iPhone 6 will run iOS 7, which will look really, really different
Exactly how it will be and look different remains unclear, despite a fair amount of detail in Mark Gurman's post at 9to5Mac, which is based on his talks with anonymous, multiple "sources."
It's now widely expected that Apple will disclose iOS 7, along with the next release of OS X, at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, largely because Apple said it would, in its announcement of the event. In a quote attributed to Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller: "We can't wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC."
There are two "halves" to the OS: the underlying kernel and the user interface that rides above it. Much of Gurman's post is about the UI — what iPhone and iPad users will see and touch. This is the work being overseen since last fall by Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive.
"Sources have described iOS 7 as 'black, white, and flat all over,'" Gurman writes. "This refers to the dropping of heavy textures and the addition of several new black and white user interface elements.
"Sources say that over the past few months, Apple has re-architected iOS 7's new interface several times, so until the new software is announced at WWDC, interface elements could dramatically change from what Apple has been testing internally in recent weeks," Gurman writes.
Among the changes mentioned by Gurman:
- dropping the shiny, transparent time bar on the top of the Lock screen, replacing it with a "shine-free, black interface"; the square-grid for entering a PIN code gives way to "round, black buttons with white text and white borders."
- replacing textures, such as "linen" and "leather," with "flat white and black coloring." The Notification Center's dark linen background becomes a dark grey or black with white text.
- removing gradient textures from a variety of navigation and tab bars.
- redesigning most of Apple's own apps to reflect this visual flattening, and minimalist use of white and black; the Notes app drops the "yellow notepad" metaphor, in favor of a white background; and along with Mail, Calendar and Maps, there's a more uniform use of white; and "each app has been given a unique button color" or theme.
Besides the UI elements, there also are a range of kernel and API changes in the works also. "We previously reported that iOS 7 will likely include integration for Flickr and Vimeo in addition to improved in-car support for Maps and Siri," Gurman writes. "While the new interface will be a major change for consumers, sources say that iOS 7 is also an ambitious update for developer-focused features."
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