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iOS 6 vs iOS 7 design differences comparison: the end of skeuomorphism

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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iOS 6 vs iOS 7 design differences comparison: the end of skeuomorphism

Steve Jobs has been declared a genius for throwing a bridge between the average user and geeky technology, while the skeuomorphic design of the operating systems designed under his supervision is directly correlated with his desire to give warmth to those ones and zeroes.

Skeuomorphism is giving a familiar look and feel to novelties, not asking people to adapt to change immediately, and introducing a more gradual and comfortable transition for them. Apple's former iOS chief Scott Forstall has been a big proponent of this design concept, and has enjoyed the full support of Steve Jobs through the years, resulting in the all-too-familiar sights there, like tape reels, notebook springs, fake wood, virtual leather and green baize... until iOS 7.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook and the lead designer Sir Jony Ive barely gave it a chance after Steve Jobs' passing for about a year or so, and then ditched Forstall and skeumorphism forever. Who can blame them? Folks growing up now will never know what a paper notebook is, let alone a tape reel, and book shelves will only be used in libraries or museums, so skeuomorphism has done its thing, introducing people to shiny 3D buttons that look like physical one begging to be pressed. Nowadays all are too familiar they are pressing something on a capacitive screen, so the real thing only looks out of place and ancient. As you can see in the funny GIF by Gadget Love above, Scott's childish smile and shiny buttons have been replaced by the more sophisticated minimalism of Jony Ive.

We've compiled a few examples of the differences in design between iOS 6 and iOS 7, so you can gauge the sea of change that Apple's mobile OS has undergone from just one edition to the next. Everything - from icons through menus to controls and notifications - is layers of flat, minimalistic, hip, translucent and colorful, making it much easier on the eyes and out of the way for the actual tasks you do with your iPhone or iPad. What do you think about the visual changes between iOS 6 vs iOS 7?

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posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:12 21

1. brar.arsh (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Thats it? Only some icon changes and some added colors?
Android has this from years.. :p
Starting again Android vs Apple.. :D

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:17 23

2. Sauce (Posts: 1073; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


The ignorance and conjecture of Apple haters will always give me a good laugh and second thought on their stance and intelligence.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:27 20

13. SGSatlantis (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


Why? Because the biggest overhaul in iOS history fits on 7 slides? Not only Android, but the jailbreaking community too, had these features covered from 4 years ago. Apple just puts plastic cover on the iPhone 5 and calls it a new product. Same here.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:36 7

19. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


And as expected, a fanboy like you missed his point completely.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:53 3

32. SGSatlantis (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


I must be the biggest fanboy ever, because the only smartphone I have atm is an iPhone 3G. It is stuck on a jailbroken version of iOS 4.3.1 with a iPad baseband(or something iPad) because I wanted to have folders on my phone. So yeah, taking the moral highground and calling people Apple haters and insulting them to score a point is not OK with me. I have my reasons for hating on Apple, it has nothing to do with starting a Android vs. Apple debate. I was just stating facts.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:59 3

33. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Okay let me ask you this, have you even bothered using iOS 7 yourself?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:14 6

40. bloodline (Posts: 686; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


I have used it...no big deal - grasp my attention for an hour because its new.. doesn't do anything different, im over it.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:26 1

51. SGSatlantis (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


No. I'm waiting for the update on my brothers iPad Mini. I've been following iOS7 since the announcement, and I rather like the whole "flat and colorful" vibe. But my point stands. Apple is still catching up to other OS by implementing features that are long overdue. New maybe to iOS users that don't jailbreak, but not to the whole smartphone community.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:42 5

57. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


iOS 7 is great. I've demoed every single beta on an iPhone 5 and it ran flawless. It's not up to par with other OSs in terms of features, but it's definitely a huge upgrade. Give it a shot before making your judgements on it.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:04

73. SGSatlantis (Posts: 205; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


Hehe just in time, it's downloading... no more comments until I use it.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:19 1

87. Sauce (Posts: 1073; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


Thank you PapaSmurf. It is a good relief that someone understands basic vocabulary and the point of my statement. Fanboys give me headaches =,( or should I say Eye Aches... >.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 16:47

94. Shatter (Posts: 1766; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Wouldn't be surprised if Apple just steals the code from the jailbreak community.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:34 6

18. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Sauce, why bother with these haters? Get and enjoy your purchase bro. Let em keep showing they have nothing else to do, but bother people. Oh and run benchmarks on their droids.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:38 4

22. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I gave up a long time ago. Not even worth the time to type a paragraph explaining the other side of things.

Run benchmarks lol. +1

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:16 1

43. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Me too Smurf. Someone attacked me on here the other day, and my response was "why even bother". I'm so over the flame wars dude, just wanna enjoy my devices, and chat with "techies". +1.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:18 3

45. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


They are so jealous.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:11

74. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Exactly Mxy

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:30 6

84. frydaexiii (Posts: 1157; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


If there was anything we wanted from iOS that we didn't already have on Android, yeah, we'd be jelly for like 5 minutes before we google how to get the same features on Android. Beside, anything that even remotely impressed me on iOS 7 was already available on Android before iOS7 was even announced.

Parallex = Have that.
New Font = Have that.
Control Center = Have that (And I'm not even talking about Quick Toggles, I actually literally have Control Center on Android).
Icon Pack = Have that.

Really that's all that impressed me, what else can you name that I should be jelly of?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:25 2

89. TSTmp (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)


Elegance is something iOS have but Android doesn't.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:04

100. frydaexiii (Posts: 1157; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Elegance? You mean how Jony Ive and Apple Employee No. Whatever tries to talk it up to be "refined", "planned from the beginning" and "all about the user-experience"?

Because it's not, it's just Apple forcing everything down your throat, which is why you get that consistency on iOS which I suppose is the elegance you are referring to. If Android took away all user option and stopped OEM's from using their skins, I'm sure Android would have achieved that "elegance" you're referring to. Just look at the GApps right now (GMail, Youtube, Google Now, Keep), I'd say they're already halfway there.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:08

101. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Peanut butter

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 17:13

96. Castro90 (Posts: 27; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


I know -- right, so jealous.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:23

88. Sauce (Posts: 1073; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


True that Dark. It's just become so tiresome to see the same repeated ignorance over and over again. I wish all competent and educated tech users can have their own bubble and just connect with each other on this site, separate from fanboys that like to shëp around and BAAAAAAA-ther us.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:10 1

102. darkkjedii (Posts: 9280; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Coud be something to recommend to PA. I'm done with em though.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:19 11

5. Topcat488 (Posts: 1039; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


IOS 6 looks better than IOS 7.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:37 2

21. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I disagree. iOS 7 looks better than iOS 6 imo. The overall feel grabs my attention more than it did before.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:47 5

29. FakeMatt (Posts: 16; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


Apple could have replaced all the icons with clip art of feces and you'd say it was the pinnacle of art and design

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:15

76. stealthd (Posts: 868; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


Having used iOS 7 for a couple days now, nah. It's better. No reason to go back.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:23 12

9. Kurai (unregistered)


iOS 7 is iOS 6 on acid

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:37

20. davecann2 (Posts: 460; Member since: 15 Mar 2011)


hahha... thats actually a funny comment +1 Kurai!

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:19 1

46. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 2846; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


And you're in denial.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:23 1

10. papss (Posts: 3429; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


That's all there is because that's all this article is about. the physical changes of the icons.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:28 4

14. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Yeah i feel the same way. I was looking to see a nice modern elegant unique looking ui. Like, windows mobile turned into windows phone
but its a big disappointment. Its fresh but nothing modern looks cartoonish/childish. I think its all because apples strategy of making OS tooooo simple... I think they should let it go... Too much of something is not good or boring

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:32 3

17. akki20892 (Posts: 2663; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


They use hammer on ios 6 to create ios 7.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:49 4

68. Chaseism (Posts: 54; Member since: 08 May 2013)


Biggest thing you have to remember is that Apple teams worked separately for each other. iOS stayed stagnant because of Scott Forstall. The changes are more than just a few icons and added colors. The post even said this is to give you a few examples, not the full rundown of changes.

I know it'd burn your skin to walk into an Apple store, but go try iOS 7. Every OS is about user experience, not screen shots. You can't hate on the OS without actually playing with it.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:51 2

70. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I don't think I've ever disagreed with something you've posted. This x 100.

+1

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:13

103. frydaexiii (Posts: 1157; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Unfortunately, that's all iOS is good for, which is a showroom toy. It's smooth, beautiful and it performs well when it's on show. Believe me, I am guilty of constantly walking into the Apple store and meddling around with the iDevices for about 5-10 minutes and that's it, because anything more than that and iOS automatically loses it's charm and functionality and gets boring in less than an hour.

iOS is like that hot chick you pick up at a bar (no pun intended), she's hot, she's fun to talk with, have some laughs and hang out, but can you actually picture marrying, starting a family and spending the rest of your life with her? No way.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 14:14 1

91. Legnaldo (Posts: 29; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


They have added some beneficial features like the quick settings and better multitasking. Though I do agree that most of the changes are purely cosmetic. I went through each stage of the beta's hoping for more features. I even hoped that they were going to add some features at full release not seen in beta; but overall its just pretty to look at in my opinion.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:19 1

3. jbitounis (Posts: 50; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Hey there PA. Maybe in a future article, could you please elaborate on more fundamental changes, like the swipe integration, notification center etc. Thanks!

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:49

30. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


The article is about design differences. I'm sure they'll cover features in their review soon :)

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:19 2

4. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


Is it just me or does iOS7 look oddly like WP8?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:21 8

8. Quezdagreat (Posts: 386; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)


It's you

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 13:33

90. TSTmp (Posts: 2; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)


They are quite similar in some degree. Both looks flat. I own some WP8 phone too and I do feel similarity.

Anyway only in term of visual, function of WP8 still decade behind.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:19 5

6. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Beautiful! Apple knows how to design!

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:25 8

11. Kurai (unregistered)


Yeah! flattening the icons and making the whole UI rainbow colored is innovative right?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:53 2

31. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Umm... Yea :|
in·no·vate [in-uh-veyt]
verb (used without object)
1. To introduce something new; make changes in anything established.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:16 1

78. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 799; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)


You just nailed it. =D

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 23:31

105. vincelongman (Posts: 628; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I like iOS 7's flat theme, I think iOS 7's apps look really nice, some of the besting around.
But I think the tone effect/colors of their icons look too cartoony and doesn't fit the flat design.
Game center's icon isn't flat at all, it looks totally out of place. And the aero/glass effect (on notifications and control center), doesn't fit the flat theme and looks somewhat messy.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:31 7

16. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Seriously...??? When i saw this i thought is that the best Apple could've come up with???
i am not an apple hater but this is a big let down
UI wise i rank them
1- windows phone
2- Android
3- iOS 6
4- iOS 7
My personal preference...

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:41 3

23. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


1 - Android
2 - iOS 7
3 - WP8
4 - iOS 6

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:43 3

28. Jason2k13 (Posts: 551; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


weird... android should have been number 1 though, because it can look like 'anything'?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:16 1

77. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Yeah it's just i like wp ui a bit more. I mean ui and app design looks cool in my eyes...

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 10:59 3

34. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Yes, very seriously. In my opinion, Android is a big big let down even years after being introduced. Haven't innovated anything, stock design is just boring and fragmentation really irritates me. Overall experience with Android is extremely bad.
UI wise I rank-

1. Meego (Just beautiful, Nokia at its very best.)
2. iOS 7
3. Windows Phone 8
4. BB OS 10/Web OS
5. iOS 6
6. Stock Android (extremely ugly IMHO)
7. Symbian

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:06 5

36. brar.arsh (Posts: 105; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


It's ONLY "You"

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:28

53. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


*blushing*

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:07 2

37. DaNTRoN (Posts: 135; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


the holo design is getting tired, i agree. i don't think KK will change the ui as its not a whole number update, but i hope 5.0 will change some things up. but android offers launchers to change the ui so that is a plus. i have used probably 4 or 5 different style ui's with android, from 3rd parties. so the choice is nice to have.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:30

54. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Agreed. +1

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 12:28 1

83. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


I hope android kitkat may light up the ui.
i like the design which they used to set up their new websitewww.android.com/kitkat
www.kitkat.com

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:14 3

41. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6623; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Android hasn't innovated anything? Really?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 11:34

55. RoyalPayne (banned) (Posts: 458; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


Lately, no. Nothing in Android UI has been innovative. By lately i mean since version 1.6.

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