iOS 7 gets a flat makeover

iOS gets a flat makeover

iOS gets a flat makeover

The day has finally arrived for Apple to supposedly change the design language of iOS and fuel a paradigm shift in app design. For the last 5 years, Apple has carried the traditional Skeuomorphic design whether it’s the Note application or the Game Center, designs which mimics real life whether giving it a real Notepad look or a billiard table where the bottom & top bar has the texture of a polished wood and the middle is engraved with velvet green.

Undoubtedly, as the people at  Daring Fireball noticed the interface of iOS was designed for someone who has never used a smartphone before.

Apple goes flat

With Microsoft proving refreshing to its users, Apple is jumping on the wagon too. As per the leak from 9to5Mac, Apple plans to go flat with their design.

With Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall praising Skeuomorphic design for the last few years, we are looking for a big turn-around. This is a big day for Apple, reviving their 2007 moment when they introduced an all new intuitive mobile OS in front of gaping crowds, a moment that changed the way people perceived smartphone OS. To one today, with function triumphing over design. A mock up of revamped icons in iOS 7 has been presented above which clearly tells you the change in approach.

In fact, if the site is to be believed they have even changed the glossy and shadowed dock. Thereby, entirely getting rid of skeuomorphic effect that iOS posses right now. Moving on from Helvetica to Helvetica neue ultra light, the font gets lighter too, complementing the flat design.

Helvetica Neue Ultra Light

Helvetica Neue Ultra Light

It could be refreshing and something new for iOS users. The flat design language might define how design for mobile application would look like for the next 5 years.


This could be a disappointment for many users who love iOS merely due to the skeuomorphism oriented interface of iOS.

Smartphone users who bought iPhone in 2007 and still remain loyal to it, is not due to the fact that they needed a flat or minimal interface. Instead they truly admire the skeuomorphism in it. Hence, there’s a probability that if Apple takes Skeuomorphic interface away from its users, some might never update to iOS 7 (unless Apple push them to do so).

These are the trade offs for taking a huge paradigm leap in the tech industry. One might lose some potential long time users, but one might also get more. In the past it took Apple some time to explain what they do, and why they did things a certain way but they always justified their choices.

We opine

We, at Sparklin, have an opinion that instead of completely getting rid of skeuomorphism, some apps need to incorporate skeuomorphism; it helps incorporate a sense of nostalgia, a connect to real world objects. Consider a Piano app or a DJ app where the Skeuomorphic interface reminds you instantly about what different elements in an application do.

It’s acceptable if Apple would want to throw skeuomorphism from their bundled apps, since they don’t provide an experiential lure anymore. As way back in 2007, most users of smart phones were not well versed with touch interfaces, icons which mimicked real world objects was a necessity.

However we feel that third party developers could go for a flat design approach if they think this could appeal more to their audience, otherwise, they might ignore it too. Before we make any conclusions, we will actually want to see the real deal. Till then, we would like you to throw up your opinions about flat and skeuomorphic designs.

(Credit: 9to5mac)

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About the Author:

Monis cares a lot about mobile UI/UX design, religiously updates himself about the geek world, loves playing Tekken and Metal Slug. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @mo9is

  • http://www.KingSidharth.com King Sidharth

    Apple has NOT gone “flat”. They just simplified the interface. Gradients, textures, shadows are still there but very subtle. Saying they’ve gone flat would imply that they’ve taken those out.

    They are focusing on typography. But I doubt Helvetica Neue “Light” will work very well. Let’s see how there future iterations are.

    • Monis Manzoor

      Agree. But the way the icons have been designed, it seems they have gone a step backward or perhaps more. The previous look felt a tad more polished, whereas the one we have right now in Beta 1 feels unfinished and cartoonish (even if it’s related to how font has been aligned in apps). Undoubtedly, the look is subjective, and they might change it in upcoming iterations. My fingers are crossed!

      • http://www.KingSidharth.com King Sidharth

        No doubt about that. This iteration is armatureish. I am with you there. But all I was pointing out was that it is not flat. Not at all.

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