If some of the rumors about this week's Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and iOS 7 are true, expect app developers to be flat-out resistant to the user interface changes.
Speculation has been swirling that, among the possible release of new MacBooks and the launch of a streaming music service called iRadio, Apple will debut the next generation of its smartphone operating system. In fact, the app Apple created itself to help attendees navigate WWDC was widely interpreted as the first glimpse of what iOS 7 might look like. Few of the developers commenting on Twitter, however, were impressed.
I'm hoping for massive change, but expecting little. // What the New WWDC App Tells Us About iOS 7 bit.ly/1aXKZkV— Wes Bechtel (@wesbechtel) June 4, 2013
Some suggested that despite its reputation for innovation, Apple might simply be taking a copycat approach to its next OS.
The biggest controversy surrounds changes to the iOS UI that will favor a more streamlined, flattened aesthetic. This provoked some of the most negative comments.
Well, there we go then. Whatever is eventually going to happen in iOS7, apple are moving to flat design in their apps wired.com/gadgetlab/2013…— Jack Kelly (@SecretImbecile) June 4, 2013
Not everyone agreed.
I love that flat design is coming into its own. It's like I just needed to stick around to be appreciated. ow.ly/lKVAA— Laura Mattis (@lauramdesigner) June 6, 2013
On his blog, Apple After Steve Jobs, an iOS developer named JF Martin pointed out the potential problems of using WWDC as a launch event for iOS 7.
User Interfaces are not products by themselves. [The] best user interfaces are hidden from the users. We interact with them without knowing it. In that context, and for all great user interface designers, presenting iOS 7['s] updated UI could be seen as awkward," he wrote. "The other reason I think (sic) is that focusing too much on the UI could be seen as an admission that iOS 7 is only about the UI and nothing else. We all know that Apple must invest much more on other areas as well in order to keep iOS a modern and lively mobile operating system."
While everyone at WWDC is watching what happens onstage, let's hope Apple is listening.