NYT confirms Apple lost Forstall to move forward with an iOS design overhaul

NYT confirms Apple lost Forstall to move forward with an iOS design overhaul
It must have irked one of the best designers of our time Jony Ive to no end seeing that when you unlock his industrial metal-and-glass marvel, the iPhone, you get to see iOS the way Scott Forstall envisions it. Faux linen background in the pull-down notification bar, stitched leather notepad.

It is called skeuomorphism and supposedly comforts users with familiar images for their tasks that they are used to from the physical world, but a reel-to-reel tape in the Podcasts app? Steve Jobs, with his calligraphy background and artsy escapades was a big proponent of skeuomorphism, which spilled over to his iOS chief and protege Scott Forstall as well, and never left.

The world, however, is moving along, and today's kids would hardly ever crack a book with covers even, let alone use a paper calendar, or be soothed by a tape reel image. Now with Jony Ive in charge of the design&software synergy at Apple, he can finally apply his award-winning paradigms to iOS too. Sources from Apple said for the New York Times that this unwillingness to change and bow before Sir Jony Ive's vision was one of the main reasons Tim Cook had to let Scott Forstall go, not just the popularized Maps apology fiasco.

Hardly anyone can argue that Apple has been at the forefront of handset design lately, coming with unique propositions, while the laggard has been precisely the iOS look and feel, all masked under unsubstantiated arguments of "user simplicity" and "familiar look and feel." Microsoft, which was not known for taking huge gambles, offered its users such a drastic user interface overhaul with Windows 8, tearing down the past, and reports as far back as September told about internal struggles at Apple giving this overhaul as an example for ditching skeuomorphism for the most part. As a design trendsetting company, the proponents argued, Apple should rise up with something more creative.

A designer working for Apple who declined to be named, said for the NYT that while Jony Ive has been kept at bay for software design meetings so far, "You can be sure that the next generation of iOS and OS X will have Jony’s industrial design aesthetic all over them. Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures that are all over the place right now.

We can only imagine the concepts Jony Ive has mentally lined up for iOS going forward, just waiting for a chance to apply them one day, and with the trust laid upon him by CEO Tim Cook, now he has a free pass to do so. Next year is a software year for the iPhone, as this edition just underwent a design overhaul, so are looking forward to some real UI race between Android, iOS and Windows Phone, all for our amusement and benefit.

source: NYT

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51 Comments

1. Mohtastic

Posts: 19; Member since: May 24, 2011

Love this news, ios is due for a giant refresh to be on par with the beautiful hardware

13. MeoCao unregistered

skeuomorphism or not? That's garbage discussion. Tim Cook wants to get rid of Jobs's influence so he would find a way and Ive is a great card for Cook to play to show the "first in line to be CEO" Forstall the exit door. By the way what iOS lacks is not this style or that style. It's multitasking idiot.

22. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I have been wondering what a new iOS UI would look like. The row of icons is soo 2007. Maybe they do a tiled UI similar to WP? After all, MS's tiled UI goes back to Windows 2.0 that was built under a license from Apple.... Nothing like going retro. GM, Ford and Chrysler did it. Apple can too. Another UI idea would be to merge the Mac OSX UI? A row of icons on the bottom of the screen that can be flicked left or right? PA, I just gave you and idea for a new article.... Give me credit if you take the idea and run with it.

26. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Correction - an idea. Like the edit after posting fix, but maybe 300 seconds?

32. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

One more correction - The grid of icons (in the first paragraph).

33. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

Dude, it's okay. I don't think any grammar whores are here today.

39. Quezdagreat

Posts: 428; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

How come people who don't own a iphone always cry about multitasking. The ios is good with what it has

41. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Because people who spend hundreds of dollars on a smartphone naturally look for reasons to defend their purchase.

50. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

My girlfriend, literally today, said "wow, your phone can play Pandora and do other stuff.@

16. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

How can they possibly simplify something so simple? I would think it needs a little more cool features and makeover to keep up with the competitions constant new features and tech.

23. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Eh, I wouldn't say "beautiful hardware". Boring uninspired design taken from other manufacturers, yes, and aesthetically simple, yes, but not beautiful. But yes, ios could use an update, but I don't think that'll convince the millions of users departing it to come back, and may only keep the non-diehards around a bit longer. That said, it is difficult to imagine anything new or imaginitive coming from apple with Ive in full control of design. We'll just see more Dieter Rams-inspired shapes, nothing we haven't already been bored with for 5 years. The originals were much better, especially as they were so unique and interesting when they came out so long ago, long before most of us were born.

34. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I actually like the hardware design of the black iP5. I just think a 4 inch screen footprint is too small. And the case is too vulnerable to scratches.

46. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Word, -box-.

45. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Somebody please ask Phone Arena when they will quit giving Johnny Ives "favors". For the man's sake, he designed a square with rounded corners, for which ten or more companies designed first, Sony and LG included. This clown just ripped it off. You people are so on this guy's lap, it's rediculous.

48. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I am a big Android guy, you could say I am anti Apple...But I also think this is a good idea. I also gave this a thumbs up. I think its time for Apple try to something different with iOS. Didnt they do something different with OS X a few years ago? I dont consider myself a fanboy, I do agree with some pro Apple posts here n there. Something's in the air tho....cuz I have been agreeing with a few pro Apple posts over the past few days...lol.

2. Katrina

Posts: 84; Member since: Aug 17, 2012

LOL sorry had to laugh. What ever this guy comes up with its still not as good as sony designers. Go to Japan and learn what design truly is. Pce!!

3. Mohtastic

Posts: 19; Member since: May 24, 2011

Whats Sony?

14. bipinm

Posts: 124; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

The number 3 smartphone manufacturer from Q2 onwards....

49. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

The ppl that bought us the Playstation, PS2 and PS3. They bought us the Walkman, that lil thing that was out before the iPod that everybody n their grandmother had back in the day.

4. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

japanese phones on paper seems to be very good but once release in the international market, critics tend to give only good to bad reviews. and they don't sell very well, maybe japanese phones are over hype.

5. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

The topic is in regard to the OS design not the device. If what you ment was indeed OS?UX design of SONY in my personal opinion it ain't any better than what we see in iOS.

7. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The topic was Jonny Ive taking over, and whether or not this is a good thing. So far, all we've seen from him is hardware design, and the argument is that Sony's hardware is a better design than Apple's (not my argument, his). So, there's no reason to believe his software design will be better. (Again, not my opinion)

12. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

+1 What we should wait for is what his minimalistic approach would do to iOS.

24. SamsungWillPwnUrAss

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 01, 2012

Sorry, Katrina. Everybody needs to go to Korea to learn what design truly, truly, truly is. Apple of America has failed you. Sony of Japan failed you. Bow before the new king--KOREA!

6. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

It'd be interesting as to what degree they'll tweak iOS since I believe simplicity is it's main strenght. I would like to see some kind of different theme to iOS, something like interchangeable themes of some sort. . .

8. kdealltheway

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 21, 2012

I actualy liked textured design more then "clean" one. There has to be a line before sterility.

9. Aeires unregistered

"Let my people go!"

10. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

This was exactly what I was trying to say in another article. Jony Ive is now the overall chief designer of both hardware and software and I can see a very flat iOS interface under him. Tweaks here and there to make things look and feel simpler will put less load on the CPU/GPU so I believe the next iPhone would be even faster (not just because of a faster chip).

20. Aeires unregistered

Except speed hasn't been the issue(s) with iOS, features and functionality are. A hardware designer isn't going to fix that, only make them look more industrial in appearance.

27. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Um, it doesn't take more processing power to draw an image of the same resolution presuming that the access to internal programmed color palettes are equivalent (and I see no reason they wouldn't be). Now if it were drawing a low-res image, yes, that would speed up the load/draw time somewhat, but not hugely so. But that would be the rough equivalent to the differences between something made in MIcrosoft Paint versus Adobe Photoshop.

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