WSJ: Jony Ive Pushing for a Stark and Simple iOS 7 Design  


When Apple announced executive management changes back in October 2012 resulting in Scott Forstall and John Browett leaving the company, its argument was that it would “encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”


To achieve that, Jony Ive received the leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) in addition to his role as the leader of Industrial Design. Ive is renowned for his incredible design aesthetic – see the Apple products. But how will he influence the new look of the upcoming iOS 7?

“Some suggested that in Apple’s next mobile operating system, Ive is pushing a more “flat design” that is starker and simpler, according to developers who have spoken to Apple employees but didn’t have further details. Overall, they expect any changes to be pretty conservative. For the past few years, Apple has unveiled versions of its mobile operating system in the summer,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

The move also united the Mac and iOS software teams under SVP Craig Federighi. And, as the source suggests, changes are coming in this new group as well, as there is lots of overlap between the two groups.

MG Siegler confirmed the above report, saying it is in line with the whispers he has been hearing lately.

“This is all in-line with a couple of whispers I’ve heard. There will be some fairly significant changes to the design within some key apps and system-level elements, but overall, don’t expect a hugely different iOS.”

“Perhaps not entirely unrelated, the much-maligned Podcast app got a facelift today.”


  • saf

    Simple OS for the simple mind

  • Coluch

    It takes a simple mind to prefer a complicated OS.

  • Coluch

    I’m looking forward to any refresh of iOS. Specifically a lifting of seemingly arbitrary restrictions such as maximum number of items in a folder and other usability enhancements.

  • The restrictions on the maximum number of items in a folder isn’t arbitrary, it’s the maximum number of apps will fit on the screen along with the folder icon at the top. Sure, perhaps it isn’t necessary to display the folder icon, so perhaps they could have fit another row of app icons, but it’s still not an arbitrary number.

  • Coluch

    You’ll note that I said “seemingly arbitrary”. Of course I know that the number of apps allowed in a folder is the amount that fits in the screen at one time. My assertion is that such a limitation, if for only that reason, is in-fact arbitrary. One should not require multiple folders named ‘Games’ for example. Can you imagine the applications folder on the Mac limiting the number of items allowed just so that you never have to scroll within the folder? It’s absurd when you think of such a limit. Until such limits are removed, I will continue to jailbreak and use tweaks such as Infinifolders.

  • Rio

    Have you noticed on older phone after jailbreaking and adding a few tweaks, when you open a folder there is about half a sec of delay before opening compared to a smooth transition?

    That is the only reason I did not jailbreak back then. Now imagine if you were allowed unlimited apps in a folder? It will get to a point where there will be that slight delay between click and open

  • arbitrary |?ärbi?trer?| adjective
    based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system

    If there’s a reason, it’s not arbitrary. Apple strives for simplicity in their operating system. At first, they didn’t even have folders because it made things a little more complex. Once they figured out a way to make folders more intuitive, they added them to the OS. My guess is that there was a long discussion at Apple HQ about whether or not to add more complexity to folders by allowing people to scroll them or flip through pages of a folder. In the end, they chose to not allow scrolling or pages, likely because they deemed it not simple enough. They don’t just randomly make decisions at Apple. Sometimes they might make the “wrong” decisions (even then most of those are only wrong based on personal preference), but that still doesn’t make them arbitrary.

    Oh, and as for my previous idea of adding another row of apps and hiding the folder icon? I just realized that would leave a lot less space that’s not a folder, making it difficult to drag apps out of folders. So there’s a reason for everything.

  • Coluch

    Design decisions such as the folder example affect functionality and UX pretty heavily. Overall, I prefer the tradeoffs that Apple has made with software and ID on the iPhone (battery life anyone?). However I am not blind to it’s many shortcomings, as you are trying very hard to be. Let’s not forget that these are significant limitations when most Android switchers cite them as motivating their change.

    The fact is, each iteration of iOS has diminished the list of reasons to jailbreak (native apps, tethering, folders, ringtones, etc). Apple has introduced many toggles, options, and functionality in the process and I am genuinely excited to see what’s next, however, their movement on this has been glacial. They started the smart phone race miles ahead, and have really begun to lag behind the competition in many ways. Their decisions of the past will have to evolve in some way to make up ground if that’s what they want…. That’s what I want.

    Also, thanks for the condescending definition! Since you enjoy looking up words, you may want to look up “seemingly” and also evaluate my condition of “if only for that reason”, before you ignorantly put words into my mouth 🙂

  • Coluch

    Rio, the delays you are speaking of were due to the fact that the older iPhones were far less capable of handling the multiple processes that jailbreaking can enable. Mobile substrate (which enables most tweaks injected into modern iOS apps) was much less stable on older iPhones. In-fact, older iPhones had much more lag WITHOUT jailbreaking. They were just slow by today’s standards.

  • MleB1

    Here’s a thought, Jony – rather than play with the look of the iOS, how about you let someone at Apple fix the shortcomings of the actual software first? Then make it look pretty.