Apple is intending to release it’s next-generation iOS 7 mobile operating system in September, with an initial preview release shown to developers this June at WWDC 2013, according to a series of new reports from Bloomberg and AllThingsDigital.
This release schedule is despite some internal delays, according to AllThingsD:
While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September, internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases, people said.
The deadline shifts are said to be a result of redesigning significant interface elements of iOS. Both reports suggest that iOS 7 is a major overhaul that will focus on a more flat design, much of which is directed at removing interface elements that have come to be known as ‘skeumorphic’ by design, that is, onscreen interface elements that are intended to look like realistic images. Prominent examples of skeumorphism are the green felt tables of Game Center, wooden bookshelf design of Newsstand and iBooks, and the ruled writing paper like styling of the Notes app. The intention is to design that “favors simplicity over flash” according to AllThingsDigital. A side effect of this major iOS overhaul is that Apple is apparently pulling engineers off of the OS X team to work on iOS 7. Apple has done this in the past, which led to delayed releases of prior Mac OS X versions, and this may indicate that OS X 10.9 could be released later than originally expected as well.
There has been open speculation that the WWDC 2013 logo offers some indication of the new ‘flat’ interface. AllThingsD seems to go further with that theory by drafting the mock-up iOS 7 logo seen at the top of this post, which appears based based upon the WWDC hints. Otherwise, not much is known about the interface changes, though the well-connected folks at 9to5mac reported earlier in the week that iOS 7′s interface will be “very, very flat”, citing their own sources that offered comparisons to the Microsoft Windows Metro interface that appears in Windows 8 and Windows Phone OS.
Though many people have speculated that iOS 7 would be out sometime in the summer of 2013, these are the first set of release date rumors reported by traditionally reliable sources. It’s important to note that both Bloomberg and AllThingsDigital phrase the expected schedule the same, stating the public release of iOS 7 could be “as soon as September”, indicating there is a chance the release schedule could slip further out into the Fall. Nonetheless, a public unveiling at WWDC should offer a clear look at the interface changes that we can all expect to see later on our iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
WWDC is scheduled from June 10-14.