With iOS 7 launching today, many of the apps on the App Store will be updated and overhauled to match Apple’s new aesthetic and incorporate the new features introduced in the redesigned operating system.
We asked the developers of some of the most popular iOS software how they adapted their design and functionality to iOS 7. You’ll find their answers below, along with a few first looks at some of the upcoming updates.
Please note that not all of the updates described in this post will be available today. Some are still in progress, while others have recently been submitted to iTunes and will be available shortly.
1Password by AgileBits
iOS 7 is a fantastic opportunity, the most significant Apple has offered for iPhone and iPad since January 9, 2007. The changes are pretty profound, and we’re working hard to use them to enhance 1Password in meaningful ways. The new depth and navigation tools are certainly something we’re looking at, and after recently adding item sharing via iMessage and email to 1Password 4 for iOS, we can certainly imagine some possibilities with AirDrop. We’re still working and polishing, though, and we can’t wait to share what we’re building.
— David Chartier, AgileBits Herald
Camera+ by tap tap tap
When I first saw iOS 7 during the WWDC keynote, I’ll admit that I was pretty shocked and horrified. It simply wasn’t up to Apple’s typical standards. While Apple has made some improvements to it and some parts have grown on me, overall, I still feel that iOS 7 is in many regards a step backward.
That being said, I and the rest of the Camera+ team have been extremely motivated by iOS 7 in the sense that it gave us a chance to reinvent the look and feel of Camera+ from the ground-up. The instant the WWDC keynote was over, I felt like we had a big challenge thrown at us and I’ve been hell-bent since then to try to outdo Apple with our reinvention of the Camera+ user experience.
The biggest challenge was to make Camera+ feel at home on iOS 7, while retaining the spirit of Camera+. It wasn’t easy, especially because there were several performance hurdles to overcome but I’m very pleased with the end result.
— John Casasanta, head of tap tap tap
Clear by Realmac Software
Whilst Clear felt at-home from the very first iOS 7 betas, we really wanted to refine the user experience. In addition to bringing Clear to the iPad for the first time, Clear for iOS 7 feels even-more at-home than ever before.
We’ve made some tweaks to the easily-recognised Clear icon – making the range of colours less jarring. We’ve also added an extra contextual hint on the iPhone – the list name is now shown above your lists – and we’ve refined the typography.
— Dan Counsell, Founder of Realmac Software
We essentially rebooted the Eventbrite app for iOS 7. We rethought the entire Eventbrite app for iOS 7, focusing on the interactions and the overall user experience. Developing for the new operating system gave us a great opportunity to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned from our three years in the App Store.
— Ravi Rani, Eventbrite Senior iOS Engineer
iOS 7’s new development tools and radical shift to simplicity allowed Eventbrite to be more iterative and speedy, focusing on the presentation of content, developing animations and interactions, and allowed for a more streamlined app architecture.
— Tom Censani, Eventbrite Production Design Manager
Finish by Basil
In a nutshell, iOS 7 has caused us to reconsider each UI element in terms of how it compares to the content–in our case, this is your tasks. We use a variety of things to achieve this, from a general (but purposefully not total) removal of gradients and shadows, zero gloss, and thinner, sharper text. The best way I’ve found to describe what we’ve tried to do is “lighten” the app, make it less dense and less complex. That said, I don’t think that the difference between an iOS 6 and and iOS 7 app should be as simple as “all one color” or “no gradients”. I think that the feeling of lightness comes from lots of tiny tiny tweaks–from a couple pixels less shadow here, a few shades lighter gradient here, etc, that really bring together the cleaner feel. I’m super excited about what we’ve done with Finish over the last few months to implement this aesthetic, and I love how it’s turned out. Lots more amazing things are coming, too.
— Ryan Orbuch, Finish designer
Infuse by FireCore
To this point, designing and developing for iOS 7 has been an enjoyable challenge. There is so much that is new, and (thankfully) many of the conventional tried and true design elements have been replaced or removed entirely. It’s been a forced, but welcomed change that has allowed us to create a new paradigm about what Infuse is, and what it could be. By giving us only a minimalistic design, Apple has swung the door wide open for creativity, as we’re left with nothing more than a blank slate from which to create from.
On a slightly more technical note, one of the bigger challenges we’ve faced thus far is the decision of whether or not to continue supporting older versions of iOS. Allowing Infuse to take full advantage of all iOS 7 has to offer, then having to back-port these changes to iOS 5, or even iOS 6, where many of the target APIs simply don’t exist is far from easy, and with the expected high rate of iOS 7 adoption, may have a limited amount of benefit.
— James Abeler, FireCore
Redesigning for iOS 7 is a wonderful opportunity to rethink structure and style that has otherwise staled. Apple has given us a new environment to play around in, and like previous versions of iOS it’s up to us, the developers and designers, to make it a better place. iOS 7 poses a clean slate and with a seemingly more powerful physics aspect and a focus on minimalism it’ll push us to reinvent and reinvigorate.
— Michael Flarup, designer at FireCore
Instacast by Vemedio
Instacast 4 has been completely redesigned for iOS 7, and it benefits from a number of different enhancements that the latest version of Apple’s operating system brings.
First, and perhaps most obvious, is the dramatic UI changes that we have incorporated throughout Instacast to keep parity with iOS 7’s new design. The addition of swipe gestures to return to previous sections of an app’s hierarchy has lead us to choose a sidebar navigation view for Instacast 4 over the floating buttons and on-screen icons found in previous versions of Instacast. This helps keep the app clean and clutter-free while adding access to even more options and views.
Additionally, the system-wide use of Helvetica Neue also means that we are able to fit more text into episode previews, and users will be able to maximize their screen’s real estate when browsing subscriptions, which is especially useful on the iPhone. Finally, the new approach iOS 7 takes to multitasking means that users won’t have to wait for Instacast to refresh or download new episodes – with iOS 7, it’s all done overnight and everything is instantly available as soon as the app is opened.
— Martin Hering, Vemedio
Sing! Karaoke by Smule
iOS 7’s entirely new approach to design and aesthetics catalyzed us to look at our apps with fresh eyes and rethink the holistic user experience. We literally redesigned our flagship product, Sing! Karaoke, from top to bottom adopting the beautiful and elegant conventions of iOS 7. This was not a light undertaking. We’ve been working non-stop on this for the past three months. We started off with superficial visual changes, but quickly realized that this was an opportunity for us to deeply re-examine the core user interactions.
iOS 7 is ultimately not just about the beauty, it is a philosophy about how the interface should be seamless so that the natural ease of use is a delightful compliment to the beauty. This is a philosophy that Smule strives to embody in everything we do and fully embraces, so we dived in head first with our eyes wide open.
The changes are extensive in scope with many important nuances. With such a short time frame, in order to address these seismic changes, we essentially started off with what we call “design engineering.” Our Director of Product Design, Nick Kruge, actually built several iterations of small standalone prototypes focusing on specific core interactions, testing out iOS 7 features, so that we could “play” with the design live. No amount of wireframes or mockups can substitute for the actual feel and use of the design once you’re interacting with it on a mobile device with realistic data. We found things that looked great in mocks, made a ton of sense in the flows, but somehow once they were alive on the device and we could play with it dynamically, they just didn’t feel or look right. This allowed us to go through many iterations of the design and have working prototypes that helped everyone to reach a good understanding and knowledge of the fundamental design changes which then naturally transitioned into full engineering development.
More than ever before, the engineering team was joined with the design team at the hip. Engineering had to go through extensive structural work in order to support both iOS 6 and iOS 7, while still maintaining the iOS 7 design, so you can imagine the amount of questions that come up about how to handle various interactions on different devices and OS versions.
Honestly, it’s also been just really fun. iOS 7 gave us an excuse to be bold and challenge our own previous assumptions. We are excited and think this will be an exponential improvement in the user experience.
— Jeannie Yang, chief product and design officer at Smule
Speed by High Caffeine Content
As a heavily skeuomorphic app, we were hit hard by iOS 7’s drastic new look and feel. It soon became clear that the only way to do the OS justice would be to redesign our app from the ground up, throwing away years of development work and artwork. We could easily have ported our old UI to iOS 7 and called it a day, but it wouldn’t have been the right choice; instead we took the chance to improve the UI and make it more functional and useful, while leaving room to expand features in the future.
— Steven Troughton-Smith, Speed developer
TeeVee by CrazyApps
TeeVee wasn’t far from iOS 7 design since it’s beginning in July. We are using transparency, blurred background and things that are used in iOS 7. However in last version 2.2 we went even further. The main change happened to the homepage view. As you can see in the screenshot there were white spaces. So we have removed them and made the cells full width and also little bit taller. The result is really close to the tiles used in Weather app. Also no white background on the homepage anymore now we are using fake blurred image. And we think that it’s going straight to iOS 7 design.
— Tomas Perzl, Co-founder of CrazyApps
Things by Cultured Code
We believe the true beauty of iOS 7 is not about flatness, hairlines or icon styles. It’s also not about gradients and shadows, that’s mostly fashion anyway. The striking achievement of iOS 7 is the way it challenges us to think about how we interact with an app: the restraint on ornamentation and the focus on content. These are principles that transcend fashion and will endure even after the fashion pendulum has swung back — and it’s exactly what we’re focusing on with Things.
— Christian Krämer, Co-Founder of Cultured Code
Twitterrific by The Iconfactory
When iOS 7 was announced Twitterrific users and industry critics alike remarked how well the design of v5 of the app already fit with the overall aesthetic of the new OS. Once we actually got used to iOS7 we noticed a lot of design and interaction details that could be improved based on what Apple had done. Visually and structurally we were surprisingly close to the mark, so that gave us more time to focus on overhauling the details of the interface and interactions as well as making sure the backend was taking advantage of all the latest APIs.
Specific visual aspects of iOS 7 that have been adopted in Twitterrific 5.3 include the removal of many of the button containers, subtle gradients as well as the rounded corners of dialogs and views have also been removed. The overall color scheme of the app has been changed to adopt the familiar tints of iOS 7 controls. Content is still front and center in the design overall but elements such as Twitterrific’s dark theme, sidebar and compose screens now reflect the more light-weight design approach that users will be seeing on 7’s launch day.
— Gedeon Maheux, Designer at the Iconfactory