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Rumor: iOS 7 to get ‘significant’ overhaul, though development is behind schedule

iphone-5-mainOn the same day that news emerged suggesting a summer launch for an expected iPhone 5S, there have also been claims that work on the next iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, has fallen behind schedule.

According to high-profile Apple enthusiast and blogger John Gruber, an unnamed source told him that the team working on iOS 7 is so concerned that it’s pulled a bunch of engineers from the Mac 0S X 9 development team to help get the schedule for the mobile operating system back on track and ready for a possible unveiling at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference event, usually held in June. That could also be when the Cupertino company pulls the wraps off the iPhone 5S.

Gruber added that with iOS 7 we can expect a “rather significant system-wide UI overhaul”. In fact, it’s apparently so different that iOS engineers testing it out in the field “have some sort of polarizing filter on their iPhone displays, such that it greatly decreases viewing angles, thus making it difficult for observers to see the new look.” Secretive Apple, eh.

A UI refresh fits in with a recent report suggesting Apple design guru Jony Ive is working on the expected new look, which will apparently be stark and simple and with a “flat design”. However, one difference between that report and Gruber’s comments is that while Gruber says the alterations are “apparently rather significant”, the WSJ believes the changes will be “pretty conservative”.

For Ive and his team, the challenge is to present something new and exciting – the UI is looking a bit dated now, after all – but not so different that it causes confusion or annoyance among iDevice users, something which could risk breaking the bond carefully developed by Apple over the years between itself and its loyal customer base.

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