to be quite uncomfortable with the level of skeuomorphic-adherence in several elements in iOS. That thing has been a point of contention in many debates and the recent ouster of Forstall paved way for more discussions on the changing demographic at iOS.
We've had enough posts on why we think iOS has stalled and why it needs a solid reboot. While we've been consistently hearing that Jony's taking-over of Human Interaction at Apple – effectively giving him the reins over iOS's design – will be a good sign, we've also been hearing skeptical reports of the design overhaul.
Things now seem in place. iOS 7 will be overhauled to a large extent.
However, this doesn't necessarily seem to mean a new learning curve. While there's going to be a new icon package, some drastic changes to the tab bars and possibly the Notification Center too, the overall usability is going to stay the same. Jony (and Apple)'s basic design philosophy is driven by function so we can expect the functionality to remain intact.
Apple's focus has been on intuitive design. Flat UI is frugal and spartan at its best but it would be interesting to see how Jony Ive's Innsbruck prevents the frugality from confusing people. It seems not likely but still, a major design overhaul will have its own set of criticisms and negative remarks.