iPhone UI set for overhaul as details of a ‘black, white and flat’ iOS7 emerge

With Apple confirming the keynote address at Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10, we are only days away from the unveiling of the new version of iOS, and of course, the next-gen devices that will be running it.

9to5Mac has details of the changes expected in iOS7 and word has it the iconic iPhone UI will be radically different from its past iterations. Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, has had a major role to play in the overhaul and his distaste for skeumorphic elements and shiny accents has led to a "black, white and flat" makeover for iOS, according to the report.

In addition to changing background textures, icons, menus and other characteristic elements of iOS, the redesign is expected to majorly change how Apple’s core apps look. Apple’s texture-heavy, skeuomorphic interfaces were heralded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and former iOS chief Scott Forstall, but now Ive believes that iOS’s current applications have several differing designs, which has led to many Apple’s users becoming confused with the UI. Ive’s wrath has been reserved for apps such as the yellow notepad-inspired Notes, and the casino-inspired Game Center app. Both are set to get a less heavy interface.

Jony Ive, Senior VP of Industrial Design (Image credit: Apple Inc.)

Jony Ive, Senior VP of Industrial Design (Image credit: Apple Inc.)


The biggest changes will come to core iOS apps. The Notes app’s yellow notepad design will be replaced by a flat white look. Apps such as Mail, Calendar, and Maps have also been redesigned with flat white textures, and each app has a unique colour scheme on the white base. This two-tone approach means Apple is dialling down the tendency to ‘over-design’ which was the case in some new apps. The App Store, Newsstand, Game Center, Safari, Camera, and Weather apps have seen the most significant transformations.

According to the report, Ive “has essentially made his mark on every corner of the operating system” but without making iOS look strange to those used to it.

In what could be shocking news to some Apple loyalists, the iPhone’s lock screen and passcode screen are also set to see a major revamp. Apple will reportedly eschew the now-familiar transparent time bar on the top of the lock screen for a black interface. The square-grid for entering the passcode has been replaced with rounded, black buttons with white text and white borders. Additionally, sources say that notifications on the lock screen will see an Android-like gesture-controlled behaviour.

iOS 6 on the way

iOS 7 on the way


Other Android influences will be seen in the Notification Center, where Apple is testing an easily-accessible panel for connectivity toggles such as for Wi-Fi, flight mode, and Bluetooth. In addition, there will be newer widgets besides the stock and weather widgets in the notification drawer. Another feature that will reportedly be seen is panorama wallpapers, where the background image scrolls as you move through the home screens. Once again, this sounds very similar to how wallpapers behave in Android.

The report further adds that Apple’s designers and engineers have put the overhaul for the iPhone UI on top priority and will focus on the iPad’s software after the former is more or less in the final stages.

We can’t wait to see what Ive has done to iOS, chiefly because to our eyes the UI had become stale and ubiquitous. These latest revelations only serve to increase our excitement and we won’t have to wait too long to see the new OS.

Published Date: May 25, 2013 10:23 am | Updated Date: May 25, 2013 10:23 am