Report: Apple's iOS 7 will ship on schedule despite sweeping changes
Insiders told AllThingsD that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will ship its overhauled iOS 7 mobile operating system on schedule, contradicting a Bloomberg report contending that dramatic software changes could wreak havoc on the computing giant's roadmap.
Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported iOS 7--expected to reach consumers this September--will introduce a revamped "flat" user interface that eliminates longtime iOS design hallmarks like gloss, shine and skeuomorphism. Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive--who assumed control of the firm's Human Interface efforts last fall following the exit of Scott Forstall, the firm's longtime senior vice president of iOS software--is spearheading the revamp.
Citing sources with knowledge of the iOS 7 overhaul, Bloomberg confirms Ive is re-imaging the UI in addition to exploring even more significant changes to core applications like e-mail and calendar. The report adds that engineers are racing to complete iOS 7 in time for Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, kicking off in San Francisco on June 10--engineers from Apple's Mac desktop team have been reassigned to the iOS effort, and sources told Bloomberg it's possible that Apple may choose to delay some new software additions and improvements, instead rolling them out in future iOS updates.
Sources speaking to AllThingsD confirmed that Mac engineers are pitching in to finish iOS 7 but said Apple is in no danger of missing any deadlines. "Yes, yes--it's essentially a repeat of the iPhone/Leopard scenario," one source said, referring to Apple's 2007 decision to delay the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by four months in order to ship the first iPhone on time. "Not as much of a fire drill, though. It will ship on time."
AllThingsD also corroborated rumors that Ive is jettisoning skeuomorphic hallmarks like linen-textured gray backgrounds, wooden bookshelves and spiral-bound notebooks. "Put it this way," said one source. "You know Game Center's green felt craps table? Well, goodbye, Circus Circus."
Forrester analyst Charles Golvin said iOS 7's design innovations must not obscure the intuitiveness that made the Apple platform so popular. "The key question here is whether those changes deliver on the core Apple promise of improving customers' ability to make productive use of the device and deliver a clearly superior experience Golvin said. "Presumably they don't need the flashy stuff to realize that vision."
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