It’s goodbye to faux wood, felt and metal as Apple unveils a sleek new UI design for iOS7, the first major UI project released under the direction of Sir Jonathan Ive
The new-look iOS7 was unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco after months of speculation that, under Ive’s direction, the company was about to ditch its increasingly outmoded attachment to skeuomorphism.
Apple claims that “as we reconsidered iOS, our purpose was to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable” in a press statement that seems keen to stress the idea that the new look is not simply an exercise in styling. “Redesigning the way it works led us to redesign the way it looks. Because good design is design that’s in service of the experience,” Apple say.
iOS7 is simpler, cleaner, flatter. It makes extensive use of what looks to be Helvetica Neue Ultra Light creating a much lighter feel.
To compare before and after, take a look at the previous design for the compass
Compared to the new compass in iOS7 (below and below right)
Also, take a look at Newsstand (far left) – no more hideous fake wooden shelving
Here’s the new-look calendar
and weather where, Apple says “Hail bounces off text, and fog passes in front of it. Storm clouds come into view with a flash of lightning. And suddenly, checking the weather is like looking out a window.”
Apple claims that the redesign provides “a new structure, applied across the whole system, that brings clarity to the entire experience. The interface is purposely unobtrusive. Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away. Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed. And in taking away design elements that don’t add value, suddenly there’s greater focus on what matters most: your content.”
We’ve only got screen grabs to go on so far (the new iOS won’t be publicly available until the autumn) so we’re unable to vouch for the UI experience or any of the little touches that Apple is claiming will make iOS7 a delight to use but it certainly looks a vast improvement on the previous design.
But … it’s an improvement on an existing model. A much-needed, very well produced upgrade. But it’s not a paradigm shift. It’s not a new approach or a reimagination of the way in which we interact with our screens. It doesn’t change our thinking or revolutionise an industry in the way that Apple has done so many times before. In that regard, it could be argued that Microsoft with Windows Phone 8 has been more innovative, more daring.
For that “Oh my God moment” it’s necessary to turn to another innovation announced at Apple’s WWDC, the new, 9.9-inch tall Mac Pro desktop computer, which looks like this. Wow
Pink Floyd fans may recognise the cover of our June issue. It’s the original marked-up artwork for Dark Side of the Moon: one of a number of treasures from the archive of design studio Hipgnosis featured in the issue, along with an interview with Aubrey Powell, co-founder of Hipgnosis with the late, great Storm Thorgerson. Elsewhere in the issue we take a first look at The Purple Book: Symbolism and Sensuality in Contemporary Illustration, hear from the curators of a fascinating new V&A show conceived as a ‘walk-in book’ plus we have all the regular debate and analysis on the world of visual communications.
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