It’s almost June and that means WWDC! This year the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held from June 10 – 14 in San Francisco. During WWDC we get to hear about the next version of iOS. This is a highly anticipated version since iOS7 will be the first release without any input from Steve Jobs & Scott Forstall who previously was Senior VP of iOS Software at Apple. iOS will now be controlled by Jonathan Ive who is also responsible for the design of all Apple hardware.
There is expected to be big changes in iOS this year, most notably will be the loss of the skeuomorphic design that we’ve seen in previous versions of the OS. Skeuomorphism means to design based on real-world products, i.e. Notes looks just like a real notepad or the calculator looked like a standard button calculator. Jobs & Forstall were big believers in skeumorphic design but Apple has been criticized because it looks dated compared to new user interfaces that are coming out. Jonathan Ive is said to have been given a free-hand, allowing him to completely redesign the OS and interface. That will mean something completely different to what we’ve seen so far. It’s be rumored that Ivy will apply a more flat design similar to the Microsoft Windows 8 style. A flat approach will make the OS more streamlined and cleaner. The core functionality of the operating system will be left unchanged, but look for most of the Apple apps to have a fresh redesign, including the icons.
Further Social Integration
Apple has been making efforts to offer deep social network integration in its mobile operating system, first offering Twitter integration in iOS 5 and then Facebook integration in iOS 6. According to rumors, Apple will expand its social network integration even further with iOS 7, including support for both photo sharing site Flickr and video sharing site Vimeo. As with Facebook and Twitter integration, Vimeo and Flickr integration will allow users to be able to sign in to the social networks in the Settings menu. Those one-time sign-in credentials will be usable across iOS, providing comprehensive sharing options and easy integration with other downloaded apps.
Apple is reportedly planning to enter the in-car integration game, attempting to stuff iOS’s Maps and Siri services deep into vehicle interfaces, moving even beyond iOS-based consoles, like the one Volkswagen is incorporating into its iBeetle. Cupertino wants to allow drivers to plug their iPhone into a car and interact with an optimized version of Apple Maps on the vehicle’s built-in display, instead of a propriety GPS system.
Apple is also rumored to be looking to overhaul the notification system in the software, providing more information and actionable notifications to the pull-down bar – a similar approach taken by Google for recent versions of its open-source Android mobile operating system. Rumors of OS X Mountain Lion-inspired swipe-able gestures are also spreading, although it’s not yet known how such functionality would translate to a mobile device.
Near field communication (NFC)
One of the big rumors about the upcoming iOS devices is integrated NFC and the ability to pay for goods with your phone. This would most likely require an updated version of Passbook that supports these kinds of payments.
The main problem: with Apple being as tight lipped as they always are, we have no idea what to expect from the upcoming design when it comes to specifics. That’s where iOS 7 concept videos come in. This latest one from Youtube user SimplyZesty (seen below) depicts not only new icons, but new animations as well as totally redesigned apps.
You can expect to see the new version of iOS7 on your phones in September or October. This usually coincides with the release of the latest iPhone. Expect a more definitive answer at WWDC.