Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Cheap as in Computing

Lots of smart points regarding the design changes in iOS 7. First, Craig Hockenberry:

The visual simplification of iOS has led directly to a simplified implementation. As every developer knows, the less work your app does on a mobile device, the better it performs. It’s a lot easier now to make an app that feels fluid and uses less CPU and GPU resources.

Interesting take. iOS was already smooth, with scores of developers who had an appreciation for responsive and fluid applications. For that to be made easier for developers will produce an improvement for end users; put another way, if already have such a focus on an application’s performance, that will be magnified in iOS 7.

Hockenberry on Twitter:

Production time for iOS 7 icons is much lower, but doing design concepts takes A LOT more time. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy.

Think stylized, idealized, and simplified — all at the same time. Take a look at the difference between Xscope icons on iOS 6 and 7.

Then this, from Jeff Rock:

[W]hen I saw iOS 7 for the first time, I knew that all those techniques I’d developed over the last five years were toast. Background textures, text shadows, beloved one-pixel, pure-black, half-opacity, outer glow blend layers. A Dropbox full of custom-built iOS component PSDs. All bound for the virtual landfill.

It’s a brave new world of interface design. Apps which use the stock UIKit components will look refreshed on iOS 7 — certainly to a greater degree than apps using standard UIKit components in previous versions.

But apps which are more customized are going to have to consider an entirely new design language. Old apps will look, well, old on iOS 7; they’re too heavy and too dark for the bright, white language of updated apps. Luckily, Craig Hockenberry did some research into how many developers plan to update their apps for iOS 7. Spoiler: almost all. This is the kind of thing Apple can get away with. The development community surrounding iOS is extremely and uniquely strong.