Every time Apple sneezes, the global consumer tech industry goes on a whirlwind. It doesn’t matter if there is hype before a launch. Apple fans, competitors and analysts go on overdrive to analyze every aspect of a new Apple product. The tech giant is arguably the leader of innovation, design and quality, Apple has set the expectations from both fan and foe.
So it was not different on Monday when Apple released iOS 7, the latest operating system for the successful iPhone and iPad devices. Facing increasing competition from Samsung in the hardware space and Google’s Android in the OS sphere, Apple had to up its game seeing they haven’t released any ground shaking innovative product in a while.
But rather than upgrade the iOS by making it more sophisticated, Apple decided to downgrade it and simplify the OS. Steve Jobs obsession with design, user experience and simplicity seems to have crawled back to the Apple headquarters.
At the unveiling of the iOS 7, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering termed the iOS 7 as “the most significant IOS update since the original iPhone.
“To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning.”
But it is emerging that Apple had to take a radically different approach in creating the new iOS. According to insider sources at Apple inc. quoted by thenextweb.com, the team that came up with the look and feel was totally different from the designers that worked on iOS 6.
According to the sources, John Ive, Apple SVP in charge of Design picked a team from Apple’s marketing and communication department to design the icons and then asked the print and web designers to set the look and color palette of the stock app icons. It is only after this that the app design team worked on the technical aspects.
The result: a radically different interface but also some inconsistencies in design, according to analysts. Though Apple has admitted the product is still in development and will undergo refining before it is shipped. The changes include; the lock/unlock slider (which will take some time for Apple users to get used to), the different Safari browser icon and the interesting multiple page display. (Check out full specs of iOS 7 in this video)
Ive, who has an additional title of Head of Human Interaction, said the iOS 7 is a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.
“There is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation—it’s about bringing order to complexity,” added Jony Ive.
The jury is still out on the new iOS 7 but as usual, Apple has set the webosphere abuzz with major talking point being on the design: Are the changes too radical for Apple fans? Will Apple gain new lovers as a result of the iOS 7? Should we rethink the composition of the product development team?