Back in October, iOS leader Scott Forstall was, along retail SVP John Browett, removed from Apple. It was a surprising decision, even after the nightmare iOS 6 Maps issue, but it quickly emerged that Forstall, in particular, had stepped on more than a few toes within the Cupertino executive ranks. Jony Ive, head of Industrial Design and credited with molding the vast majority of the company’s recent success stories, was said to strongly disagree with Forstall’s rampant skeuomorphism within the iOS UI, and since the Englishman has taken on the role as leader of Human Interface following Forstall’s departure, it now looks as though he plans to remove all remnants of the former iOS Senior Vice President.
With one man at the helm of both industrial design and human interface design, the thought process is that Apple devices could have even better hardware-software integration than is already apparent. According to a report over at The Wall Street Journal, this is, in fact, the case, with teams from the mobile software side also being given information pertaining to new hardware prototypes.
This is, of course, a natural occurrence, but striking is just how early in the cycle the software teams are apparently being briefed on hardware. As well, Jony Ive is now said to be note-taking at the human interface review sessions in order to check out new designs, with an eventual view to even better integration.
One of the key benefits Apple has over its Android rivals, is that hardware and software is created in-house, and in a complimentary fashion. But with Ive now having a strong say on both sides of the coin, we should expect to see, according to the WSJ report, a more “flat design” within iOS 7.
Whether that means an end to the glassy, leathery, papery looks which currently grace many native apps, we’ll have to wait and see. But for folks having become a little disillusioned with the rather ‘samey’ look of iOS, there’s certainly a fresh optimism about what iOS 7 may bring under the guidance of Sir Ive.
We’ve already seen several concepts, and with Summer being the usual springboard for a new iOS announcement, we may not have to wait long to see what’s in store.