Much has been said, both positive and negative, about the look of Apple's iOS 7, though new information reveals the design showed off at WWDC on Monday was merely a work in progress, meaning those initial impressions are likely to change in the months ahead.
According to The Next Web, people familiar with Apple's latest mobile operating system said the iOS 7 beta, as well as the preview shown at the WWDC keynote on Monday, is a "mid-stride" snapshot of the work being done behind closed doors.
The pace is so quick that some of the builds used to present the OS on stage two days ago were later versions of what was seeded to developers in the iOS 7 beta. It can't be confirmed which feature sets are more advanced, though the beta version is slightly inconsistent with the OS demoed on Monday by software engineering head Craig Federighi.
The fact that iOS 7 will change before it is released seems obvious in that the software currently in the hands of developers are beta versions meant for testing. However, while backend and UI tweaks are expected to change for early build software, the radically different new design language of iOS 7 is also reportedly largely under construction.
Interestingly, Apple's senior vice president of Industrial Design Jony Ive, who is now also the head of the company's Human Interaction section, called on in-house marketing design teams to flesh out the much ballyhooed first party app icons.
The sources said both print and web design personnel laid down a framework of color palettes and a general "look," which Ive's app designers used as guidelines to produce what was seen in the iOS 7 preview. As with operational facets of the OS, these are also works in progress.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, and from a design perspective that rings true. Ive and his team have managed to dismantle almost every theme and nuance that the OS has amassed over the preceding six years and six generations. From skeuomorphic iconography to UI and UX, the new iOS 7 tears down almost everything, replacing it with a clean, if not controversial, design. Apple has managed, at least in these early builds, to achieve a feel that is at once completely new and wholly familiar.