Late last year Tim Cook reorganized Apple’s leadership, placing Jony Ive in charge of not only hardware design, but all design across the company. This, of course, included iOS 7 and future versions of all of Apple’s software products as well. Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Jessica E. Lessin reports that Ive is, in fact, doing just that.
Ive, who is well-known for his sleek, iconic hardware designs, now sits in on the human interface team’s regular review sessions to vet new designs, these people said. While he and [director of human interface Greg Christie], known as a blunt talker, have very different styles, the people familiar with the process described the sessions as “pleasant and cordial.”
We’ve been told similar, and some folks there seem downright ecstatic that Ive is bringing his sensibilities to iOS and Apple’s apps. But again, that’s his job now.
It’s important to remember, however, that iOS 7 has been in development a lot longer than Ive has been in charge of software interface, and regardless of what changes he may or may not want to make, there’ll likely be a hard cut-off for what can be implemented by this year’s release, and what will be left on the road map for 2014 and later.
While some may be hoping Ive takes a sand-blaster to iOS interface, especially the more heavily textured apps like Find My Friends and Game Center, and others may hope he leaves every skin and skeuomorph right where it is, based on past his statements, Ive will probably skew towards design that’s functional.
Today’s Podcast app update, which removed the animated reel-to-reel eye-candy and stylized button treatment for something more functional, if less charming, is being looked at as a harbinger of what might be next for iOS as well. Or it could just have been a darling killed in service of an overall better, faster to use app.
Ive’s hardware designs have always been minimal, but never non-existant. I don’t think we’ll be seeing an all aluminium iOS theme, or any change simply for change’s sake. If nothing else, like Apple, Ive doesn’t want to make different products, but better ones. That’s what I expect with iOS 7, and iOS 8 after it.