March 22, 2013
It has been nearly six months since Tim Cook fired long-time iOS manager Scott Forstall. Now, we’re beginning to see what this shakeup has meant for the company, and for iOS. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the new setup has brought together Apple’s industrial design team, led by Jony Ive, and Apple’s mobile software, or “human interface” team, managed by Greg Christie. “A thawing,” has occurred between the two groups, according to an unnamed Apple employee. This has resulted in increased “collaboration across hardware, software, and services. During the Steve Jobs era, Apple’s hardware and software teams rarely worked together. This dynamic lead to the odd mix between Ive’s industrial hardware design, and Forstall’s concept of skeuomorphism as it relates to software. Craig Federighi is the overall leader of Apple’s far-reaching software engineering team. However, Ive also has an influence on both iOS and OS X in his new position as Vice President of Human Interface. Very little is known about iOS 7, Apple’s first mobile OS without Forstall as a manager. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, Ive is pushing a “'flat design' that is starker and simpler” than past versions. The first indication of what the iOS reboot may ultimately look like takes the form of the recently updated Podcasts app. Version 1.2, which Brent Dirks previously mentioned, includes a number of new tools. However, its biggest change is the loss of the reel-to-reel skeuomorphism of past versions. I don’t expect Apple to reinvent the wheel with iOS 7. However, bringing to market little tweaks like the one above could go a long way at bringing better synergy between Apple’s hardware designs and the software that runs on them. In the coming months, AppAdvice will provide full coverage of iOS 7 from the first time a beta is announced right through its public release. We hope that you will join us! See also: Should iOS 7 Come With Third-Party Apps Preinstalled? and A Brilliant iOS 7 Concept And Video.