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Summary:

Rushing to finish an overhaul to iOS 7 has meant Mac team members have “been roped in to help the mobile software group finish the job,” Bloomberg reports.

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Jony Ive’s effort to overhaul the design of the next version of iOS — which is said to include fewer real-life textures throughout, along with new email and calendar apps — may be more than the iOS team can handle on its own. According to Bloomberg’s account, Apple’s rush to finish iOS 7 for a September launch has meant bringing in members from the Mac software group.

Ive is said to be making the first major design changes to iOS since its introduction in 2007. 9to5Mac reported earlier that the next version will have “very, very flat” design, which means more like Microsoft’s Windows Metro UI than Apple’s current preference for more realistic representations of objects, with 3D, shadowing and textured effects.

As part of his new duties, Bloomberg says Ive is looking over everything, including some of the software’s core applications — Mail and Calendar — as well as “methodically reviewing new designs.”

Designers and developers on Apple’s platform have begun to move ahead with flatter designs of their own over the past year, in some cases making iOS’s preference for overly stylized apps look more dated. And competitors large and small, from Google and Facebook, down to tiny two-person development shops, have innovated on the most basic apps of the iPhone and iPad. So it’s really no surprise that Apple feels the need to rethink its design approach in 2013.

But all this has meant Mac team members have “been roped in to help the mobile software group finish the job,” Bloomberg reports.

It’s not clear what will this mean for the next version of OS X: it is also expected to at least be introduced at WWDC along with iOS 7, and if it follows the pattern of the last few years, it would be on track for a mid-to-late summer launch. The last time Apple had to bring Mac team members over to help finish a version of iOS before its introduction it resulted in a delayed introduction to OS X 10.5 Leopard — the same year the original version of iOS debuted.

  1. I hope Apple does a better job of the UI than Microsoft and Google are doing today.

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  2. Time to merge code base

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  3. While the consensus seems to be that the interface is going to be overhauled (flatter, less texture) it doesn’t seem likely to me that it is for that reason Apple is moving resources to iOS. If they are adding programmers, it must be for core functions. Bringing new functionality to the platform without breaking the old has to be a genuine challenge. Unless Apple is ready to go all-in as they did with the transition from the legacy Mac OS to OS X. This promises to be a very interesting year!

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    1. Thank you for pointing that out! Yes, it’s shaping up to be a very interesting year.

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  4. Michael W. Perry Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    Flat or 3-D, who cares. I’d like to see iOS and OS X give users text services that allow a more efficient work flow between apps and OSs, including rich text in iOS and character/paragraph styles in OS X.

    Text may not be as glitzy as music, but it’s what most of us work with.

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    1. Tell me you wouldn’t kill for a “TextEdit” and “Preview” version for iOS with iCloud support, and i’ll now you’re a liar ;)

      I’ve been hoping for that since i first tried using pages for osx and ios and saw how easy it was for pages, and how difficult it was to find a simple text editor that did the same.

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  5. I sure hope Apple keeps its distinctive graphic look and feel, doesn’t go all flat just because that’s what Windows has done. The day when Apple looks to Microsoft for design cues is the day Apple enters a new, Scully-like eclipse.

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  6. Apple had been keep a distinctive look and feel, even if the new Windows flatness looks fresh. The day Apple starts taking design cues from Microsoft is the day it enters a new Scully-like eclipse.

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  7. Siri on the Mac please. Not sure why it’s not there now. Plenty of firepower

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    1. Because instantly adding 50 million or so new users of the Siri service would probably put too much load on Apple’s servers, don’t you think?

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  8. Looking forward to a refresh. This is Ive we’re talking about here. He will have a distinctive “something” that will turn heads, and add some nice functionality. In time, the Mac OS will adapt the look and functions. It would have to, otherwise they would loose the seamless consistency that Apple is practically build on.

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  9. If only they’d take security seriously at Apple and invest in that – they are at least 10 years behind MS and wide open to virus attacks – fortunately they still maintain such a small market share – real hackers don’t take the platform seriously.

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    1. Small market share? iOS? You are kidding right? You sound like you’ve only just woken up from 1995.

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    2. Yeah, and I suppose they should take iOS security as seriously as Android? There are about 500 million iOS devices in the wild, why haven’t hackers successfully gone after that platform?

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  10. Maybe they should learn from Android rather and give users the option to change the interface to what they would like. I have a number of differenet interfaces and launchers available on my Note 2 :)

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    1. If anyone really cares that much about custom launchers, they’ll just jailbreak

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