In a rare interview, Apple's Jony Ive has spoken to USA Today about his thoughts behind iOS 7 and has revealed that it was a liberating experience to rid the operating system of skeuomorphism.
Speaking alongside Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, Ive explained his thought processes behind iOS 7 and how there was no need to refer back to the real world in its OS as consumers have finally become accustomed to touchscreen phones.
He also noted that him and his team only started working on the iOS 7 in November 2012. Given that it was shown off at WWDC in June this is quite a quick turnaround.
"When we sat down last November [to work on iOS 7], we understood that people had already become comfortable with touching glass, they didn't need physical buttons, they understood the benefits," said Ive.
"So there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally. We were trying to create an environment that was less specific. It got design out of the way."
Ive been speaking a lot
Explaining a bit more about how he came up with the design for iOS 7, it seems that Ive distilled what what was needed on the system to just the essentials.
"I think a lot of people see simplicity as the lack of clutter. And that's not the case at all," said Ive.
"True simplicity is, well, you just keep on going and going until you get to the point where you go, 'Yeah, well, of course.' Where there's no rational alternative."
Although Ive gave nothing away about what Apple was working on next – he even went as far to say "I'd lose my job" if he did – he did note that the addition of something such as Touch ID to the iPhone 5S was perfect Apple behavior as it showed how the company can integrate complicated technology into its products in a seamless way.
"This right here is what I love about Apple, this incredibly sophisticated powerful technology that you're almost not aware of, it absolutely blows me away," said Ive.
"You can't get this without working cross-functionally."
He also reveals the non-tech product he would like to redesign the most. And it is... the humble cup.
Read the full and fascinating interview at USA Today (opens in new tab).
- Want to know more about iOS 7? Check out our in depth iOS 7 review.