Jony Ive reportedly pushing ‘flat design’ in iOS as design teams get cozier

By , Mar 21, 2013

jony ive

Those hoping that Jony Ive’s new role as the head of Apple’s Human Interface design team will have a sooner-than-later impact on the user interface of its mobile operating system will be happy to hear that this may indeed be the case.

A new report by The Wall Street Journal this afternoon claims that Ive is now sitting in on the human interface team’s review sessions to assess new design ideas, and is reportedly pushing for a more “flat design” UI in future iOS releases…

The Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica E. Lessin has the scoop:

“For years, even the esteemed designers of Apple’s mobile iOS operating system, were cut out of the loop on specifics related to new mobile devices their software would be running on, according to several people familiar with Apple’s process. Apple’s industrial design team, led by Jonathan Ive, tapped its own stealth group of software developers to help with prototypes.

That dynamic is changing, according to the people close to the company. The stealth software developers still exist. But now, Apple’s mobile software, or “human interface” team, which has been led by executive Greg Christie, is being briefed about industrial prototypes earlier, these people said. The person described the change as “a thawing.”

Ive, who is well-known for his sleek, iconic hardware designs, now sits in on the human interface team’s regular review sessions to vet new designs, these people said. “

The report goes on to cite sources, saying that Ive is pushing for a more “flat design” that is starker and simpler than that of years’ past. Overall, they expect any changes to iOS to be very conservative. But the inner-collaboration is exciting.

This is just one example, Lessin writes, of how Apple is seeing better cooperation across hardware, software and services—which is exactly what it said it was hoping to achieve in last fall’s executive shakeup that saw Scott Forstall ousted.

We’re not getting our hopes up here, but we’re very anxious to see what Apple has up its sleeves for iOS 7. We’ve heard surprisingly little information about the upcoming software update, which Apple is expected to unveil in June.

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  • Liam Mulcahy

    I hope iOS 7 Is great

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/iHighlightApps iHighlightApps

      I really hope so too! These small modifications and upgrades can only keep us true Apple fans for so long.

      • JamesR624

        I predict that iOS 7 will be JUST like EVERY iOS before it, tiny upgrades that don’t much along with some downgrades just to make Apple more money. I also predict you people will eat it up like you do every year and claim it’s the “best upgrade yet”.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/iHighlightApps iHighlightApps

        Oh great another non-Apple fan on a Apple community website… Why exactly do you waste your time coming here if you don’t like Apple? Just wondering, no disrespect, I just really don’t see the sense in it.

      • Kurt

        We have iOS devices and know that aren’t that great, but want them to be. You THINK they are the best. That’s the problem. I want to see Sebastien and the gang write articles pushing Apple to implement features. As iOS users we don’t really know what features are, but we can learn from Jailbreaker devs and from Android/wp8. Swipeselect/zypher, etc.

      • Kurt

        I said repeatedly that iOS 6 won’t be anything special to people who said, “iOS is so boring and if iOS 6 isn’t a lot better then I’m switching to….” I told these people iOS 6 isn’t going to be great, But I was shocked it was worse then I expected with fewer features and far more bugs. I expect iOS 7 to have more features than iOS 6, but they will be under the hood type that no one really cares about or notices. Real change that is useful, ie, swipeselect, zypher/webOS style of closing apps we will never get. Swipeselect should be in every touch devices from all OSes. So useful!

      • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

        iOS 6 sucks, but iOS 5 was an super awsome update!
        Imassage
        Multitasking gestures
        New music app design(iPad)
        iCloud
        Tab browsing
        Memory usage of every app
        Notification centre
        And a shiton lot more!

        I liked iOS 4, but I would never downgrade back to iOS 4 from iOS 5, like neverever! iOS 6&5 there is no difference.

      • http://www.facebook.com/madmankadz Kadeem Kadz Dulice

        sock ur moda ..

      • http://www.facebook.com/madmankadz Kadeem Kadz Dulice

        lol

      • iospixel

        If iOS 7 lands with the 5s dont except much. If it lands with a new complete reboot (‘The New Iphone’ anyone?) of the iPhone series then I think we will see an imporved task switching system/manager & customization. Nothing to heavy just simple palette changes, maybe ‘Approved’ icon sets & Widgets (Widgets are a stretch, which is why I stress the use of the word approved – Apple just cannot afford to host files that dont work. Its well renowned for its app store eco system and the quality it usually ensures – theres always exceptions of course!) and perhaps a selection of fonts akin to that of the theming system employed by the PS3. Apple cannot afford to alienate its core consumer – Those that wanna buy a HQ phone out of the box that doesn’t require any real setup. Lets be honest jailbreaking is the minority.

        Im almost fed up with the response I get when I reveal my device is jailbroken, they act like it requires an exorcism and that the jailbreak is bound to break my device.

      • Guest

        Apple never claims that it’s the best upgrade, you retard, it always says “best mobile OS”.

      • Hyr3m

        Which is equally untrue…

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      NUMBER ONE FEATURE iOS7 NEEDS: BlockList, for blocking phone calls, texts, emails, etc…. Do not disturb is not even close I don’t want to see it. If that’s a carrier issue than get the carriers involved.

  • King

    Hope Apple bring it on the iPhone 6 and get rid of the home button

    • Jaye

      The home button is iconic. They never should get rid of it. But feel free to disagree and express your own opinion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000603361739 Osama Muhammed

        this button costs so much space in the phone, they can make a smaller one or just a side button in some creative way and free up some space to make even thinner phone, but look,, like really.. look at it. it doesnt even look modern anymore

      • http://twitter.com/adampaulik Adam Paulik

        no botton – less expensive phone :D, and yes since samsung copied iphone style with botton (=> bad iPhone copy = Galaxy) it’s not stylish anymore …

      • dedegarrido

        they should make an zephyr like integration… with a way that would work on simple apps and games… because zephyr can be a pain in the ass if you don’t disable it on games. I use the 4 finger gesture when on games and normal zephyr on “normal” apps… they shoud do the same

      • http://www.facebook.com/micaiah12 Micaiah Martin

        I completely agree. Its one of the physical things that make the iPhone stand out so that you can easily discern it to be Apple made.

    • http://twitter.com/MHCsk MHCsk

      Hardware buttons have their own “magic”. I would be kinda upset, if they did remove it.

    • Mohammed Sahib

      And when an App stops responding and no home button to the rescue, what would we do? Try using the finger gestures on iPad to close down a hanging app. Good luck.

  • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

    Hmmm.. RIGHT person at the RIGHT department. In Jony Ive i trust! iRight ;P

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    iOS is in the safe hands of sir Jonny Ive, much to look forward to… .

    • King

      Best be cause all the Mac’s and iPhone’s have pretty much looked the same for the past 3-5 years -_-

      • JamesR624

        Oh! But with Johny’s design cues, iOS will now look EVEN MORE FUCKING boring. Flat colors and shapes with no design whatsoever. Somehow, people now think that that is the “prettiest” interface yet.

        Imagine Google’s holo interface with all the wonderful limitations of iOS.

        They keep digging their own grave deeper and deeper with every design and employment decision in the last year and a half.

      • Kurt

        +1, Apple has the money, and should just pay up and license the windows phone tiles. Its the best for giving you awesome information (better than widgets) without going into the app. grid of apps is old hat. reminds me of windows 95. At least give us some pages of widgets and tiles that are interactive with social media and then if we want to get to an app, then go into an app drawer with grid of apps. Spilt screen is needed on iPad. With batteries being better than 2009, we no longer need pseudo-multitasking.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        If we wanted tiles we would just buy Windows mobile…. Why fix what’s not broken!

      • http://twitter.com/RyanB823 RyanB

        Exactly.

      • http://twitter.com/RyanB823 RyanB

        Then buy an Android, obviously iOS isn’t for you.

      • Kurt

        I’m sticking with iPad. But I’ll switch to a better phone.

      • Hyr3m

        +10’000

        I look at it this way : iOS is actually still in it’s 1.X version… They released 1.6.X weeks ago and now they’re preparing 1.7.X while people would like some real evolution… a sort of Version 2 – the revenge of the return of the revamped mobile OS.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

        i like this guy’s thinking

      • Kurt

        Without exaggerating. You are so clever. You make some damn good points constantly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

        I agree. But I still want it to look and feel like iOS though.

      • Kurt

        I understand and agree(I think) I want something different then the static icons. At least with Barrel there is some eye candy. I personally would like the icons to act as tiles without the flat look and moving from page to page either no longer have pages or have them twist and roll like with Barrel.

      • http://twitter.com/RyanB823 RyanB

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

      • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

        I am glad it does. Not having to get used to new UI and design changes is nice. Why change something that’s not broken?

  • Eddiepradom

    Lucky number 7

    • Liam Mulcahy

      Yah!!!

  • seyss

    put me in charge of iOS and you people will all get what you want.. as UI OPTIONS.. enable or disable all the features you suggested.
    simple

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Apple should build more customisation options a into iOS. Perhaps have a default basic user mode and an advanced user mode for people who want to do more…

    • Liam Mulcahy

      Me too

    • Guest

      Copy android? Excellent idea

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        No… Different level of user accounts is nothing new. How is this copying Android?

    • Stanley Traub

      U my friend are need serious help if u still believe this will ever happen on the Apple platform :P. That is why android was invented. Most of the people at my school moved on to android and think ios is for children and grandmas like mine who i just recently purchased an ipad 4 for her birthday. Have fun, SENIOR citizen :-P.

      • Kurt

        Sup brotha. That guy is one of the worst on this site. Watch out he will follow you and troll nearly every comment of yours. You have been warned.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        Kurt there is no bigger Fanidroid Troll than you…

      • Kurt

        You’re a troll and an idiot one at that. I don’t and have never owned an Android device. You are a retarded troll. Congratulations. I think it’s nappy nap time now.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        You a closet fanidroid troll and u know it too, don’t be ashamed Kurt, come out of ur closet!

      • Stanley Traub

        Nvm i thought you didn’t remember me lol.

      • Kurt

        Of course I remember your name. That’s why I wrote, warning you of that troll

      • Stanley Traub

        Haha thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        I’ve no doubt you are right, unlikely, but that’s why we have the Evaders… To help us Customise!

    • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

      That’s why I like iOS. We don’t need the customization, because then people can’t tell it’s an apple product (aside from the physical appearance). Have you looked at the themes on Cydia? 90% of them are ugly and if apple allows that…then not so much apple any more. You know an apple product when you see one, we don’t need ugly themes on our phones.

      • Kurt

        iOS is ugly. light gray, and low chroma blue. And things I thought were beautiful in 2007 are old and outdated, in other words-ugly. Change is good. Think different.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

        Not talking about how ios looks. I’m talking about how apple shouldn’t allow custom themes. I’m all for apple changing the way iOS looks, just don’t allow custom themes. And I wish apple would have more customization in other aspects like tweaks and stuff. Just no theme customization.

      • http://twitter.com/RyanB823 RyanB

        1000% agree. Beauty is in eye if the beholder. Personally I love the UI of iOS. If simplicity isn’t your thing, don’t moan about it here, go out and buy an Android.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/iHighlightApps iHighlightApps

    We need more customization, simple is getting boring. People like to be unique and different. What all can we customize right now? Oh right, our wallpaper… Seriously, Apple needs big UI changes.

    • http://twitter.com/RyanB823 RyanB

      No, you need an operating system change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    I’m just waiting for the day they remove all that gloss from the apps icons and some of the navigation bars. Was cool for 2007 but its time to go all matte.

  • Appletiser

    jony (f)ive is alive!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marlon.skatta Marly Marl

    Windows already has a flat UI design

    • BoardDWorld

      That was my thoughts, and I don’t like it…

    • King

      I would like a 3D instead

  • http://twitter.com/pedro2nr Pedro Nieto

    I would have thought this would have already happened since Ive stepped in for software

  • http://www.facebook.com/kooolaj Anuj Mali

    i Hope ios 7 can be Jail Broken ……

  • Joseph

    Jailbreaking your device.and you can use tons of apps that apple doesn’t approved and it can show your personality.Install any tweaks from cydia like nexus livewallpaper,barrel and much more..:-) and of course you have to pay for that tweak..

  • Wierdninja

    Osx going flat and grey. Why the need for retina. Ugggggh. I won’t be upgrading to the new horror if that’s the case. Windows 8 is an eyesore. Please not on my beloved OSx.

  • Marcos Rivas

    iOS 7 …. Something tells me that they are gonna screw up , and don’t get me wrong but they keep giving us what we want little by little so that we keep on buying their products .
    I just want retina on the next mini ! Plus jailbreak ! XD

  • jgr627

    What is going on with the iPad announcement?

  • Kurt

    Flat design, would that be more towards windows 8 style? Naturally not the tiles but menus and whatnot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122495675 Ali Aledany

    hope that it will make me step away from my galaxy s3 and go back to iphone again

  • Hyr3m

    So basically they want to copy the Windows 8/mobile and Office 2013 look? So much for “think different”… when even Apple acts as an iSheep you know it’s the end of the line… Time to get off the train !

  • bigzjoseph

    I’m gonna wait and see what’s new in iOS 7 before I say anything nice

  • http://twitter.com/Cesuva Matthew

    Apple does major upgrades with minor phones and vice versa. The iPhone 4S, a minor upgrade, came with iOS 5, a major upgrade, while the iPhone 5, a major upgrade, came with iOS 6, a minor upgrade. So iOS 7 will be a lot better than iOS 6.

  • wi77iam

    Oh these comments are sometimes so hilarious… :D
    I wish iOS would be more this, or maybe more that.
    Wish Android would rule them all – or maybe rather iOS. (Yeah, let’s not forget WinOS8)
    I wish OSX would be more like Ubuntu Linux
    and Ubuntu Linux more like Windows
    and of course Windows more like OSX

    yeah, and while we’re at it, why can’t Chrysler build their cars more like Bentley?
    Or Bentley their cars more like Porsche?
    And if Volkswagen would build their cars more Mercedes – then they wouldn’t be doomed either! (THAT would be SOOOO ayyywesome…)

    all these complaints, whinings, hubris tells much more about ones individual character than all of your “faulty” smartphone features combined. :-))
    (especially bashing the competition – regardless which plattform – work both directions) ;-)
    you don’t like a product? -> simple solution -> switch to/buy another one (there’s really more than enough out there, seriously…)
    and you don’t have to think about it, if they’re doomed or not – why should you? (maybe bored, no hobbies, no dayjob?)

    Apple, Google, whoever, will release whatever product they feel like and you’re free to buy it or not. simple as that.

    *now to a more serious note*

    Ive was “installed” by Cook for a reason. (Whoever worked in a bigger corporation knows such firings don’t happen just by “accident” and because of one project (maps) gone wrong. Forstall was a top-rank executive over more than a decade at apple. But over the years he might have made some enemies.
    And if I could guess – the retirement and comeback of Mansfield had something to do with it. Cook might figured out, that he needed him more than Forstall.
    Cook was sending a clear message.

    Will the changes be good? I don’t know?
    How fast and radical will it happen? Who knows? (You don’t do that kinda stuff over night – the “rewrite” of OS9 to OSX took at least 3 years)
    (But IF someone is known in the Industry for that kinda stuff – than it’s definitely apple – yeah, and lately Microsoft… but that’s a whole ‘nother story) *rolleyes* ;-)

    I hope that they can incorporate something useful/interesting/new to the iOS plattform – but I’m not pissed if they don’t, because in general I’m satisfied with my iphone. The day I wouldn’t be satisfied anymore – I could change easily – I guess that’s called freedom of choice. (so can YOU.)

  • MrM0N0P0LY

    Just let us change default apps. I haven’t used safari scince google chrome came out, I haven’t used the weather app scince I downloaded yahoo weather. I haven’t used the music app scince I downloaded Denon audio! As long as I can change default apps, ill be happy with iOS 7

  • Michael

    What are the benafits of jail braking your phone

  • Michael

    What are the benBenafits of jail brakeing my phone

  • Carlos Gascue

    We iPhone users are paying a lack of direction at Apple, between the loss of Google Maps on iOS6 and this “piñata” flat icons on iOS7, we are just abonding quality on our iDevices