It’s been over six months since Apple’s design chief Jonathan “Jony” Ive took over the reigns of the company’s software UI design from former executive Scott Forstall. Forstall was given the boot by CEO Tim Cook after botching the release of Apple’s in-house mapping service and then failing to take responsibility. Ive, who has been the company’s driving force in product design, is now merging his unique industrial design sense with the upcoming iOS 7 software design.
With only six months on the job, Ive’s overhaul may be taking a toll on the team(s) involved. Six months is not a lot of time to implement a system wide UI (user interface) change, especially with the concepts Ive has planned. Whereas Scott Forstall love skeuomorphism (fake real world textures), Ive prefers a more intuitive and flatter feel. Ive’s plans, according to inside sources(Bloomberg), will see a complete redesign to core applications like Safari, Mail and Calendar, amongst others.
Because Ive took over late in the year (2012), work on iOS 7 had already begun and thus much of the team’s previous efforts had to be redone. As such, certain aspects that needed to be tested were delayed by over a month. Ive is also being careful and fully testing every aspect of iOS 7 to make sure his debut software effort isn’t a botched failure like Forstall’s Maps. Rumors say that Ive has even pulled in some of the OS X team to help get the work done in time for a public debut in June at Apple’s WWDC (World-Wide Developers Conference).
With Apple’s next iPhone—the rumored 5S—being pegged for a late summer release, possibly September—Ive may have enough time, but he may have to shelve some concepts to make the deadline. Some concepts may have to be released in future software updates in order to insure that everything is tested properly and lives up to Apple’s high standards.
Steve Jobs called Jony Ive his spiritual partner and trusted Ive like no other person at Apple, so if there is one person at Apple that the public—and investors—should trust too, it’s Ive. I have no doubt that he’ll deliver an exceptional visual experience, but I have to ask, will it be enough to calm the worries that Samsung is out innovating Apple?