Apple's Jonathan Ive is reworking so much in iOS for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that he has apparently been pulling resources from the OS X team to keep development on track. Sources claim he's been stripping the skeuomorphic design elements from iOS in favor of a flatter interface look, and is looking at some app changes big enough that they may not be ready in time to ship with the release of iOS 7 later this year.
Sources speaking with Bloomberg said Mr. Ive has been reviewing app changes and new features closely to avoid public missteps like the company experienced with the launch of Maps in iOS 6. He has been looking at fairly major changes to Calendar and Mail, too.
Apple is apparently still on track to show off iOS 7 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and plans to have the major OS release ready to ship as early as September. WWDC is Apple's annual conference for iOS and OS X app developers, and is scheduled for June 10 thorugh June 14 at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco.
Mr. Ive has apparently made a big internal change that deviates from the Apple of Steve Jobs. He has the company's software and hardware sections working together, which could help with consistency between apps and make for a more unified feel between hardware and the software it runs.
Apple's applications have taken on more skeuomorphic design elements over the past few years, and Mr. Ive hasn't been pleased with those changes. Now that he's in charge of the comapny's hardware and software design, he's been making some changes -- most recently with the iOS Podcasts app. He stripped the reel-to-reel tape player animations from the app, freeing up space for functional design elements, and testing user reaction to the non-skeuomophic changes at the same time.
Apple isn't talking about what changes are in store for iOS 7, but the company did say the operating system would be previewed during WWDC. That means we'll get our first look at iOS 7 in just a few weeks, and there's a good chance it's going to look substantially different than iOS 6.