Jony Ive, Apple’s famed hardware designer, was put in charge of iOS software as well upon the departure of Scott Forstall last year. Ive was said to be rather against the skeumorphic elements that Apple are known for – things like the terrible pool table background in iOS and the stitched leather in the Contacts app – and many speculated that he would remove them from the OS to make it more clean and streamlined – like the case of the iPhone 5.
This week, we’ve received fresh indications that Ive is doing just that. According to a post by John Gruber on Daring Fireball, iOS 7 will include a “system-wide UI overhaul” that will make “many people really happy… but will also apparently make rich-texture-loving designers sad.”
The details of this overhaul is being hidden from prying eyes by ensuring that engineers allowed to carry the new iPhone have a polarising filter installed over the screen, which dramatically decreases viewing angles, making it difficult for an outside observer to see what changes have been made.
The visual upgrade to iOS 7 has reportedly put the project behind schedule. Gruber states that “engineers have been pulled from OS X 10.9” to speed up development – a move that echoes Apple’s delayed release of OS X 10.5 Leopard due to the development of the iPhone.
It’s not known what other new features will be included in the new version of the OS – although there have been rumours circulating that the new iPhone will include a biometric scanner of some kind, made possible by Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec.
Both the iPhone 5S and iOS 7 are expected to launch sometime this summer, although no official word has yet been given. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge!