iOS 7 to be 'very, very flat,' with redesigned Apple app icons and more, report says

A new report suggests iOS 7's major user interface changes will appeal to new users but may be 'unsettling' for old-timers

Apple's iOS 7, expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2013 in June, will have major user interface changes that will appeal to new iPad and iPhone users, but could be "unsettling" for veteran users, a new report has suggested.

Citing multiple sources who have seen or been briefed on iOS 7, internally codenamed "Innsbruck," 9To5Mac's report claims that iOS 7 will have a new user interface that is "very, very flat," ditching all skeuomorphic design elements from the mobile operating system. According to one of the sources, the "flatness" can be compared to Microsoft's Windows Phone user interface.

The interface changes will include a redesign of Apple's native app icons, as well as new tool bars, tab bars and more, the sources say.

Despite the visual changes, the sources insist that the new user interface design in iOS 7 is no more difficult to use than previous iterations of iOS. "While iOS 7 does look different, its core apps and system fundamentals (like the Lock and Home screens) mostly operate in a similar fashion to how they do today," says the report.

9To5Mac suggests that Apple has been considering implementing a more 'glance-able' information and system options panel, which could be accessed through swiping gestures, in a way that is reminiscent of the trackpad gesture used on a Mac to access the Notification Center in Mountain Lion. The report notes that this feature is uncertain, however.

It is currently unclear whether the information in 9To5Mac's latest report is legitimate, but this is not the first speculation we've heard about the possibility of an iOS redesign under the leadership of Apple design guru Jony Ive.

Following an executive shakeup in October that saw then head of iOS software Scott Forstall leave the company, Ive has taken on more responsibilities, as the leader of human interface at Apple. This means that, as well as hardware design leadership, Ive now has more involvement with the design of iOS and other Apple platforms.

Ive's promotion sparked speculation that Apple may be considering dropping its skeuomorphic design elements in favour of a cleaner, more minimalist design.

In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Ive is pushing for a "flat design" that is "starker and simpler" for iOS 7.

At the beginning of April, a thread between various tech reporters on discussion site Branch hinted that Apple is working on a complete user interface overhaul for iOS 7, and that Apple has pulled engineers from OS X 10.9 to work on it.

Later in April, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted that Apple is busy cooking up a "killer app" that will be ready to launch with iOS 7 this summer, which could come in the form of a music streaming service or mobile payment system.

Apple has applied for a patent concerning a system of '3D position tracking for panoramic imagery navigation', prompting analysts and Apple fans to speculate that iOS 7 will see Apple's Maps application get a feature to rival Google's Street View.

It's pretty certain that we'll be getting our first official glimpse at iOS 7 at WWDC 2013, which kicks off on 10 June. SEE: Decoding Apple' WWDC 2013 logo: what does it mean?

In a press release sent out last week, Apple revealed that developers will "learn about the future of iOS and OS X."

Tickets for WWDC 2013 sold out in a record-breaking 2 minutes when they went on sale on Thursday. SEE: Apple is growing; why not WWDC?

WWDC 2012 saw the launch of iOS 6, new MacBooks and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. You can find more about last year's event here.

In a similar report on Monday, 9To5Mac also published allegedly leaked details of Mac OS X 10.9, which could bring new power-user features and 'core' iOS elements to the Mac.

See also:

What will the iPhone 5S and iOS 7 look like?

6 fresh Apple iPhone 6, iOS 7 concept designs

Ten improvements we'd like to see in iOS

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsMicrosoftWDsmartphoneshardware systemsiPhonetabletsiPad

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashleigh Allsopp

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?