Skeuomorphism and the Unveiling of iOS 7

Apple’s new operating system has seemingly ditched their much vaunted real-world metaphors in favour of a stripped-back, minimalist approach. But what implications does this have for iOS 7? And moreover, what changes have been made to Apple’s famous operating system?

14 Jun 2013


A recent Twitter survey revealed that mentions of the word "Skeuomorphism" increased considerably around the time of various Apple announcements.

Skeumorphism Graph

So for people you may not use the word "skeuomorphism" on a regular basis, here is a well-researched definition.

In essence (and in relation to iOS 7), skeuomorphism is a style of design in which digital elements resemble real world objects that anyone could recognise. Steve Jobs was a real champion of this school of design, as he believed that computers should be so simple to use that even a complete novice could master its various elements.

But in spite of all of this fanfare, Apple's new operating system has seemingly ditched their much vaunted real-world metaphors in favour of a stripped-back, minimalist approach. But what implications does this have for iOS 7? And moreover, what changes have been made to Apple's famous operating system?

Let's find out...

iOS 7 Design

The iOS design has been overhauled for the latest version of the operating system. Each icon has been given a more "rounded" feel, as well as receiving a change in colour. The typeface has been tweaked as well, and has been given cleaner look.

The new design has also made the Control Centre a central part of the iOS 7 ecosystem. By simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen, users can control everything from Airplane Mode, music selection, brightness control, as well as the integrated flashlight. The Control Centre also does a great job of making both AirDrop and AirPlay stars of the show.

iOS 7


AirDrop has finally landed on iDevices. This means that you are now able to share anything from an app that supports Share Sheet. AirDrop is very easy to use, as a quick tap on the screen will give you access to this functionality, while AirDrop also allows you to share multiple items at once.

iTunes Radio and Music

Music is obviously a big thing over at Apple, and they are clearly very proud of their player on iOS 7. There have been several refinements, including the ability to select music that is stored in your iCloud as well as on your iDevice.

The layout has also been changed, and you can now tilt your phone horizontally to view a wall of album wall art. You can slide through all of your album tiles, and you can even tap on an individual album to zoom in.


Apple's latest web browser has also received a much needed update. In the new Safari, you can now resize the URL bar, giving you much more space to see what's on the rest of the screen, while the browser also allows you to slide back and forth through your browser history.

iOS 7 Safari (2)

Another pretty cool feature is the updated bookmarks element, which will sit on the start screen of your iDevice and collects all of the links posted via your Twitter feed. In addition, the tab system will be getting an update where you will no longer be limited to 8 tabs. These can be synchronised to your Apple phone or tablet via the iCloud.  

Camera and Photo Gallery

Although changes have been made to the camera app, there has not been much added in terms of new functionality. While the layout has been given a Jony Ive inspired makeover, with iOS 7 automatically arranging your photos into groups by location (or "moments"), there are no added features like the Zoes found on the HTC One or burst mode on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4.

App Store Overhaul

With iOS 7 incoming, Apple has decided that their famous App Store, which is home to over 900,000 apps, needs fine-tuning. Once the operating system has updated, you will be able to search for apps based on their recommended age range (a feature that should sit well with parents), while the "Apps Near Me" feature will show you all of the popular apps based on your current location.

But the big news is that apps will now automatically update in the background. Presumably this feature can be turned off, or set to work only when connected to Wi-Fi.


Say goodbye to that little bar that flipped up from the bottom of your screen, as multitasking will now be handled by being able to scroll through app icons along the bottom of the screen. Although this won't change much, it's certainly far more aesthetically pleasing.

iOS 7 is slated for release during the fall this year. The new operating system will be available on the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, the iPad 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations, the iPad mini, and the iPod touch 5th generation.