Apple has finally released the much anticipated design of iOS 7. I am excited at the new API’s that will be available soon. But I am sure a lot of you are concerned about 1 thing and asking yourselves, “What changes do I need to do to my app?”.


I’m sure we will find out in the months to come. But my initial reaction to the new design if iOS 7 was excitement. Excitement because we now have a whole new paradigm to start working with. It is literally the “new shiny object” that I can’t wait to start playing with.

I will have to admit that I don’t like some of the new additions. Like the Control Center design. The design looks really cluttered. And frankly, I hate the new UISlider, it looks too “Android”-y.

I am happy I don’t have to tap 7 times to dim the brightness of my screen when I want to read in bed without waking my wife up though.


Ushering in the new Era

If you are not excited about the design of iOS 7, see it this way. It is just a framework. Apple has set the precedent of prioritising “content over chrome”, now it is left to us to take that further and innovate with even better designs.

And, yours truly will be with you all the step of the way. Here are some changes you can expect at the Vault.

Loads of new fresh designs

We are going to be releasing loads of new designs in the fall as iOS 7 is released so stay tuned.

We have already started with the new Flattened template. Check it out here.


Templates will be retired

Some of our templates, the ones I feel don’t harmonise with iOS 7 will be retired. I can already see candidates in “Photoly” and “Foody” for retirement .

Redefining the landscape of App Design

This is a brave statement to make but I plan to get great minds together in the designer world and come up with even better designs than the iOS 7 default.

I am looking forward to the new era of app design. Stay tuned and let’s do this together.


  1. Andriy K

    I think it’s a great improvement and general sign of where the industry is going.
    Keep up the good work on these concepts.

    • Tope

      Some of the icons have lost their luster, true… But some are still good, like the Photos icon.. I like that one

  2. mitking

    Totally agree with Tim. New safari and settings icons are ugly for me. I don´t like control center design and the “Android”-y similarities either.

    I don´t agree 100% with this industry trend. What I´m sure is that Apple should hire Tope instead of Ive to design its interface 😉

  3. dmmcmah

    I installed it yesterday. I hate iOS 7. I found it really hard on the eyes using it any length of time and its just plain ugly. It seems to me that they are copying Windows 8 which is stupid. The icons of the main functions like the phone, safari etc. are so bright they are painful to look at. After feeling sick about it for 6 hours I got rid of it, which was not easy to do as they claim once you install iOS 7 you can’t go back but I figured out how thank God because I was prepared to throw the phone away and go by another one so I could return to iOS 6.

    Anyway I don’t think the designs should be retired, when I ran apps they still had their 3D appearance inside the app themselves although their icons appeared flattened.

  4. Robert

    Wow. I almost fell out of my chair when I read … Apple has set the precedent of prioritising “content over chrome”… Apple is following what they perceive to be the next design trend–Flat Design — Flat design may be better in the long run, knowing that humans do not need photo realistic icons and textures to make decisions. Think “image translation 101”. But who really knows right now.

    From a sheer aesthetic view Win8 is way nicer. Please remember that Apple’s design decisions are in part driven by their shareholders. They are a multi-billion dollar global corporation. They will do what makes them money. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but their attempts to expand market share and have their brand style be perceived as “I’m not a computer device… I’m your touchy-feely friend” may have outlived its usefulness. Besides, skeuomorphism is not easily scalable. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

    Your work and commitment to the web community is held in high regard. I hope the above is taken in the correct fashion. The web is not a done thing. We are all working it out as we go. There will be new trends. That’s what makes this glorious, ever-changing design mess so intriguing.

    • Tope

      Well said, Robery. but don’t forget. Even if Apple tries to please shareholders, if their core users leave because they don’t like the new changes,…. there will be no profits, therefore no money to distribute to said shareholders.

      Controversy is good. I read somewhere that… the ultimate failure in design is achieved if no one hates it…. True?

      • Robert

        Absolutely true, Tope. There seems to be a fair amount of hate floating around all this change. Will the core users actually bail and switch though?

  5. dmmcmah

    Hi Robert I totally disagree that the Win 8 view is nicer. I think its 100% ugly. Why is Apple following Steve Ballmer?

    I have a suggestion – maybe they could make the view on the phone optional. If you want the “skeuomorphism” you can opt for that, or if you want the “metro” flat look you could opt for that. It would add some size to the iOS software but with 32 and 64 GB phones who cares.

  6. David Braun

    I have not looked at iOS7 but it would be interesting to see the comments of people following iOS5 and 6 introductions. I was at WWDC last year and I certainly don’t recall people being unhappy with what Apple was doing. Maybe we wanted some things in there that weren’t there, but there didn’t seem to be this type of debate. Maybe Apple is upset with what Samsung and Google are doing to them and it is time for them to again start polarizing people, which does create devoted followers, as well as haters.

    • Tope

      Yes, David. As I said above, you do need to be polarising when it comes to design. If you try to please everyone, then you will please no one.

      Also, I don’t totally like all the aspects of the iOS 7 design but now is the time to watch what the design community does with it. It is a framework as I said and now that we can all get our hands on it, we can iterate and create better designs.

      The stock Apple apps were never the best designed ones anyways

  7. Bill DeWeese

    The new iOS design looks anything but flat. It seems to have plenty of depth with all that layering. I wish we would call it something other than a flat design.


      Hi Bill, yes it is flat. There is zero depth in the apps themselves. Its true that the home screen has a sense of depth do it with the icons appearing above your background image, and the background appears to move around as you tilt the phone. That is pretty cool, but I find the icons too bright and did not like the flattened appearance of non-Apple icons. If you open calculator, the clock app or any of the other apps they are hideously flat. Again I hate it, but that is just my opinion. I am sure others like it. So what I would like to see is when you activate your phone you have the option of what kind of overall look you prefer.

  8. Mark

    I don’t mind the flat UI concept, but this implementation is really really boring and ugly! honestly its just too bland with the white and no color, wireframe icons… it looks dreadful! a real mis-step from Apple I think. i must prefer the look of your Flattened template – they need to use some color etc to create some interest. Even the font is gross!

  9. Kalai

    Although the template is too flat, there are plenty of rooms to improve. In my openion, as a developer, we should improve the design to the next level.

  10. David

    Hi Tope

    Rather than retiring those themes, could they not be updated instead?

    Secondly, I believe I’ve already purchased those exact two Mobile App themes which you are thinking of retiring.

    Would I be allowed to swap them for others instead? Would it be possible to wait a while until you create new themes, so I can select iOS7 compatible themes?

    Many thanks, keep up the good work my friend 🙂

    • Tope

      Hi David, thanks for the feedback. Well, we are still in early days (iOS 7 is not due out until September) so let’s see how things pan out but surely we will have a transition package for people that buy retired templates.

      • David

        Great Tope

        Your support for your Mobile App Themes is always better than any of your competitors!!

        Let’s see what you can get out there for the iOS 7 release, I’m sure you will not disappoint us.

        Speak to you soon.

  11. shuo

    I don’t like the new look and feel. IMO, Flatten design is good for some apps but not for the whole ios.

  12. Osvaldo

    Hi Tope,

    I like the new design, not everything of course. You say you will put “Photoly” and “Foody” for retirement, but maybe some clients still want their apps to have that design.

    • Tope

      Well, if it doesn’t fit with the iOS 7 design principles, we may have issues supporting it and we need to be able to back a template 100% when we sell it.

      It is still early days though, we will know more about what templates can be supported or not as time goes on.

  13. Hamranhansenhansen

    > content over chrome

    That is what Apple said, but not what they did.

    Lots of content has a white background. Making white chrome mixes the content and chrome and leads to a blinding white screen. We saw this with the first versions of Aqua on Mac OS X in 2000. Notice the Mac windows are gray again. It is easier to ignore the chrome in many iOS 6 views — the chrome looks like part of the phone hardware. In many iOS 7 views, the chrome looks like part of the content.

    Icons *are* content. Imagine if Apple announced a grid for music album covers and encouraged music artists to use it. Removing the gloss (which was optional for developers anyway) and adding a grid intrudes *more* on the content, not less.

    And the only UI metaphor that is for sure more tired than visual realism is the page metaphor that the Web has already worn out. Illustrated graphics, gradients, type, and page layout is so very tired. It is a waste of the Retina Display to fill it with pure white and 2 color gradients.

    The icons are also confusing. There are 2 compasses and neither leads to turn by turn directions that are in a 3rd app. The Safari icon just says compass. The FaceTime icon says (back) video camera without the looking-at-you front camera inset. It’s just shoddy communication and ugly, obsolete iconography.

    And generally speaking, this is simply too much change and not enough reward for the user in one version. It’s like Maps 6 — 100% change but only better than 5 about 10% of the time. Apple should have shown discipline and gradually made small changes that are unquestionably better until goals like “content over chrome” could truly be realized in iOS 9 or 10. Mountain Lion to Mavericks exhibits that discipline. I already know I am skipping iOS 7 and I am an unabashed high satisfaction user of iOS 1–6 and Mac OS X 10.0–10.8. I think there will be lots of users who feel the same as me. The reward of iOS 7 is easier access to basic controls and multitasking but at much too high a cost in the features I rely on in my work, because my workday is about half iOS-only and the other half is iOS+Mac. Jony Ive himself said iPhone 5 is almost exactly like iPhone 4/4S because users rely on their iPhone in a very personal way and iOS 7 betrays that entirely. To me, the software is 90% of the device and the hardware is 10% — like a plant (90%) and plant pot (10%) so I’m really relying on the software, not the hardware. Users don’t think like software developers that a new version should kill the old. Users don’t think in versions. Radical change just seems broken. Their muscle memory is betrayed, their productivity damaged, their focus on their work is mitigated. With iOS 7, I feel like Apple prioritized their own internal boardroom struggle (out with Forestall) and forgot to prioritize the needs of 400–500 million users who want things to get better, not just get a different coat of paint. Only one of my iOS complaints was addressed in iOS 7 (no system AirPlay toggle) while my other 4–5 complaints all got painted white but still work badly. Very disappointing.