Bloomberg: Jony Ive iOS 7 Changes Are So Major They're Causing Delays

Illustration for article titled Bloomberg: Jony Ive iOS 7 Changes Are So Major They're Causing Delays

We're already confident that the next release of iOS will be full of Jony Ive, but now Bloomberg is reporting that his software overhaul is so massive it could cause iOS 7 delays.

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Citing sources "with knowledge of the matter", Bloomberg suggests that Ive's demands could see the software "at risk of falling behind," as he pushes to scrub all traces of Forstall. Indeed, the sources explain that he's been massively revamping iOS, "shunning realistic images" and "exploring more dramatic changes to the e-mail and calendar tools." It sounds like, in other words, a major "screw you" to skeumorphism.

That fits with rumors that circulated earlier this week, when 9to5mac suggested that the next iteration of the mobile OS would banish real-life elements (iBooks looking like a wooden bookshelf, say), but also remove all elements of gloss and shine, too. The idea, so the rumors have it, is to make the software more sleek and usable going forwards, but, apparently, leave enough to be "familiar".

Bloomberg also reports that Ive is methodically reviewing each and every new design for iOS 7, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the clusterfuck that was Apple Maps last year. Combine that—unsurprising—attention to detail with a complete overhaul, though, and it's no shock to hear that the project is at risk of being delayed.

In fact, while according to the sources Apple still believes it can turn out iOS 7 by September, Ive has been pushing internal deadlines for testing later than previous releases, and has even shuffled part of the OS X team over to the mobile wing to increase productivity. It's not the first time that's happened, though—Apple shifted its Mac workforce to help prep the original version of iOS before the launch of the first iPhone, too.

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While it seems likely that Ive's touch will do good things for iOS, there are almost certainly some sweaty palms and sore heads in Cupertino right now, if these rumors are to be believed. But if Apple's recent travails have taught us anything, it's better to get it right than to get it fast. [Bloomberg]

DISCUSSION

billsurowiecki01
Bill Surowiecki

I have been wondering about this for some time.
Im an Android user, but would be happy if Apple starts "innovating" again. After all any innovation from any of the industry players will eventually trickle down to your platform of choice.

Here are the problems as I see it.

Skeuomorphism is a dead design philosophy in the industry right now and its good to see Apple, who helped push it to the forefront, finally retiring it. On a side note, I assume we will see Touchwiz follow suit. Replacing all of these art assets in iOS is going to take time, and this is exactly what this report is stating.

Even MIUI, which is a far more obvious iOS clone, than Touchwiz ever was beat apple to the move towards flat over the past few updates. I would not be surprised to see some of the same aesthetic ideas, seen below, in iOS7. MIUI has been making this move slowly, starting with V4, culminating in almost all examples of Skeuomorphism, removed in V5.



The problems is that its going to take so much time for all of iOS's art assets, that the rest of the changes iOS needs to compete with other modern mobile OS's, are going to get pushed to the back burner.

I know I will get jumped on for this, but I know I am not alone in the opinion.
Android has pulled so far ahead in terms of what the OS is capable of, that its harder for Apple to appear innovative. This is not the opinion of a fanboy, this is the opinion of many tech enthusiasts and other talking heads in the industry I have discussed it with.
Some of these problems are baked into the limitations found in iOS's foundations. Examples such as its limited sharing between apps are part of this. Others seem to have been more Apple decision making and not so much a software limitation. The desktop full of icons, while easy from a UX standpoint, is feeling very stale from a UI standpoint. I have my list of changes I would like to see, Im sure you do as well, and I am positive that Apple has its own list prioritised in house.

The problems comes in the form of which to do first. Its been stated by these insiders that much of the core OS is fundamentally identical to iOS6, and that what we will get from iOS7 is akin to a very fresh coat of paint. So its obvious that Apple has chosen a new aesthetic as more important than changing up some of the core OS functionality many have been wishing for.

The question is whether the industry pundits and the consumers will accept this as enough or if it will be perceived as yet more eye-candy with no real innovation behind it, much the same as iOS5 and iOS6 were perceived as.
I am in no way stating that this is a make it or break-it update for Apple, but the outcome of this perception could lead to another drop in Apple's OS market share.
Apple is definitely stuck between a rock and a hardplace, and its going to be interesting to see how this turns out over the long run.