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 As you can see in the funny GIF by Gadget Love above, Scott's childish smile and shiny buttons have been replaced by the more sophisticated minimalism of Jony Ive.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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106 Comments

1. brar.arsh

Posts: 202; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

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

2. Sauce unregistered

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

13. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 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.

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

32. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 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.

33. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

40. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 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.

51. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 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.

57. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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.

73. SGSatlantis

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

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

87. Sauce unregistered

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... >.

94. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

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

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31660; Member since: Feb 05, 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.

22. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 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

43. darkkjedii

Posts: 31660; Member since: Feb 05, 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.

45. Mxyzptlk unregistered

They are so jealous.

74. darkkjedii

Posts: 31660; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly Mxy

84. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 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?

89. TSTmp

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 18, 2013

Elegance is something iOS have but Android doesn't.

100. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 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.

101. darkkjedii

Posts: 31660; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Peanut butter

96. Castro90

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I know -- right, so jealous.

88. Sauce unregistered

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 sh√ęp around and BAAAAAAA-ther us.

102. darkkjedii

Posts: 31660; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

5. Topcat488

Posts: 1419; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

IOS 6 looks better than IOS 7.

21. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

29. FakeMatt

Posts: 40; Member since: Aug 02, 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

76. stealthd unregistered

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

9. Kurai unregistered

iOS 7 is iOS 6 on acid

20. davecann2

Posts: 460; Member since: Mar 15, 2011

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

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