It appears Apple has decided to let Jony Ive and Craig Federighi make the rounds with media today ahead of tomorrow’s official launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Apple’s head of design and software chief joined CEO Tim Cook for a wide-ranging interview this morning published in Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today has now published its own interview with the pair that mostly focuses on Apple design guru, Jony Ive.

In the interview, Ive expands on his thinking behind design changes in iOS 7 and the removal of skeuomorphism, noting that, “there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally”:

“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,” says 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 continued by showing off iOS 7’s new translucent Notification Center: “Look at that,” says Ive. “The lovely thing about translucency is you’re not sitting there going, ‘Where have I just been taken?’ because your world is still there.” Federighi added: “Before, the shadowing effect we used was a great way to distract from the limitations of the display. But with a display that’s this precise, there’s nowhere to hide. So we wanted a clear typography.”

Ive and Federighi also discussed the new camera system in the iPhone 5s with Federighi pointing out that other “companies are chasing megapixels” while Apple is focused on delivering a better photo taking experience. Ive agrees, noting, “This is terribly important and at the heart of what we do. We care about how to design the inside of something you’ll never see, because we think it’s the right thing to do.”

What would Jony be doing if he was no longer needed at Apple? Designing cups perhaps? Ive avoids giving a direct answer but tells the publication that “It feels like we’re just getting started”:

“Look at that chair, we understand it because its form and function are the same thing, which is how the manufactured world has been for hundreds of years,” he says in a soft British accent. “And then incredibly and relatively recently, there’s this opportunity but with a set of problems to create objects whose forms don’t hint at what they do. And they’re packed with incredible sophistication and capability.”….”It all feels so new and all-consuming,” Ive, 46, tells USA TODAY. “It feels like we’re just getting started.”

And if that next new and better thing really and truly couldn’t be a technological device, Sir Jonathan, what would it be instead? Ive mulls. “I’d like to design cups.” Cups? “Cups.” With handles or without? “Ah,” he says with a grin. “That’s for me to know.”

You can check out the full interview on USA Today. 

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15 Responses to “Apple’s Jony Ive and Craig Federighi talk removing skeuomorphism in iOS 7, chasing megapixels, and the future”

  1. Sir Jonathan Ive is a ‘true blue’ Englishman; he will NOT put up with any nonsense!


  2. Skeuomorphism is alive and well in iOS7 – just have a look at the current version of Apple’s own Find Friends, lots of stitched leather etc…


    • pak256 says:

      that app needs a serious update to ios7


    • It’s not “alive and well”. it’s on its death bed and going out the door. The only reason Find My Friends still looks like that is because it’s not a native app that comes with the phone and haven’t had time to re-design the look of it yet. The ONLY slightly skeumorphic app left on the phone is Reminders simply because it uses a light texture to simulate the look of paper.


  3. I wonder if the ‘people are use to touching glass’ is a hint at things to come? Say like a iPhone built like 5c except fully glass (of course treated glass)


  4. Jan Kowalski says:

    Sir Jony and iOS 7 Shit :(::::::::


  5. Why are they using notebooks? Jesus Christ endorse your own products, not notebooks from the 70s!


  6. Yea, it “got design out of the way” alright. ALL the way out. I feel as if I’ve stolen a toddlers toy phone.


  7. I understand skeuomorphism was a need in 2007, but I think wiping it away overnight with iOS7 was a little bit premature.