Jony Ive reportedly working on iOS 7 at Apple. Or, you know, doing his job...

Aluminium iOS 7 Find my Friends mock up

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 (mockup, above), or any change simply for change's sake. If nothing else, like Apple, Ive doesn't want to make different products, he wants to make better ones. That's what I expect with iOS 7, and iOS 8 after it.

But yeah, Ive's all in and engaged. Did anyone really doubt that?

Source: Wall Street Journal

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Jony Ive reportedly working on iOS 7 at Apple. Or, you know, doing his job...

39 Comments

Yeah I thought it was rather odd this was big news today. Hey great the man is working as usual, awesome! lol

Love the headline, yup doing the job he is being paid to do.
I doubt they will go away from the current icons on a home screen given the user base and education they would have to do. I'm thinking more unified colour schemes and flat textures.
The update to the podcast app i.e removal of reel to reel could be the start of things to come.

Scott Forstall is sorely missed. Jony Ive doesn't know anything about software. First release will be fine because of the work Scott initially started, but after that the remaining releases should be interesting to watch. The big news is when they release the tv, and how it will tie the Apple ecosystem together.

It isn't the built in apps that need updating, it's the OS itself, still missing many much needed features, I hope iOS 7 is more than some redesigned apps and app icons..

Whatever they do, I hope it doesn't look flat and boring like Windows 8..

I like the update but thought the reels were a nice touch. Shame to see them go.

With that in mind iOS 7 ends up anything like Windows/Metro/Modern. I'm done with iPhone. That flat minimal crap is terrible.

I'm betting Jony Ive will do with iOS what he did to the iPhone 5. Yep, on the outside it won't look as though much has changed but on the inside it will be a new beast and he will get blasted for making the same old iOS, though it won't be, it will be the best iOS Apple has ever made.

He is the difference - Apple's ace card. Can you imagine what he would do with a Samsung phone running Android? Ive is the one person who stood almost should to shoulder in the genius stakes with Steve Jobs. It's a good thing to let him fly and not constrain him to hardware alone.

Why does everyone put these people on such a pedestal. It's almost like a few of you think of them as deities. They are only human, they make great products, period. This worship of the next "iPhone messiah" really needs to stop. You're setting yourself up for disappointment, it's almost like everyone is setting themselves up for the Apple whinefest of 2013. This year instead of only whining about the 5S looking exactly like the 5, why don't we like on the fact iOS 7 looks like iOS 6.

There are very high expectations put on him. How he is successful. We need another 5 year leap ahead.

I look forward to seeing what they come up with. I hope it's gonna make some positive waves when it's announced.

Hopefully iOS7 will bring to the world what iOS6 was supposedly going to bring. Don't get me wrong, iOS6 is fantastic and all, but to me it's still lacking.

Has anyone thought maybe it would be good idea to maybe have an option to switch from traditional to the new UI design if Apple decides to create one? Everyone would be happy in those regards. Just a simple switch under settings or something.

This is a good thing. I think the level of the device will be simply but elegant. I think the software will become more intuitive. I can't wait to see the results. This should be exciting.

I truly hope he adds widgets and better iCloud as well as a few other things. There is so much lacking. Notification Center needs a major Polish. Please take note on lockinfo/intelliscreen

I doubt there will be much of a change to the desktop, since it's been the same since the beginning of iOS. Apple wants to keep it as simple as possible for everyday non tech users. Most likely more work to notifications. I don't have a clue what else they can work on

I don't think Ive will have enough time to truly put his stamp on iOS 7. iOS 8, after a full year of tinkering by Ive, will be the his...the iVE OS.

I hope they just keep making simple incremental changes to the ui. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just tweak it a little bit and add functionality and style. I think people forget how different iOS 6 is to the first incarnation of iOS. They have been heading in the right direction, I hope that they don't add unnecessary frills and ruin the stability and clean design we all know and love.

I can't wait for the next iteration when Jony can finally balance the force between software and hardware.

Only thing missing from Apple in my point of view is a weather/time widget. Other than that, the UI should continue on in its simplified form. Also, I would love to see a major overhaul of the Mail app, allow it to take the only thing Blackberry has in their advantage. Maybe even thicken the typing keys a bit too.

I'm really not sure why some people would expect sweeping changes in the iOS interface. Elements of it are certainly starting to show their age, and while I'm personally not a fan of the extremes of skeumorphism, small touches of it are quite nice. And sure, iOS doesn't have widgets, or live tiles, or 'cards', but would any such change really make it better? iOS probably isn't going to change drastically, because it doesn't need to. It's already slick the way it is. Jony Ive will only serve to make it that much more beautiful.

This is interesting because with the gap between iOS and Android narrowing people assume that there will be tons of changes. I don't think that will happen. Apple users don't want radical change we want solid well thought user friendly products that just work. It is why I switched from PC to Mac and why I have never gone back. I thinking tweaking and improving is the direction they should and will go. Sure the Android OS looks appealing on TV but I know Android users and they are frustrated to say the least it's kind of funny because you don't see them use their phones much but look around iPhones are always out being used and they are consistent from the first iPhone till now.

I'm pretty excited about the possibilities here. I would love to see quick menu options for wifi and Bluetooth also.