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Earlier today, our news hound Alex Wagner reported an interesting story from the Wall Street Journal that emphasizes on how the future of iOS might pan out in terms of design. Many of us can agree that iOS has become stale and has virtually stayed the same since 2007 and could use a new facelift and some changes to refresh the interface. In his news article, it’s explained exactly how much iOS is planning on changing; a change is coming, but it may not be necessarily for the better.

Last year, Apple announced that former Senior Vice President of iOS Scott Forstall would be “taking his leave” from the company and being replaced by successor Jonathan (Jony) Ive. According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, this switch has led Apple’s Human Interface Group to receive earlier briefings regarding future mobile hardware designs – which Ive has begun sitting in on sessions to look over the new software himself.

 It has been reported that Ive has revealed some of his plans for the future of iOS, which include taking the overall interface in a starker direction with a “flat interface” to simplify the design.

Stark. Flat. Simple.

I’m sorry, let’s back it for a minute just to make sure: We are talking about  iOS and not Windows Phone, right?

Yep, it’s iOS.

I suppose I can’t be too harsh on the concept without actually knowing exactly what’s going to happen, but I’ll be darned if they didn’t choose a poorer choice of words to create a positive hype regarding the future of this (currently) popular mobile platform. All this time we’ve been rooting for a change, hoping for Apple to throw us even the smallest of bones, and they tell us they would like to flatten the design and simplify it. Pfft.

I do understand that throughout iOS there are some interesting choice of textures that go on throughout the different applications; Game Center has some sort of woodwork/chalkboard thing going on, Reminders has a papery-looking texture to match the standard notebook paper design, even the Notification Center has some sort of thatched denim-like background. So if making the interface flatter and more simplified implies that these textures will be replaced with a more solid color, then fine. That's cool. I can see where it would seem more professional to opt to do so, but if that turns out to be the biggest improvement from one iPhone to the next you can count me out.

I mean, not only is simplifying the interface completely trespassing the limited territory that Windows Phone has, I also feel that it would just be taking Apple in the wrong direction. Right now iOS is a happy medium between Android and Windows Phone - you've got more applications but less customization. The main problem isn't that the interface isn’t simple enough - it's very much simple. It's one of the most simple interfaces and concepts I've experienced with a smartphone. Whether it's because I came from Android to iOS or not, I'll never know, but I can honestly say I've never once heard somebody say "This is too hard for me to operate, please put me into an Android."

The only way I could see this panning out for Apple is if they implemented some irresistible and useful features (also, admittedly, an even bigger screen - more specifically, a wider screen to match up with the height) to compete with higher-end Android devices. I think most fans of Apple products can admit that simplifying the interface is not going to solve the steady decline of iOS users. They should enhance the features they already have and build from there.

I sincerely hope that this is not the defining feature of iOS 7, and I don’t want to jump ahead of myself by saying that I'm completely crazy for thinking that Apple has a fighting chance at winning users over with the next iPhone. Clearly we are not starting off on the wrong foot. So as it stands...

Readers That Called Anna Crazy: 1

Anna: 0

This is not over! I don't think.

Image via MacSpoilers


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44 Reactions to this post

"Is "flat and simplistic" what Apple needs to push forward, or is it taking two steps back?"


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Andrew Bissel They're gonna become a device made for the simple minded. That's their goal
Brandon Edward Glenn sounds like they are going to do what HTC did with Sense 5
Devin Martinez Hmmmm...I miss Steve Jobs...(sigh)
Dino Dimakopoulos Like ive said, Apple is slowly but surely narrowing down its audience. In my experience, anyone that owns an iPhone today usually doesn't care about doing a handful of things with a phone.
Tim Ropp Yeah the iPhone is way too complex for normal consumers. They should really tone down the functionality, customizability, and OS to make it way more consumer friendly. Until I feel like I don't have to have a computer degree to operate one, I'm sticking to my Galaxy
Teron Facey They always taken two steps back. Anybody who says iOS isn't boring has to much pride in being a fanboy.
Josh Billingsley Thought it already was already simplified and flat! Lol
Douglas Prevo I hate to give any exec benefit of the doubt, the but words "flat" doesn't scream marketing term. So even I... who has minimal iOS interaction on a daily basis (though I do own a few iProducts) must give pause before assuming flat strictly means worse.
Gary Guiles Dmello tech lovers like this page>> https://www.facebook.com/thetechdaily?ref=hl
David Tambascio Waaaaay Back!!! iOS needs a major UI overhaul with larger devices to even consider a move to Crapple. They should also stop suing everybody!!!
Jason Vargas The thing they need to understand is that you can't make everyone happy with one device/OS. Consumers need options because not every consumers the same. The reason One phone One OS worked before is because the options that were around before iPhone were Terrible. Now that Android has matured and people see it as a "Finished" product rather than laggy and slow they it and also get to choose what device they want Android on. Apple needs more options with iOS or they to push out another line of iPhones. There's not one iPod. There's not one iPad. There's not one Mac so there shouldn't be one iPhone
Sam Rick Lol flatter than it already is??! OK then.
Nichson Tiang Apple had failed terribly once and Steve Jobs brought it back to life....now he's gone...Apple is going back to where it belongs...
Edward Gonse There will always be a market for the iPhone and its simplistic iOS. More people love the user intuitiveness factor that iOS offers. It's not as flashy and sparkly as android but ultimately it just "flat out" gets the job done. Where android strives at the awe effect, iOS strives at the "Do you want this done, or not..." effect. I personally love and loathe both operating systems. However in my humble opinion, I believe that Android offers a lot of customization to the consumer, but at a lot of points, offers a little too much bloat of customization to the point where the consumer is overwhelmed by it. I choose iOS. Yes it's boring and in some cases lagging behind the capabilities of android but it sticks to the formula of what a smartphone should be in terms of functionality and performance. Reminds me of blackberry in its hay day. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am in fact...an iSheep. Baaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!
Anthony Peña Poor Apple look at what you've become.
Regina Branham I think the damn thing should electrocute you if you hold on to it consecutively for a certain period of time - not a fatal shock - just strong enough of a jolt to make you put it down and think twice about picking it back up again - (speaking mostly about teenagers here) - lol......
Regina Branham What the hell else you want it to do? Grow legs and arms and walk and hold onto you while you use it?
Dee Nazario As if it wasn't "flat and simplified" enough.
Nazwan Kamal simple is one thing but BORING is another. it is a real slim line it between those two.. the ios ATM is borderline boring..
Aaron Cantu its too simplistic... even grandmas can use them
Sebastian Gomes I guess iOS is too complicated for iSheep
F. Jay Ver Cupertino start your copiers?
Jerry Goldbaum Yeah, Apple is suffering. SMH.
?mraan Arabïa LOLzzzzzz... Steve Jobs has taken away all the apple Goodwill and Innovation with him... so, Apple is suffering... hahaha... F**K Apple
Orion Pax Some of you people are clueless. Talking about Samsung has the best technology. No. Google has the best technology.
Willie Lucero It's been flat and simple since 2007, now it's flat, simple, and boring
Frank Porter Exactly. It's simple enough
Lanh Nguyen how much more simplistic are they trying to make a 4x4 grid of icons?
Kyle Krause Lol this is why I switched to android, got a note 2 and will never go back to apple, iphones arent bad phones there just very plain its all up too what you like.
CeeGii Borels how can you make BLAND into FLAT?
Kevin Joel I like WP so apple might have my attention!
Robert Wellington Clubine III Some people like simple but it does not mean that these people are not technical. I like it simple.
Kevin Joel Going windows phone?
Finn Evans Lol that's going to be so simple that an infant could use it, which is what apple is dedicated to rather than highly intellect people. You should keep going apple, soon your shares will be dropped significantly and you'll be irrelevant.
Kevin M Butler Is Apple copying Microsoft now?
Lance Tomlinson Sweet its going from zzz to ZZZ
Steve Bachman Apple has lost it!
Anselme Motcho What about revamped iOS. I think that's what the people want.
Jay Alford I don't think it can be any more simpler than what it is.....I mean, seriously.
Anthony Charles Boyd it is boring
Yan Zhenghao First was Google, and there came Apple.. :( copying Microsoft
Sum David to compete with samsung iPhone must be developed in higher technologies...
Azizul Hakim how simpler could it be?




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