Dear Apple, Inc., dear Sir Jonathan Ive, please bring back iOS.

Dear Apple, Inc., dear Sir Jonathan Ive, please bring back iOS.
June 11, 2013 Jens

First of all I really like what you are starting to do with the new iOS 7 total redesign, but please don’t let this UI be the final version of what’s coming.


To explain why, I have to take the longer way around. For me it all started with buying an iPhone 3G in mid 2008. When it first came to life after powering it on, it already started to change the way I think about how technology should work and look and feel. I was always very passionate about the UI/UX of software and devices and things throughout my developers life and even before that. This first iPhone 3G changed me in such a way that I now have driven almost every Windows PC out of the house (and there were a lot), converting completely to the Apple platform. Last year, I even started developing Apps for the iOS platform (after being a long time Microsoft .NET developer) and I am loving it more and more each day.


There was a lot of fuzz around the revolutionary flat iOS redesign before the keynote yesterday and I literally grabbed a bear and something to eat and watched the very personal and emotional presentation. I really like the new tone you guys at Apple are putting up, which for me is the core of what people around the world love and appreciate about your products. (Thus my emotional introduction)


But please don’t take away all of what nit-picking (in a good way!) designers, developers and customers all love so much about your user interfaces. Don’t sell your soul to all those fancy gimmicks like parallax thingamabobs and physics magic. Don’t get me wrong, I really like subtle animations helping the users while guiding them at the same time. But in my opinion this is too much. This is too much of everything.


On the other side there are the home screen icons. Very round corners, very large icon content combined with very child like colors and no real consistency in styling the core system icons. 


In one way you are poking the UI to bump and parallax like there is no tomorrow while at the same time you are taking away the essence of great user interfaces. The obsession to small details like tiny shadows, good weight icon sizes and recognizable but unobtrusive colors, etc. are completely gone in the current design of iOS 7. And yes, you can do great flat designs while giving people the freedom to details. 


Just take a look at the redesign of iOS 7 by Leo Drapeau at Dribbble. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It has all the subtle details we all love so much while still being fresh, clean and new.


I’d like to post a few quotes from another post by Piotr Denis:

Simplify, but give it back the artistic feel. We love Star Wars, Star Trek and other Sci-Fi movies. But what makes iOS feel so special, it is not only its simplicity of future but attention to detail. Simple gradients can do the job, but some shadows and more subtle colors were something what separated iOS from Android and Windows Phone systems with a bold red line, not the thin one.

(Taken from Save the iOS: An open letter to Apple, Inc. & Sir Jonathan Ive)


Please, don’t jump on the Android/Microsoft design train. “Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.” (Steve Jobs)


Jens Schaller 


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