The release of the iOS 7 platform at WWDC 2013 was perhaps the biggest upgrade to the iOS software since the first version was first released in 2007. From font choices down to the color scheme, iOS 7 aggressively diverges from previous platform versions.
Flat User Interface: iOS 7 is radically different, with more extreme changes to the user interface than any other iOS version. The platform introduces an entirely new navigational and structural standard that will make existing apps look and feel ancient. The skeuomorphism design principles that eschewed in earlier versions of iOS are long gone.
The methodology behind the design shift to a flat UI was simple. Focus user attention towards content within apps instead of having buttons and borders acting as a distraction to the user. User Interface designers and illustrators will drive the next generation of iPhone and iPad apps by utilizing new iOS 7 design principles. Most apps from hereon out will be developed with a flat design style in mind. Expect to see flat icon designs, buttons and navigation graphics.
Make sure that app content is discernible through translucent UI elements—such as bars and keyboards—and the transparent status bar. In iOS 7, view controllers use full-screen layout
Redesign custom bar button icons. In iOS 7, bar button icons are lighter in weight and have a different style.
Prepare for borderless buttons by moving away from supplying button background images and by reassessing your layout.
Examine your app for hard-coded UI values—such as sizes and positions—and replace them with those you derive dynamically from system-provided values. Use Auto Layout to help your app respond when layout changes are required.
Examine your app for places where the metrics and style changes of UIKit controls and views affect the layout and appearance. For example, switches are wider, grouped tables are no longer inset, and progress views are thinner. For more information on specific UI elements, see Bars and Bar Buttons, Controls, Content Views, and Temporary Views.
Adopt Dynamic Type. In iOS 7, users can adjust the text size they see in apps. When you adopt Dynamic Type, you get text that responds appropriately to user-specified size changes.
Make sure your app doesn’t respond inappropriately to the new Control Center gesture or to a navigation controller’s swipe to go back gesture, especially if you perform custom touch handling.
Revisit the use of drop shadows, gradients, and bezels. Because the iOS 7 aesthetic is smooth and layered—with much less emphasis on using visual effects to make UI elements look physical—you may want to rethink these effects.
If necessary, update your app to best practices for iOS 6—such as Auto Layout and storyboards—and ensure that the app uses no deprecated API.
Now that you have a better idea of the types of things you need to do, learn more about changes in view controllers, tinting, and fonts by reading Layout and Appearance.
Motion Effects: Using advanced sensors on the device to determine where the device is facing in disposition to the user. The API will automatically give elements within your app a 3 dimensional effect, where the elements shift in accordance with the movement and tilt of the device. New view controllers and screen transition will be able to unlock an entirely new crop of beautiful applications.
Previous versions of iOS had very little consistency between apps. iOS 7 encourages developers to utilize the flat user interface style, defined by leveraging more white color palettes with excessive use of translucency enabling apps to achieve that dreamy 3D effect.
iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do. (Apple WWDC 2013)
Data Management: iOS 7’s powerful new “hooks” into the operating system present a bonanza to iPhone and iPad app developers. iOS developers now have the ability to download data onto a users device while an application is running in the background. This change in the software architecture is a huge boom to developers who deploy data heavy applications such as photo/video apps and social networks.
Frequently used apps will be updated more often automatically than apps infrequently used. This example of machine learning by the device give popular apps background processing power, allowing it to work faster and more intuitively.
App discovery has always been a gaping weak spot for Apple. It’s hard to find the app you really want among the clutter of a crowded app store. The iPhone and iPad app stores will have over 1 million apps to choose from. Apple seems to have recognized the need for smarter app store search functions. You can now search for apps based on your physical location.
If you are standing at the base of the Egyptian Pyramids, with the press of a button you can now do a geo-search for apps by the Pyramids and download relevant Egyptian history apps.
Typography: The new version is heavily tilted to using “Helvetica New Ultra” as the font of choice. Users will notice right away that the font is thin, sleek, and easy to read. The typography takes full advantage of the retina display to scale seamlessly according to each user’s view preferences.
The most important changes that iPhone app developers and iOS users will notice is the striking updates made to the visual appearance of the platform. Apple’s list of changes in iOS 7 is mile long and is set to be released to the greater public in the Fall. Developers have been granted immediate access to begin toying with the platform, so our iOS development team has compiled this list of new features that you’ll expect to see in the next crop of iOS 7 apps being developed now.
iPhone and iPad users will be able to take advantage of an improved mail app with better search functionality. New multimedia features will give users enhanced capabilities to download TV shows and videos. Enterprise users in the business world will benefit from key security improvements, such as support for virtual private networks (VPN’s) and account management enhancements.
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