Looks like Apple may finally be freshening up with iOS 7.
Sources close to Apple's iOS development team claim that the fruity company is taking cues from Microsoft to completely redesign a popular, familiar operating system. The upcoming iOS 7 platform will reportedly sport an entirely new design, breaking away from the glossy sea of apps that first began to flow on the original iPhone back in June 2007.
The new interface, reportedly codenamed "Innsbruck", will be "very, very flat" like Windows Phone 8: all the gloss, shine and "skeuomorphism" will be ripped out. That means icons will be void of any shadows, reflections and heavy textures, and may be presented as mere multi-colored boxes with the app's logo. This would make a more streamlined interface across both multiple devices and time itself.
Sources claim that despite the "flat" design, the new interface is not more difficult to use than earlier releases. The transition will reportedly be just as easy as it was when iPods went to color. Even more, core apps and system fundamentals like the Lock and Home screens will mostly operate in a similar fashion to how they perform on devices sporting iOS v6.1.3 and earlier.
In addition to the "flat" look, iOS 7 will supposedly include an all-new icon set for Apple's native apps, newly designed tool bars, new tab bars, and other fundamental interface features. Devices launching with iOS 7 will reportedly feature polarizing features to decrease the viewing angles of snooping, nosy on-lookers.
Apple is also reportedly discussing and testing ways to add more system options panels and information that can be accessed at a glance although it's unknown if these features will end up in iOS 7. Sources claim that one of the early ideas was to implement the new panels through swipes from the left and right side of an iOS device, similar to what's done on Mac trackpads.
One sign of the incoming design change can be seen in Apple's own Podcasts app. At one time, the design included a physical "tape deck" – which the user manipulated in order to move through the podcast – and virtual buttons. The new design which was introduced earlier this year doesn't feature the tape deck or virtual buttons.
There's also speculation that the colorful WWDC 2013 logo points to the new iOS 7 design, sporting a flat layout, lightweight modern text and other elements. Sources claim that the Game Center icon and interface materials will even be just a colorful, shedding the ugly green and brown casino-like design.
The move to change iOS to a new design stems from Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive. He's believed to be less of a flashy, skeuomorphic interface fan than predecessor Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall.