What's black, white and flat all over? iOS 7, if rumors prove correct. Anonymous sources in touch with 9to5Mac claim to know details about what's shaping up to be Apple's most radical iDevice update thus far: a flattened, minimalistic, anti-skeuomorphic UI poured uniformly atop its next-gen mobile OS.
Apple's iOS GUI shake-up is largely attributed to Jony Ive, a sort of industrial design rockstar at Apple. Ive's legacy includes the design of the original iMac, and those of Apple's iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macbooks. Ive and Jobs were famously close. In fact, Jobs' Biographer Walter Isaacson labeled them as "soul mates," even though Ive admittedly cringed when Jobs sometimes received credit for his design work.
Past hearsay already suggested a flat look was imminent for iOS 7, but a mostly black and white interface represents an even larger change still.
9to5Mac's sources claim home screen icons will lose their shadows and gloss in favor of flatness. Meanwhile, apps like Game Center and Notes will lose metaphorical (i.e. skeuomorphic) elements borrowed from their real-world counterparts -- things like a game table-inspired green felt, leather-like trim, wood-grained shelves and college-ruled yellow notebook paper -- in favor of a decidedly modern look filled more with broad swaths of solid color and less with overt stylism.
"Ive stated that software designs filled with physical metaphors do not stand the test of time," 9to5Mac reported. Indeed, in its current state, iOS is filled with examples of visual metaphors.
Also on the list of purported changes is an easily accessible panel for accessing wireless connectivity configurations and toggles (i.e. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode), a re-designed lock screen, new widgets (think: Weather and Stocks apps) and easier ways to access them. Previous rumors also indicate "dramatic" changes coming to Mail and Calendar apps. Let us hope they are all for the best.