Future versions of iOS could have simulated 3D UI

By , Jun 27, 2012

One of the main complaints I get about iOS is that it’s getting boring (these people are obviously not jailbreaking). And to be fair, the platform hasn’t really changed much since it was introduced back in 2007.

But maybe Apple’s finally looking to switch things up. We’ve already seen some cool new tweaks in iOS 6, like the auto-tilting sliders. And now the word is, we could be in for some even bigger UI changes…

Buzzfeed‘s Benjamin Jackson claims that he has heard Apple is playing with the idea of making UI elements in future versions of iOS, 3D.

“One Apple employee (who I can’t name as the company does not allow employees to speak on the record without approval from media relations) said that in the future, your phone will show drop shadows based on the actual position of the light in the room, as detected by the phone’s ambient sensor — and everything in the UI will be rendered in 3D on the fly.”

Initially, this might sound crazy. But if you think about it, it’s completely feasible. For one, we’ve already seen software-based 3D technology (it was based on head-tracking, but still similar). And two, Apple has already dipped its toe in the water with the aforementioned auto-tilting sliders.

The Cupertino company has long been rumored to be bringing 3D tech to its iOS devices. And we have to admit, this light-based solution (or camera/accelerometer-based) sounds much more Apple-like than dedicated 3D hardware.

Of course, this is all speculation at this point. There is literally zero evidence that the above-mentioned feature is coming to devices any time soon. Or at all for that matter.

But hey, it could happen. The question is, would you want it to?

[Link to the wallpaper, compliments of iDB reader Jorge] [TheNextWeb]

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  • http://twitter.com/Grolubao Grolubao

    But what’s the added value?

  • http://www.facebook.com/martindunsmore Martin Dunsmore

    If it looks like the above image then no!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183077878 Timothy Rooney

    Seems pointless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Whathappenedon-Thefishingtrip/100002909187161 Whathappenedon Thefishingtrip

    Well, if it’s anything like the shot above it is utter crap. It looks cheap and tacky and certainly not up to the standards expected of Apple.

    If this were to happen, Steve Jobs will be turning in his grave and we will all be signing, R.I.P Apple!

    • quietstorms

      Geez, it’s a mockup. Why does everyone always flip out over badly photoshopped pictures?

    • http://twitter.com/Nashafa Nathan

      no duh… cydia can be found

    • David Villamizar

      It’s a wallpaper, deal with it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.smith.5437923 Justin Smith

      wow fanboy, stop freaking out. at the very worst if this is not a cydia tweak. then it will be optional. get out of your blanket and bomb shelter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1368694057 Jean Claude Tohme

    Give us this wallpaper please. It’s awesome and makes icon look like 3D. Can you share a link to the wallpaper ?

    • http://twitter.com/davcc223344 davidcanfield

      Email me @davidccanfield@gmail.com and I will reply with one like it

    • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

      It’s at the bottom of the article.

  • http://andynico.tumblr.com/ Andy Nicolaides

    Apple need to improve their batteries *a lot* before this happened. What a pointless drain to be constantly tracking light and position to add that horrible effect.

    • Falk M.

      the light sensor is permanently active either way afaik.
      It takes almost zero battery to read it.

      I agree though, battery tech (not Apple’s research field btw) needs to get better!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.M.Mamdouh Mohamed Mamdouh Mohamed

    well, given Apple’s love for details and the animated settings icon in OTA update screen in ios 6 Beta 2, I think we will definitely see some new GUI elements in the future whether 3D is one of them or not. Although this doesnt add any real function, it definitely makes ios more attractive (which is one of the main reasons Why I prefer it over android and I’m sure other users do too ).
    So yes I’ld love to see this new feature :)

  • jeffyg3

    I think iOS needs something new…it is getting very boring and archaic, especially after playing with the new updates to the slick and quick features of Windows Phones, even Android feels pretty archaic and boring compared to the newer versions of the Windows Phon OS. I am in the developer program and I’m beta testing iOS 6 beta 2, and it’s a very ho-hum release. There’s nothing exciting about it, seems just like little uninspired tweaks and features that are kinda low key, and I dislike the new Apple maps. Apple needs to do something about their UI, they need something new and fresh, cause it is pretty boring and archaic nowadays…I guess 3D will be fine, as long as its tagged with a new fresh modern UI and some good features.

  • Loopthree

    I actually think it sounds awesome (but it would obviously need to be more elegant than the image posted!). I also think that they would need to think hard about the battery drain.

    • quietstorms

      Since it supposedly works off the ambient light sensor and gyroscope I assume they wouldn’t be much of a change, if any, on battery life.

      • Loopthree

        Constant 3D UI rendering. You don’t think that would drain the battery?

      • Falk M.

        It’s just drop shadows… It’s about as “intense” as transparent GUI elements.

        These kinds of things sucked battery 5 years ago maybe, but nowadays it’s something that’s idling the GPU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Cooper/100000164561256 Matthew Cooper

    I dont want it. Be just another thing affecting my battery life. Besides 3D was cool in the 80’s, let it die

  • http://twitter.com/ThePirateKid ThePirateKid

    LoL jokes

  • http://twitter.com/workaholocaust Michael

    I was jailbreaking my iPhone 4 for well over a year and I still got bored. iOS 6 is still just a grid of squares. Apple is grabbing at straws now. I loved my iPhone 4, but I’ve moved on. I still look forward to see what they will do because I am a fan of tech, but I am more than happy with my Galaxy S3.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.m.simon Stephen Michael Simon

      Got bored? Never been a selling point for me whether or not I was going to get “bored” with my phone. I also don’t play games and bs like that on my phone either, so this may be why.

  • Wael Abdo

    hehe, looks nice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5617613 Jon Doty

    This is baseless speculation fueled by the recent discovery of a volume slider GUI control in iOS 6 that changes its reflectivity as you tilt the phone. Jackson is wrong when he claims that the ambient sensor can detect the position of light sources in a room. All it does is measure the intensity of ambient light. There is no directional information and so this feature is technically impossible. The front-facing camera can tell the position of light-sources, but only within its field of view and even then only if you constantly process the video feed (which would be a major battery killer).

  • http://twitter.com/steph_assouline Stephanie Assouline

    I happen to like the icons the way they are currently. I jailbreak for the tweaks, not necessarily to theme my iPhone. I’d have to vote a no on possibly making the future iOS versions 3D.

  • Cliff Martin

    That’s why I love Android. Even an non-jail-broken or non-rooted (as its called in the Android World) Android phone’s U.I. or “Skin” can be chg’d dramatically by way of the multitude of U.I. changing Apps in Google Play Store. Apple seems to think u & I should be happy using the same, stinking, old U.I. day in, day out. Like wearing the same exact clothing every day. Yuk!

    • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

      I had a HTC Evo 3D and I couldn’t get rid of the idiotic HTC Sense without rooting(which was not possible on the particular model)

  • Cliff Martin

    Henry Ford REFUSED to paint original Model-T Ford car any color except BLACK. He only chg’d his mind once GM starting out selling the Model T b/c they offered their cars in different colors. Go figure. Apple is the same way. They’ve been drinking the Steve Job CoolAid for yrs. & yrs. It will take long time b/4 they realize they’ve got to give people option to chg the U.I. some.