Flattened: WWDC 2013

It never fails but every World Wide Developers Conference, Apple’s Developer conference cum Revival, people try to divine what new features are coming by looking at the banners that are hung in Moscone center.

In years past the banners announced the arrival of each new iteration of iOS or OSX, this year people are looking for the sign that iOS7 will bring a change in the look of iOS. In recent years some users and writers have complained that the rows of apps that symbolize the iPad and iPhone have become stale. Where the apps that run on the devices have matured and pushed the touch design, iOS has remained unchanged. Monday is the day this is supposed to change.

With the ouster of Scott Forstall from Apple and Jony Ive taking over Human Interaction in addition to hardware, the hope was amongst the iOS faithful was a new iOS. This change in leadership has coincided with a rise in “flat” design (interfaces that are more digital in nature or play with UI convention) and a rejection of skeuomorphism (interfaces that reflect objects in real life).

According to many reports, Apple will unveil a new iOS with a revamped UI. Its said to be much flatter and less rounded than the current design and eschews the flourish of Apple UIs of old (with solid colors as opposed to textures).

Since we know so little, I thought I put my two cents in on what the Cupertino computer maker will show tomorrow.

iOS 7 and OSX

I think the bulk of the presentation will be on software. For iOS I expect a redesign of the interface. I’m not as certain that Ive and company will make as massive a change as people expect. They may open up the OS to allow for better interplay between applications. Also better interplay between Apple devices.

For OSX I expect it to get more features that exist on iOS and some minor changes to match iOS in terms of look. I do expect Apple to stress hoe OSX is not a mobile OS and show it in contrast to Windows 8. There maybe some talk around improvements in power consumption.



Apple has already refreshed most of its big devices (iPad, Mac Mini, iMac, Macbook Pro with Retina, MacBook Pro) but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t announce a hardware refresh for the iPad Mini (with a Retina display,  and lowering the price of the current Mini) and the MacBook Air (upgrading the devices to Intel’s Haswell chips). I sort of think Apple may take this WWDC to announce a new overall design change but not far removed from now.

All in all Apple is in the leader’s position. Unlike Google, iOS and OSX don’t need to slow down and clear up its developer story. And unlike Microsoft, Apple is not undergoing a major shift in business model or OS.

The only question facing Apple is what next? The iPad Mini was called long ago as was any major TV announcement or a watch. Its a bit like the question about what do you buy the man that has everything, what does Apple do now that its won?

(PS) On the Apple TV that is a toss up; tomorrow Tim Cook could go on stage and say, “Apple TV is open” and caused the “death” of whoever you list; or add minor improvements and call it a day.

images: Macstories.net/ MacDaily


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