Jonathan Ive (headshot and title)

It’s been six months since Tim Cook reshuffled Apple’s leadership team, firing iOS architect Scott Forstall over his abrasive management style and unwillingness to collaborate with other members of the executive team, namely Apple’s industrial design guru, the 46-year-old Jonathan Ive.

As a result of the shake-up, Ive has assumed much broader responsibilities that now encompass all of Apple’s design, both the look and feel of its hardware and software.

Apple’s press release stated that America’s most influential Briton “will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company” and today Bloomberg sheds more light on the difficulties Ive faces in the massively challenging overhaul of iOS 7, Apple’s mobile operating system powering iPhones, iPads and iPods…

Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:

Ive, 46, has begun revamping iPhone and iPad applications, shunning realistic images, such as wood bookshelves for the Newsstand feature, and he’s exploring more dramatic changes to the e-mail and calendar tools, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

The designer’s broader responsibilities were on display back in March when he led a more than two-hour town-hall meeting at the De Anza 3 auditorium in Cupertino.

According to two people familiar with the gathering, Apple’s boss Tim Cook reportedly sat listening as Ive spoke “at length about the shifts under way.” The designer is also said to be attending meetings with Apple’s software people headed by Greg Christie “to offer feedback.” 

He has listened respectfully in those sessions and has been careful not to try to force through his ideas, this person said. He also is giving them an earlier look at what future hardware products will look like, one person said.

The changes in iOS 7 obviously include a flatter user interface appearance:

On top of that, Ive is moving the company away from layered and literal – or skeuomorphic – design elements, toward ones that are intended to give the software a flatter design that’s more unified and less cluttered, according to people familiar with the changes.

Bigger shifts, to such features as e-mail, may not even be ready this year and may be introduced in future releases, people said.

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac reported earlier this week that the new user interface in iOS 7 is “very, very flat,” losing all signs of gloss, shine and, yes, skeumorphism. According to one of Gurman’s sources, iOS 7 has a “level of flatness approaching recent releases of Microsoft’s Windows Phone ‘Metro’ UI.”

Ive, who “rarely interacted” with former iOS boss Scott Forstall, has reportedly taken interest in gesture technologies and has apparently “met with makers of gesture technology” as he’s interested in “altering how people control their computers.”

Bloomberg notes that even though engineers are “racing” to finish iOS 7 in time for a June preview at WWDC 2013, no release date has been set yet.

Apple is apparently shooting for a September release of iOS 7, but it could get pushed back as “internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases.”

While Jobs would force through ideas that he wanted the company to prioritize, Cook has emphasized collaboration. The internal debates are leading to a more deliberate approach for product and marketing decisions, according to a person at a company that does business with Apple.

Are you looking forward to the Ive-ification of iOS 7?

  • Not too sure if I am or not.

  • Of course I am. Whatever Ive comes up with, I think it will, hopefully, change the iOS UI into something exciting.

  • Gorgonphone

    IVE IS A BAD CHOiCE FOR UI DESIGN.. making it flat is not what IOS needs it just need more creativity and cool flashy engaging UI experience

    • Matthew

      That is just a guess. It doesn’t mean iOS 7 will be flat.

      • Even if it is, it’s his call not yours or mine 🙂

    • skeuomorphic design FTW…i think I’m one of the few people who aboslutely hate the windows mobile UI.

  • New UI sounds good 🙂

  • Chee Yu Yang

    change the ios ui goddammit ! its been 6 years !
    NO dont change the ios ui, its what make iphone iphone !

    steve was right, people dont know what they want untill they see it

  • Really looking forward for ios 7 or maybe 8 hahaha i hope his idea are fresh

  • Lordthree

    Just wanted to point out how insanely poor this sentence structure is –

    ” Jony Ive broad assumed responsibilities encompassing all of Apple’s design efforts that now include both hardware and software design.”

    Broad assumed? Yea…

    • Kurt

      Ziberg is a great writer, you couldn’t come near to his abilities. Pop that inflated head of yours…your pride is obnoxious.

      • I concur,thank you Kurt.

      • moofer

        The phrasing sucks.

      • sure because your spelling and grammar are always flawless

      • For once, i agree with you Kurt.

      • Kurt

        That wasn’t very nice

      • i didn’t say anything mean its just funny when someone attacks someone else for a typo or misspelling or grammatical errors.. No one types, writes, or spells to perfection every time around… it’s arrogant without cause

    • fixed the typo

      • Lordthree


    • Ahhhhhh shatup!

  • Fraz Someone

    Here I was thinking that it would be released in June this year :S

  • “Mind-tricking” the iOS 7 eh? Master Ive Kenobi? LOl

  • maverickmax

    “flat….very very flat”…that erk’s me…

    • moofer

      Good thing it doesn’t irk you.

    • yeah i agree. Makes it sound badly done before its actually done, doesn’t it?

  • I just hope, if this is true, that they are able to solve some of the problems with flat design. Flat design usually means more emphasis on colors than it does on shapes. So while minimizing the gloss and shine, you’ll be making up for it somewhere else and this has to be done in such a way that developers can update their apps. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • all other mobile os are more sexy and interesting than iOS…
    Certainly a change is welcome

  • I’m really looking forward to this. It’s about time the UI and appearance of iOS has gotten a facelift. Now if only they’d end OS X already and move on to a brand new desktop… OS XI anyone? lol.

  • Though, I will admit that I find the Windows Phone Metro UI to not only be entirely unattractive, but as unintuitive as it is on Windows 8. I hate it. I hate it so much that I’d rather give up my iPhone and use an Android phone than have to use Metro.

  • If it’s a flat UI, it won’t be terribly different. Just subtle enough to appease the minimalistic crowd. They can’t change everything in one year at the risk of confusing the hell out of people and losing the customer satisfaction

  • Can’t wait for the re-fresh. It is definitely time.