WSJ: iOS 7 Will Feature New Look with Plain Backgrounds, More White Space

The Wall Street Journal reports on some last minute tidbits about what to expect tomorrow at the WWDC 2013 keynote. Previous reports have stated iOS 7 will feature a revamped appearance, which the WSJ says sources have confirmed:

The next version of its iOS software—now overseen by Apple’s longtime hardware-design guru, Jonathan Ive—will have a new look, according to people involved in its development.

As for iOS 7, beta versions are expected to provided to developers next week (tomorrow) and the future public release set “in the coming months.” As for the design, skeuomorphic design is out the window and will be replaced by plain backgrounds and more white space, say sources (the iOS 7 banner at Moscone West seems to reflect this):

The new design abandons Apple’s longtime approach of designing icons and apps to resemble real-life objects, like address books and fabric, in favor of plain solid backgrounds and more white space, these people said.

Image via MacStories

The Journal notes the original layout of the iPhone that debuted in 2007 was created by Steve Jobs who wanted the simple interface to allow users to understand how to use the device. Sources note internally, Apple employees have for years been worried the iPhone’s graphical user interface has become outdated and numerous inconsistencies.

As for new features, iOS 7 will feature new ways to share photos and videos with other iPhone users, according to sources. This may be related to the previous rumour of AirDrop making its debut within iOS for wireless sharing.

As for what else will be expected tomorrow, the WSJ cites new laptops, updates to OS X and also the announcement of Apple’s iRadio music streaming service. This is also what we will expect tomorrow as well.

The Next iPhone Isn’t Coming Until the Fall

People familiar with the matter have noted the next iPhone isn’t expected until the fall, with the next model to look identical to the current iPhone 5. Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed during its 2013 Q2 earnings call new products are to be expected this fall. During an interview at D11, Cook also stated Apple still has “several more game-changers in us.”

As for the status of Apple’s apps such as Siri and Apple Maps, which are reliant on gathering and learning from data, current and former employees told the WSJ the company has a poor record compared to Google.

“Apple’s going through growing pains in a more complex data world,” one of the people said. “Google is a juggernaut and has a different culture.”

John Gruber from Daring Fireball reminds us it was a year ago Tim Cook told Walt Mossberg at D10 “We’re going to double down on secrecy on products.” It looks like Cook has stuck to his word as there are no concrete details out about what we can expect tomorrow from iOS and OS X. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough, eh?

Update: The WSJ says Apple will debut iRadio tomorrow at WWDC, with the service expected to be US-only:

Talks over the streaming service started more than a year ago, and dragged on, forcing Apple to delay the launch of the service, people familiar with the matter said. They heated up again fairly recently, after Google launched its All Access music service last month.

The discussions were mostly between executives on the music side and Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services who helped build iTunes, these people said. One issue: the point at which Apple must begin sharing ad revenue with the labels and the minimum guarantee it would offer as an insurance policy, they added.

They also bickered over things like whether Apple will have to pay for songs listeners skip—it won’t under some deals—and how well it should compensate music publishers.

Under the deals struck, record labels will get about 50% of advertising against their songs, and publishers—the companies that represent songwriters—will get 10%, these people said.

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