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Apple reportedly steps up iOS 7 work

John Cox | May 6, 2013
Sleeker, 'flatter' UI design in works at Apple for iPhone, iPad software; September release on track

"While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September, internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases, people said." And this is just what one would, or should, expect.

So Satariano's sources tell him that iOS 7, even if parts of it are "behind schedule" now, is still expected by Apple to be released, apparently as planned, in September 2013. Shifting deadlines and adjusting schedules is a standard part of managing a complex software development process, or any product development. And the September date fits perfectly with Tim Cook's recent statement that Apple will begin announcing new hardware, software and services in the fall of 2013.

What isn't known publicly is whether the possible "system-wide" overhaul includes important new APIs, features or services in the core of the OS. In that same Branch conversation, Federico Viticci (@viticci), editor in chief of MacStoriesNet, laid out some areas where Apple could make big improvements.

"Aside from a UI update, Apple should use WWDC [the annual Worldwide Developers Conference this June] to introduce AND explain new functionality," Viticci wrote. "Fix iCloud and improve its syncing. Showcase examples on stage. Improve iOS inter-app communication and explain it publicly. Admit that some things sucked/sucks (Maps debacle, international Siri) and lay out new plans. More than a 5S [phone announcement], I think new iOS announcement can make a lot of people excited and curious again. Aside from that, some things just need to be fixed or improved."

Ive was given responsibility for the UI design -- the visual and tactile interaction of the user with his iOS device -- and for the overall "user experience" after a high-level shakeup by CEO Tim Cook last fall that ousted longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall. No reason was given though pundits focused on the poor performance of, and response to, the new Apple Maps service. Cook felt compelled to issue a rare Apple apology. As part of the change, the OS X and underlying iOS core software teams were united under Senior Vice President Craig Federighi.


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