iOS 6 color-matches status bar to the app you’re running

By , Jun 12, 2012

Here’s another little tweak in Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system that didn’t got any mention at yesterday’s WWDC keynote. According to the agile Reddit community, the status bar in iOS 6 changes color to match the app you’re running.

This subtle visual hint doesn’t seem to work with all apps (yet) so it’s probably something that needs to be enabled by third-party developers. It’s kinda cool, check out the screenies right below…

This has been first spotted on Reddit (via Cult of Mac). Even some of stock apps do this, like Settings and Mail that change the status bar to blue when in the foreground.

As you can see in the above screenshot, both the latest versions of Facebook Messenger and Skype apps already support this functionality.

Of course, a bunch of apps on the App Store override standard status bar with their own version of the navigationbar class so it wasn’t immediately clear whether the operating system itself paints the status bar automatically for apps that otherwise would use the standard status bar or if this is something that needs to be enabled via new APIs.

Here’s another screenshot of the myRevenue and eBay apps.

I’m not sure what to make of this.

If I’m running an app, I’m running an app and I don’t need any additional hint. Matching my status bar to the currently running app’s color theme does nothing to enhance my experience.

Quite the contrary, it’s a visual distraction.

Apple attempted a similar thing by introducing translucent menu bar in OS X Leopard, provoking an outrage from the Mac community that eventually led to a new toggle in Snow Leopard to switch off this annoying “feature” in Settings.

Something tell me jailbreak developers will soon create a tweak to take care of this.

What do you guys think?

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  • http://twitter.com/Melvin_livefree Melvin Samuelsson

    Quite nice actually

  • http://policydiary.com/ John S. Wilson

    I think it’s helpful, actually. And depending on what you’re doing you may not know which app you’re in. Looks nice visually too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145407698 Oliveira Andre

    its cool..but..

  • http://twitter.com/Tjibba  Tjibbe de Haan

    Hmm, i just thought the status bar was transparent, like iOS 5

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000497451387 Daniel Bohlsen

      WELL. U THOUGHT WRONG!!!

  • http://twitter.com/samwonson sam

    Imagine the lag it could cause with a tweak like Zephyr though.

    • ReanimationXP

      Yeah.. it could add a whole 0ms to the whole.. wait. The fuck are you talking about?

  • http://twitter.com/amad_ahmed01 Amad

    200 new features? i just about counted 10-15 and most of them have been copied for cydia tweaks.

    • House Lannister

      and your point is what exactly?

    • http://twitter.com/jkgao Junkang Xie

      Have you even experienced the full iOS 6 yet? How can you make an absurd claim just based on the pictures you’ve seen. If you have iOS 6, then use it more extenstively before you just come out and bash it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=568052448 Raven Woods

      That’s a good thing because Cydia apps mostly rock so Apple should bring them around!

    • Deranger86

      Without iOS, there would be no Cydia. Know who’s boss.

  • http://twitter.com/iHamzaDev iHamzaDev

    Seems like a nice idea to me. I’ve been getting tired of seeing the same old boring status bar. Now I see something different, which is nice.

  • http://twitter.com/EnvJones Tupacaveli

    Yeah i like it looks fresher!

  • jose castro

    its cool but i wonder if it drains battery?

    • http://twitter.com/ProZack27 Zachary Sloane

      your brain drains my battery.

      • jose castro

        Nice D!ck……. very childish. grow the fvck up

      • http://twitter.com/ProZack27 Zachary Sloane

        I’m very grown up. People like you that assume everything drains battery annoy me. You think a minor little color change is going to drain your battery? pfff

      • ReanimationXP

        This is not a tweak. It’s a native change. Not to mention it’s only a change of color. Why the holy hell would that induce battery drain? Some of you kids should be stripped of your computer privileges, I swear.

        If only there were an IQ test required to use the computer. The internet would be a beautiful place.

  • ReanimationXP

    It achieves a similar effect to the Apple system bar in OSX. Whatever’s ‘behind’ it (in this case, the app.. in a way..) is incorporated into its’ color. Makes sense to me.. and looks more unified. What’s the problem?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000027514739 Will Fancher

      But that’s not what’s happening. As a programmer, I can tell you the toolbar at the top of any app is not behind the status bar. It sits right under it. So this is just copying the color and making it a bit darker, which to me, feels off. I don’t like it.

      • ReanimationXP

        Dude, I’m a developer too. You don’t have to be one to figure out that’s probably why I said “in a way” and “achieves a similar effect”.

        I can’t stand when “programmers” throw that term around to try and act smart.

  • JamesR624

    This is HORRIBLE. First they fragmented the shit out of the UI across stock apps, then they screwed with the Music app, and now this. iOS may not have version fragmentation like android but it’s UI fragmentation is just as bad. What happened to consistency? Anyone getting a 4S or “new” iPhone in the fall will be so confused. It seems that EVERYTHING steve did to make the company successful, Cook is actively trying to undo all that. I know he wants to be his own person and everything but this is just him not having any idea what he’s doing and fucking everything up. Mark my words, by 2018, Apple will be near bankruptcy just like it was in 1998.

    • billypuntove

      I’m marking your words.

    • deepdvd

      Of all the posts, this is the one that brought out that rant? A small color change to the status bar? Wound up a bit are we?

    • http://www.facebook.com/tyler155 Tyler Chervo

      Dynamic changing status bars? DAMN YOU STARIGHT TO HELL APPLE!

    • http://twitter.com/robotphood Mickey

      Your claims are absurd. Apple could survive well past that without making a dime at this point. It’s also absurd to think people will be confused by a few ui changes that mainly involve color. It still WORKS the same. Besides, the millions that use non stock apps won’t even notice.

      Hell, the millions of android users have no confusion and there is a huge difference between versions and even the numerous skins out there. It’s a phone, not rocket science.

    • Brent

      You’re obviously an idiot. I would explain why but everyone else who read your post already knows why.

  • M_AlO

    How is it a visual distraction? You won’t keep staring at it the whole time you’re in an app.. I like it. I think it’s a cool little tweak..

  • Zorvage

    I like it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/masonicninja Michael Scott Allen

    I’m wishing there was a tweak to enable it now. It’s one less thing to tell me it’s a phone. Even the status bar becomes part of the experience. Yeah, I disagree. This is really nice and I wish I could use it now.

  • http://twitter.com/MataNataM Matan BuzAglo

    i don’t think it’s color-matching but a kind of half-transparency of the status bar

  • http://about.me/jonathanbruck Jonathan Bruck

    Isn’t it just a shadow that darkens the color below it?

  • http://twitter.com/kylebshr Kyle Bashour

    I like it.

  • http://twitter.com/Young_SMIL Young $MiL ♫⚄

    Me too I think that a tweak will soon be awailable to get back the old statusbar. Indeed jailbraek devs should make a good tweak to enhace the statustbar in iOS 5/6

  • http://twitter.com/iKrill Antonio Santos

    This is awesome. Why would you want jailbreak developers to take care of that?

  • Aric Bolf

    I like the translucent menu bar on my iMac. When i went to check the difference of it, i found an option to move the scroll bar arrows to either end of the scroll bar. I’ll see if that’s how i want it.

    Look for one thing, find another. LOL

  • Luis Castro

    I’m liking it. Will see how I feel about that once I’ve used it.

  • Mohd Syazwan Zainal

    Its just a status bar. Whats a big deal?

  • http://twitter.com/Asad_1nfam0us ᗩsad ᔕhahab (Wild ᗩ)

    Its something you wont really notice, but its better than the silver bar
    Its pretty cool

  • PostingMadly

    It’s downright annoying. Geez Apple do I need my @$& wiped too?

    • M_AlO

      Why is it annoying?

  • Wael Abdo

    elegant

  • http://twitter.com/cup_holder Cup Holder

    I like it a lot

  • http://twitter.com/workaholocaust Michael

    tacky.

  • http://twitter.com/MeisterBrake Fermin Osorio

    what a change for apple… ios 5.1.1 came out and now we have ios 6… steve we need you ;(

  • hatfinch

    Occam’s razor: Instead of hypothesising that if you set a BOOL the status bar automatically tries to match your toolbar’s tint, why not hypothesise that you set the status bar’s tint directly?

  • Damian Grunwald.

    If there is tweak like that on cydia, what is it called, please? Thanks.

  • Brent

    I can’t imagine this won’t be an optional feature for developers. It will probably be great for some apps and not so good in others. The good developers will most likely make good use of this change, the bad ones make ugly apps anyway so not much will change there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.manning.9026 Jordan Manning

    can you change the colour from blue to anything else?