20 Comments

Summary:

Apple announced changes on Monday to iOS 7 at the company’s WWDC conference in San Francisco. The company has revamped and refreshed the overall design and feel of the operating system.

horizantal iPhone iOS 7 screenshot home screen

Apple has announced a major overhaul of iOS 7 on Monday at the company’s WWDC event, totally refreshing the design and feel of the interface. Apple CEO Tim Cook called it “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.”

“It’s about bringing order to complexity,” Jony Ive said in the introductory video. “To create it, we brought together a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as defining an important new direction, and in many ways, a beginning.”

iPhone iOS 7 unveil homepage redesign flat design

Consumers will be able to download iOS 7 “in the fall,” the company said.

A few of the changes: the slide to unlock button is now vertical, the app icons and keyboard are translucent, the weather app has major updates, and control buttons recede when you’re browsing Safari. iMessage bubble icons for text no longer have shadows on them — they’re totally flat, along with many of the new features. The notification section is expanded to show more room, and in Safari mobile, users won’t be limited to 8 tabs anymore.

The iOS camera app gets in on the filters game with filters of its own, and now you’ll be able to view photos by location in the camera roll. Interestingly, these groupings of photos by time and location are called “moments” — which is the exact term Path uses for its posts.

My colleauge Erica Ogg has more descriptions and insights on the changes in our liveblog from the event, and the full description of changes are in Apple’s press release.

Siri has also gotten some updates, including multiple languages and the addition of both male and female voices. Siri can now increase brightness or turn on and off brightness. Apps will also now update automatically.

Apple also announced the launch of iTunes Radio, a streaming music service to compete with Pandora, which we have more details on here.

Cook noted that the company has now sold over 600 million iOS devices, and highlighted stats showing user satisfaction with iOS products compared to Android. He noted that 90 percent of iOS users are using the latest version of iOS.

We had already been expecting big changes coming to the design of iOS 7. Prior to the event there were reports that it would look more modular and less skeumorphic, echoing the trend toward “flat design” that’s been sweeping all sorts of apps and systems on mobile. With Ive in charge of Human Interfaces, we had expected to see changes to the software that mirrored Apple’s hardware capabilities.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 11.32.35 AM

We wrote how some developers haven’t seen Apple as being at the forefront of mobile design, recently, and how an iOS refresh might change this. There were also reports that in order to get iOS 7 out the door, the team was scrambling to finish it and grabbed members of the OS X software team to help.

You can check out all of our coverage of the other Apple announcements here. We’ll be highlighting the future of interface design at our annual RoadMap conference in San Francisco in November. Tickets will go on sale later this Summer, and to learn more about the event sign up here.

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  1. Apple is copying Android! Lol

    1. @Mandghih

      If it crashes every couple of hours and has horrible sound/notification control and shortens battery life then yes it would be every bit like Android then.

      1. Re Android: all true. Even so, Android kicks ass.

  2. Flat design aesthetic = a page from Windows 8. It makes sense because of the whole issue of screen real estate on mobile. Maybe we’re entering the “post tailfin” era of GUI design.

  3. Boy, it’s ugly.

  4. elvenminstrel Monday, June 10, 2013

    It’s a little nightmare-ish. I do hope that’s not what it’s really gonna look like.

  5. Mike Sellers Monday, June 10, 2013

    I love when Fandroids bitch about ‘copying’.

    Seriously.

  6. I personally think it’s quite beautiful and a step in the right direction. Especially that pull-up menu there.

  7. Nicholas Paredes Monday, June 10, 2013

    My impression is that a lot of this stuff existed in parts of the OS and that the update makes the OS more coherent. Remember that what matters is how it looks on device. Also remember that this is an update that will be in progress for a year or two. Look at how long it has taken Android to clean up it’s act.

    I don’t believe that it is a rip off of Android. Google makes some of the best iOS apps available, and they definitely don’t make me wish that my primary OS was Android. iOS 7 feels more tech like than the current Android designs. I like the detail in the objects.

  8. Beautiful UI, ugly icons.

  9. They didn’t plan this change until the Windows tablet came out, which proves they are worried about the competition.

    I find this “upgrade” quite pathetic. Yes I own an iPad, but regret it as iOS is crappy.

    What is even a bigger joke are the people who actually think a tablet replaces a PC.

    1. Nicholas Paredes Tdc7 Monday, June 10, 2013

      I’ll be buying a MacPro because the iPad replaces nearly everything I do on the road or in meetings.

  10. Major update! But all what I read are minor changes.. what am I missing?

    1. You are missing Apple’s reality distortion field

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