With Android already ahead in terms of features and catching up fast on design, and iOS 6 having received a lukewarm response, Apple is dealing with a lot of pressure from the community to really deliver with the next major release of iOS.
WWDC 2013 is set to kick off tomorrow at Moscone Center in San Francisco, and iOS 7 is the product announcement everyone is looking forward to the most. There are strong rumors of a Jonathan Ive-led shift to a “flat design” overhaul, so in this Ask The Readers feature article, we go through some of the best flatly designed iOS 7 concepts.
Interactive iOS 7 Concept by Recombu
You slide to unlock an “iPhone 5S” to be welcomed by flatly designed app icons, some of which you can actually tap on to open the app. The apps themselves look the same as current iOS 6 stock apps, but with drop shadows and gradients removed to give a “flat” look.
Check it out here.
Almost Flat iOS 7 Concept by MK
Going completely flat would be a radical change to iOS that would certainly alienate a good part of the less technology-friendly iOS userbase, so Mohamed Kerroudj came up with an iOS 7 that is ‘almost flat’. The presence of minor drop shadows and layering effects make it look new while simultaneously maintaining familiarity with previous iOS versions. This is my personal favorite iOS 7 concept. It’s an excellent combination of the old and the new.
Reimagining The Multitasking App Switcher
Jesse Head’s iOS 7 App Switcher Concept takes the best features of Windows Phone 8, Android and webOS’ app switchers, and combines them with popular jailbreak tweak Auxo.
Currently running apps are shown in the form of cards that can be swiped away. Each card is ‘live’, so you can, for example, see where you are in Apple Maps in one less step. Connectivity toggles, music playback, brightness and volume sliders are shown at the bottom. All told, it is similar to the “webOS-like app switcher” rumored for iOS 7. I’m not too happy with the current app switcher, so this is something I am really looking forward to.
iOS 7: The Future of the iPhone Concept by SimplyZesty
SimplyZesty’s iOS 7 concept wholly embodies the flat design philosophy. It uses bold colors a light background, and stunning animations to deliver a user interface that looks and feels almost exactly like Windows Phone (the square icon designs don’t help!).
My own opinion is that Jony Ive and co. will not go for a completely flat design as that draws close comparisons to Windows Phone. Apple likes to tell other companies that they are copying their features and designs, so they would want to maintain that going forward.
To get an idea of what to expect from the iOS 7 design overhaul, have a look at the WWDC 2013 app. Observe the subtle gradient in the app icon, the confident use of bright colors over a white background, the lack of drop shadows and a suppressed layering effect. This is how iOS 7 will look like, and I don’t mind it at all! Death to exaggerated skeumorphism!
Rumors suggest that all stock apps will have a unique color on a white background. The rounded icons you see in the WWDC logo above? These are the colors Apple will be using. Bold, bright, ‘flat’.
So, which concept is your favorite? Sound off in the comments section! Be sure to let us know if we missed any good concept designs.