The new look for iOS 7
Apple's iOS 7 is coming Wednesday, September 18, featuring flattened icons and a more minimalist design, moving away from the three-dimensional candy-coated icons and skeuomorphic app treatments found in the OS since it came out in 2007. I like the new look, and with about a million third-party apps in the iTunes app store, this means that -- while they're not required to -- a lot of developers will probably update their apps to fit in with the new design scheme.
I asked a few developers whether they would be updating their design schemes and found a couple that had mockups I could use to show the differences. I also decided to go through and pick out apps for this slideshow that have similar design elements to iOS 7 -- such as flat buttons, uncluttered interfaces, or the deliberate use of white space -- to show that some developers may not need to change a thing. With that said, here are 12 apps that fit in perfectly with Apple's new iOS design.
Alien Blue is probably the top client for Reddit.com, the social link aggregator where users vote which stories rise to the top. Jase Morrissey, the developer of Alien Blue, graciously let me have a sneak peak of the redesign for the client that matches up with Apple's new design concept. The current version is on the left in this screenshot, with the updated mockup on the right. He says his app will be ready to update on launch day.
Hipmunk is the quirky and innovative travel search service that can factor in things like departure time, arrival time, stopovers, and price to return travel itineraries based on level of "agony."
The folks from Hipmunk were nice enough to send over mockups for what the app will look like when iOS 7 launches and you can see the telltale flat buttons and simple colors that make up Apple's new mobile interface. The change is pretty drastic in this comparison, and you'll notice that use of white space in the mockup on the right means you'll get less info on the page. Still, I think it makes for a cleaner look.
Pocket, formerly known as Read It Later, is a short-term bookmarking app that caches articles from any Web site offline and syncs across all of your devices. This means you could grab a bunch of stories before going on a trip, then read them on the airplane when you have no Internet connection.
Pocket already fits in with the style of iOS 7 (the slide shows the current version), but while we weren't able to get a mockup, the developers let us know the app will be getting a redesign along with new features in time for the launch of the new iOS.
If you haven't already played, be careful. Dots is an incredibly addictive game where making squares (out of four dots) is the key to success and high scores.
While you can access your Gmail account through the iOS Mail app, Google's standalone client offers tons of useful features, including tabs that accurately sort your mail to keep junk and promotions out of your main inbox.
Feedly quickly became the go-to newsreader once Google Reader closed up shop in July this year. Feedly has a simple and intuitive interface that already uses the flat buttons found in Apple's new mobile OS.
Haze is a weather app that launched well before Apple announced iOS 7, but sports a simple interface that will look right at home on a new iPhone.
The touch interface is especially cool for this app, letting you swipe to switch between temperature, sunshine hours, and chance of rain. When you touch the temperature, you get more info, with circles that pop out to give you highs, lows, wind speed, and other data.
The Yahoo Weather app matches the look of iOS 7, but that should come as no surprise, because the weather apps in both iOS 6 and iOS 7 are actually powered by Yahoo. The standalone Yahoo Weather app still differentiates itself, however, with extras like radar maps, wind speeds, and sunset and sunrise times.
VSCO Cam is an elegant photo effects app with a minimalist interface that lets you create great-looking shots in only a few steps. The interface is so minimalist that you'll even sometimes have to touch the flattened buttons just to see what they do. But if you like to experiment with your shots, you should definitely check out this well-designed app.
Zillow helps you zero in on home rentals, apartments, and house prices in the location you want to move to. You can also receive notifications when new listings hit the market, go down in price, or are sold so you can keep track of your favorite locations.
The screenshot shown here is of the current version of Zillow, but with the flat buttons on the bottom of the interface, I think it would already fit in nicely with iOS 7. Still, Zillow has announced that all of its apps for iPhone and iPad will be ready to go with an updated look in time for the launch of iOS 7.