Jony Ive pushing a flatter, simpler iOS design to the Apple design committee

Jony Ive pushing a flatter, simpler iOS design to the Apple design committee
It sounds like we may finally get our wish, Apple may finally update the UI of iOS. If you want to be kind, the UI on iOS is consistent; if you don't want to be kind, it's stale. Aside from the notification tray and adding a row of icons, the iOS UI hasn't really changed since the iPhone first hit the market, but it sounds like that is changing. Apparently, Jony Ive is even pushing a flatter, simpler iOS design to the Apple design committee.

Let's start at the end of that last sentence, because that's right, Apple is designing by committee these days. It seems that Apple's "industrial design" (aka hardware) team, which is led by Jony Ive, is working very closely with Apple's "human interface" (aka software) team, led by Greg Christie. This kind of cooperation is something CEO Tim Cook has been pushing since Scott Forstall was booted from the company last year. 

According to developers who spoke with Apple employees, Ive is pushing a "flatter" design that is more minimalist. But, we may be getting too excited because it seems the employees aren't expecting any big changes, and said the changes could be "more conservative". Any change is good change though. 

source: WSJ via The Verge

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83 Comments

1. g2a5b0e unregistered

Wait...what? It's possible to make iOS more simple than it already is? Any simpler & I doubt it will qualify for smartphone status anymore.

13. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

If you ever work on an OS, you would know the software is generally bloated and full of bugs. I had a co-worker who a beta-tester for MicroSoft OS, and after a cut-off period, MS stopped fixing bugs. Also, if you ever talk to any good programmer, i.e. when memory was scarce and expensive, they were forced to write great code. Today, with memory being so damn cheap, great code programming is a lost art.

17. JeffdaBeat unregistered

One big way iOS can become a bit simpler is in the look of it. One of the biggest pet peeves Apple employees in Cupertino had was the skeuomorphism in some of the apps. Some were well done while others left you wondering what faux leather had to do with finding my friends. Making these things universal throughout iOS would be an improvement. The iTunes update was a simplification as well, but not in look, but in function. There are a few new ways to look at your media, but overall, iTunes is simpler and easier to navigate. It still has the same features though. Remember, Apple wants to appeal to as many folks as possible. They want to aim iOS at people who are frustrated with Android or Windows Phone/Windows RT. They aren't really trying to impress die hard Android fans. There is no wooing you guys :-) But in the end, this is good news. The collaboration between software and hardware is absolutely needed. We'll see more features, more options. Maybe the friendlier environment will lead to better ideas instead of what we saw with Forstall. Remember, simple may not mean basic function. Simple is consolidating. Making apps work with each other instead of being standalone. Simple is consistency throughout.

21. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Apple Insider has a pretty good write up fleshing out my point a bit more if you're interested in reading...http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/21/apples-ive-brings-software-hardware-teams-together-in-push-for-flat-design

80. Droiddoes unregistered

aplle sucks donkey labia

31. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Don't know why people thumbed you down JeffdaBeat. Guess people don't like hearing about the fall of skeuomorphism. I agree with you, they should be aiming for consistency one way or the other. Given what is currently popular, I would wager that they will go the flat route, as suggested by Jony Ive.

42. ZeroCide

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

IOS Sucks!!!

60. gallison83

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Defend your comment, please ZeroCide

73. BitterTruth unregistered

Bitter Truth -_-

46. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Meh...it's the reason I don't post all that much. It's just gotten to the point where you can't say anything good about Apple without getting thumbed down...even if it does make sense. No conversation anymore.

52. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 2011

I gave up on that a long time ago myself. I mean look at comment 42, how do you reason with ignorance? I read your comment. I thought it was reasonable. The only problem is, like you said, you cant have a normal discussion here without some trolling all over it.

56. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I agree...I've always thought your posts were well written and carefully thought out and I always liked reading your take on stuff but somehow this site became littered with trolls and platform extremists that have dampened the site's overall experience...but hey what do I know.

69. gallison83

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I agree. Any article lately on PA that mentions Apple but doesn't mention Apple crumbling to pieces in some way leads to a massive flame war. On the flipside, when a PA article highlights a shortcoming at Apple, most of the comments start with "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" or something like that.

82. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Wish you posted more though. While I have my own personal preferences of OS, I try to remain open to any and all possibilities as things develop. You always seem to deliver an even handed & well reasoned perspective on all topics Apple, even while being an Apple user... which is a rarity on internet forums given the propensity of people to associate their own worth with the worth of their chosen branding (any branding - not specifically Apple) & live vicariously through their devices. +1 to you.

74. Aeires unregistered

+1 From what I've heard out of Apple, Ive hates all the skeuomorphism so it won't be a surprise if it's reduced to a standard background across the OS. Is that what he means by "flatter?" Time will tell, as always with Apple.

22. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Now they gonna copy Android, BB10 and WP8 platforms lolz

25. jcarrigan unregistered

is there any way the ui on the Iphone could get any simpler? lol

70. gallison83

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Is there any way that the backend of Android could become as complex as iOS? Android's strength puts most of the control of the experience in the hands of the user and leaves very little for the kernel and backend to manage. iOS does admittedly limit your experience to what can be provided in the App Store, which must be coded by Xcode on a Mac. The trade off here is overall system stability. Facebook may force close on iOS on a weekly basis for me. In my year of ownership of two iPhones I have maybe experienced two times where the entire phone rebooted. Facebook on my Android tablet was able to bring the entire tablet down with a force close until it was updated.

71. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I'd just like to know what Android tablet you were using that could be brought to it's knees by Facebook force closing. I've had Facebook force close many a time before they made the native android app but I've never experienced even a phone or my tablet being brought down from a force close of any kind.

81. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

well you're wrong about Android because a lot is actually handled on the backend by the kernal. In fact android apps dont even run native technically but through a virtual machine. This is intentional design so that if an app malfunctions it will not affect the actual OS. Of course, this isn't ALWAYS the case, but that's how its designed to be.

35. D.Aceveda

Posts: 432; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Well said midnight

2. disneydad

Posts: 114; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

So it will become more like WP?

3. MartianMe unregistered

no one cares anymore as long as they don't steal the widgets idea from android.

7. NE_BE

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 21, 2013

Half, no wait, over 70% off the people who buy android phones where i work don't know what a widget is, let alone that you can customize them... If they wanna go simple, that won't be the direction they're going. Or at least it shouldn't be. In my opinion widgets are small, mini, limited and thus useless versions of apps.

12. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

why not educate yourself on how useful widgets are and then pass that knowledge onto your customers?

55. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

I'm an S3 owner, and I see why Android needs all those widgets; you need to be able to easily toggle every single radio and sensor on the device because otherwise, it'll drain the life out of the phone. On the other hand, when I had the iP4, I had almost everything ON and battery life was great. Almost as if iOS took care of it all for you. Who is the smarter phone now? I got to admit iOS did a better job as an OS than Android does on my S3. You literally need to baby this thing. And all of those comments about iOS being just an app launcher... pure ignorance. An OS is much more than a GUI. GUI is just one of the elements of an OS.

57. gallison83

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I totally agree with you, Tuxedo. Apple has always been minimalist on the UI but EXTREMELY complex on the backend. Most people probably don't realize that iOS is forked from OS X, where a heavy emphasis on efficiency shows through most functions. Being the hardware and software vendor means that your consumer base doesn't have to fret over things like battery life or setting features.

66. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

So I guess the sg3 having over an inch more of screen real estate or it being much more powerful than an iphone 4 has nothing to do with battery drain? Talk about ignorance... Also, ios is an app launcher os. You still cant even truly multi task with it.

68. gallison83

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

That all depends on how you use it. That extra inch might net a better YouTube experience, but honestly multitasking is best left to something with enough horsepower and screen real estate to actually display it, like 15.6 inches, with a triple core AMD Phenom II, 8 GB of RAM and an SSD with 230/160 mbps read/write. You might have convinced me with only 3G data that multitasking was vital. With LTE data speeds, I can leave threads on my mobile processor dedicated only to the task on the screen with slight dips for an incoming message or email, then I could fly over to the next app and update on an LTE backbone within seconds. Don't bring a steak knife to the forest expecting to clear land. :P Then again, I'm a traditionalist who loves his PC and would rather work from it over a phone.

77. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I agree with you to an extent, however, I am a power user (have a Note 2) and with the ability to have two apps open at once on that display in or out of the office, I actually get a ton of work done on the device. Of course the sg3 display is smaller, it still has that functionality, which is nice!

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