May 24, 2013 at 5:11 PM ET
Apple has scheduled the keynote address for the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for June 10. On that day, we expect to hear the latest about the company's mobile and desktop operating system. It's the mobile operating system, or iOS, that has our attention in particular though, because the rumor mills are predicting some dramatic changes.
According to 9to5 Mac's Mark Gurman, his sources claim that iOS 7 will be "black, white, and flat all over." This means that the glossy, shiny elements of iOS will go out the door and be replaced by a clean, minimalist look — and lots of black and white interface elements.
Gurman has previously reported that the representations of real-life objects — think about the bookshelf-like appearance of the Newsstand app, the yellow Notepad app and so on — will be absent from iOS 7. (That's right. Wave buh-bye to the skeuomorphism.)
It's not surprising that big changes are coming to iOS 7. We expected that ever since it was revealed that Scott Forstall, former senior vice president of iOS software, is out and senior vice president of industrial design Jony Ive — who heavily draws inspiration from German industrial designer Dieter Rams and his functionalist approach to things — is running Apple's human interface team.
Bloomberg's Adam Satariano suggests that some of Ive's changes mean that iOS 7 will cut it close. "While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September," he writes, "internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases." Daring Fireball's John Gruber — who tends to have a finger on Apple's pulse — supports this claim by offering that he'd heard that engineers have been pulled from the OS X desktop operating system team to work on iOS, because it's running behind.
Dramatic and intense as the upcoming changes might be, there's plenty of faith in Ive. In late 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Tyrangiel interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook and asked about Ive's new responsibilities with the human-interface team. "I mean, look at our products," Cook said while reaching for his iPhone. "The face of this is the software, right? And the face of this iPad is the software. So it’s saying, Jony has done a remarkable job leading our hardware design, so let’s also have Jony responsible for the software and the look and feel of the software, not the underlying architecture and so forth, but the look and feel."
We'll find out just how well-placed Cook's faith is in the coming weeks.
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