Some surprises we might see at WWDC 2013 next week

(Preparations for Apple’s 2013 WWDC developer conference / Image via Nick)

There’s a lot we already know about what we’ll be seeing next week at WWDC– we’ve already brought you exclusive details on iOS 7, OS X 10.9, a MacBook refresh, Apple’s new Radio service, and much more. What else might we see Apple show off next week? Below are a couple of our best predictions based on what we think Apple is most likely to show off as well as few things we’ve been hearing: Read more

WWDC 2013 Roundup: iOS 7, OS X 10.9, MacBooks, ‘Genius-like’ Radio app (plus new tidbits)

Photo by Nick Thulin

Photo by Nick Thulin

By this time in 2012, Apple had taken the stage and dominated the news cycle multiple times to announce products like a new iPad, Apple TV, new Mac operating system, and various other software for both iOS and OS X. However, the first half of 2013 has been low on Apple product introductions as the company, coming off of a big fall, has focused on minor tweaks to existing products.

Even though Apple has been out of the limelight, the Cupertino company has been hard at work on a slew of new hardware, software, and services products, and the company plans to introduce new versions of iOS, OS X, and the MacBook Air at its WWDC conference next week. Apple will be holding a keynote on 10 AM on Monday to talk about these new products.

Below, you can find our much-anticipated WWDC 2013 roundup along with many new tidbits about what Apple is preparing:

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OtterBox CEO discusses LifeProof acquisition, product portfolio diversity, and roadmap for growth [Interview]

OtterBox President and CEO Brian Thomas

OtterBox President and CEO Brian Thomas

We’ve seen OtterBox frequent the headlines lately, most recently for announcing at CTIA that it acquired its competitor LifeProof, and we’ve served up several hands-on reviews of their products.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss OtterBox and its vision for the future with President and CEO Brian Thomas, who is a former high school teacher turned company leader.

OtterBox, for me, is the defacto hyper-protective case maker and king of their market, but Apple and Jony Ive have increasingly thrilled us with beautiful hardware design of iPhone after iPhone. I wondered if there is room for an OtterBox product in every user’s life, especially those who most admire Apple’s design aesthetic. Read more

Steven Sinofsky on iOS 7 & flat vs skeuomorphic design [video]

Question is 36:38 in

With Tim Cook teasing the Jony Ive redesign of iOS 7 that we exclusively told you would be introducing a new flat design for iOS, we thought it would be interesting to get former Windows lead Steven Sinofsky’s opinion on the changes. While Sinofsky left Microsoft after 20+ years back in November of last year, he was involved in the latest releases of Windows 8 that many argue helped pioneer the flat UI design Apple is now moving towards. Our own Mark Gurman asked Sinofsky his thoughts on a new flat iOS 7 during his interview at the D11 conference earlier today.  Read more

Video from Tim Cook’s AllThings D11 interview: One iPhone, market share and discussing wearables

In the first videos from Tim Cook’s D11 interview tonight, the CEO discusses wearables and his view on Google Glass not having mainstream appeal, Android market share, and why Apple still only makes one iPhone. Cook also announced 13 million Apple TVs sold to date, hinted at game changing products in the pipeline, and confirmed a Jony Ive designed iOS 7 is on the way.

Head past the break for more video clips from the D11 conference tonight and over to our live blog for a recap of the entire Tim Cook interview.
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Jony Ive’s new look for iOS 7: black, white, and flat all over

ImageIve

With the grand unveiling of Apple’s next operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch approaching, sources have provided detailed descriptions of what users and developers alike could expect from the software’s fresh look.

As we reported in April, Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has been leading a thorough overhaul for iOS 7 that focuses on the look and feel of the iOS device software rather than on several new features.

Sources have described iOS 7 as “black, white, and flat all over.” This refers to the dropping of heavy textures and the addition of several new black and white user interface elements.

Sources say that over the past few months, Apple has re-architected iOS 7’s new interface several times, so until the new software is announced at WWDC, interface elements could dramatically change from what Apple has been testing internally in recent weeks.

Nonetheless, you can find what we have been hearing about iOS 7’s new user experience below:

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Apple’s recent design changes betray a big design shift in the works

Jony Ive

When Jony Ive took over the role of leadership for Apple’s Human Interface in October of last year, many speculated that the style of Apple’s design language across iOS and Mac OS X would also shift towards a flatter, more clean style. This speculation was fueled mainly by Ive’s feelings towards skeuomorphism and his minimalist design aesthetic.

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New iOS 7 concepts imagine Jony Ive’s ‘very flat’ iOS redesign [video]

Since we’ve posted our exclusive details on what Apple and Jony Ive has in store for iOS 7, there have been a ton of great concepts popping up that take into account the company’s new “very flat” approach to redesigning the OS. The first concept, above, comes to us from Simplyzesty.com’s  art director Philip Joyce who has imagined a flat iOS including a new look for Siri and the lock screen, a customizable home screen, and redesigned icons that all take the “flat” approach to heart.

Another new concept for iOS 7 was posted today by apfelpage.de, below, that shows off a flat look for shortcuts, a new multitasking experience, widgets, and much more: Read more

Bloomberg: Jony Ive’s new software design role could lead to delays for iOS 7

Jony-Ive-Excited-on-stage

Not much news coming out of a new Bloomberg piece today on Sir Jonathan Ive’s new software design role. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac first reported on some big upcoming changes to iOS spearheaded by Ive based on multiple sources who have seen or been briefed on the new “flatter” OS. While echoing most of what we already reported, Bloomberg adds that Ive’s new role will provide potential delays for iOS 7:

The introduction of new features, along with an emphasis on cooperation and deliberation, comes at a cost for Cupertino, California-based Apple. Engineers are racing to finish iOS 7, the next version of the mobile software, in time for a June preview at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September, internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases, people said… Bigger shifts, to such features as e-mail, may not even be ready this year and may be introduced in future releases, people said.

The report from Bloomberg doesn’t go into specific details about features which it claims “remain secret”, but earlier this week 9to5Mac shared details of other new features planned for iOS 7 including further Maps and Siri integration in vehicles. Apple is also toying with additional features that could possibly make their way to iOS 7, including new “glance-able” information and settings panels, such as the ability to access new panels via swipes from the left and right side of an iOS device’s display.

Bloomberg adds that Ive has met with companies behind gesture control technology that sounds similar to the Leap Motion controller. The report also noted that Ive led a two-hour town hall meeting in March to discuss upcoming changes, while pointing out that he now regularly attends meetings with Greg Christie and the software design team and has provided them with “an earlier look at what future hardware products will look like” Read more

Bloomberg: Apple to release its iWatch within 9 months

iWatch-Concept-slap-bracelet

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had a team of over 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device. At the time, we noted that all the recent rumors and intel surrounding the iWatch seemed like the lead up to an impending product launch. Bloomberg is out with a new report today, claiming Apple will indeed launch its watch product in 2013:

Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy… The watch business is experiencing a renaissance reminiscent of the cell phone industry before the iPhone.

The report added information about some of the potential features of the device that we had also heard of previously, including the ability to receive incoming calls, view maps, and record health data via various sensors:

Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.

Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen estimated Apple could generate $6 billion of the approximately $60 million in sales he expects the global watch industry to bring in during 2013. As pointed out by Bloomberg, gross margins are roughly four times bigger than TVs, which would only bring about $1.79 billion in gross profit for the company compared to $3.6 billion for watches.

Former creative director at Nike Scott Wilson told Bloomberg that Apple’s Jonathan Ive “has long had an interest in watches.” Read more

Full Jony Ive BBC video reveals ‘out of the box’ thinking on product naming, David Beckham connection

9to5Mac showed you a clip just last week from a recent BBC special of Sir Jony Ive receiving the prestigious gold Blue Peter badge (known as the highest accolade given out by the BBC’s Blue Peter program). We got our hands on the full Jony Ive clip from the technology special today, where we learn, among other things, about Apple’s ‘out of the box’ thinking on product naming and a little-known connection to David Beckham.

If we’re thinking of a lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’… already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. Because you think of a box being a square and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use because those can sort of determine the path that you go down.

Perhaps you could replace ‘Box’ with ‘watch’ and be on to something.

Earlier this year, Apple’s design guru assumed software design responsibilities from former longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall. CEO Tim Cook said in a recent interview that Ive “has the best taste of anyone in the world” and looks forward to his new role designing the “look and feel of the software.” Read more

New quick app switching & other concepts show options on the table for iOS 7 [Videos]

With the recent departure of longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall, many expect some big changes in iOS 7. Not only is Jony Ive taking over design responsibilities related to iOS, but also Apple is increasingly coming under criticism for its aging core iOS apps and highly requested features already available on other platforms that it has yet to implement. We discussed some of the big software features iOS 7 might have in store, but today we present a roundup of the best iOS 7 concepts we could find starting with a new one from the creator of jailbreak tweak Auxo.

Sentry, the original designer behind the popular Auxo jailbreak tweak, yesterday posted the new Quick App Switching concept above (via iFun). While Auxo provided a screenshot of running apps integrated into the iOS multitasking tray, the concept above takes a different approach and aims to add speed to the app switching process.

This next concept comes from YouTube user imjeanmarc and shows a tray accessible from the lock screen, providing quick toggles for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.:

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