Using color to sort things isn’t a new idea at Apple nor at any software company for that matter. Colors are a great way to distinguish between things because they are (1) one of the unique things that are known to us soon after birth and (2) unmistakable; you can’t get green and red confused unless you’re colorblind or are the age of three (I mean no offense to colorblind people and, now that I think about it, that may actually be something Apple needs to explore). I was reminded of this while browsing through the Cupertino corporation’s latest official app offering and found that they have brought a concept long apart of the default calendar app to the year 2013.
For those of you that don’t know, Apple released its official WWDC app earlier today and with it came much speculation that the company may be giving its fans a look at what iOS 7 may look like.
WWDC app icon looks like a good indication of what’s to come https://t.co/yS0LykxXwC
— Alex Heath (@AlexEHeath) June 3, 2013
My random speculation about iOS7 interpreting the WWDC app: Light grey/White UI combined with a Pantone like palette using solid bg colors.
— Oliver Reichenstein (@iA) June 3, 2013
This wwdc app is… flaaaaaaaat.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 3, 2013
I think it’s a given that the WWDC app incorporates iOS 7 design. Especially when you compare it to the just-as-up-to-date Calendar.app to its right in the above photo, you see that there’s a big difference here. Maybe you don’t notice it as much because Apple has us used to the Music app, but this is a much different direction for Apple’s official apps. Even Apple’s second most recent app offering–Podcasts.app–is much different; it and its app icon incorporate a healthy number of gradients, shadows, reflections and skeuomorphism (although not nearly as much as its first iteration). I’m not anti-skeuomorphism as most, but there’s a clear difference here.
Why else are we sure that this is at least representative of Apple’s next step? This app is especially made for those attending the conference, and Apple won’t be updating the app the day of the keynote to align it with the new iOS design changes. Much more likely (or it would have been when Steve was around), would be for Apple to crack a joke at the journalists speculating exactly the things I’m pointing out.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t use Calandar.app. And if you do, you don’t use more than one calendar. You may not think that the above feature allowing you to see multiple categories by assigning them different colors isn’t all too special to you, but you may be surprised. It’s a good idea, and I think it may be foreshadowing something else that we already know about iOS 7. Mark Gurman, an extremely reliable source for 9to5Mac, pointed out the following a couple weeks ago.
Essentially, each app has a white base with a respective color theme. For example, the Calendar app could potentially have red buttons, while Messages could have green controls. While not exactly accurate, the above concept art for a “flat” iOS 7 Calendar provides a fair representation of how the aforementioned red theme could be implemented.
Is Apple’s move toward once again sorting an app’s parts with color foreshadowing a design change that will be happening across all of Apple’s default iOS apps?
In March of 2012, Gizmodo suggested that Apple may be moving toward a more colorful logo as you can see above. Seeing the move toward much flatter design, I don’t think we’ll see this mock-up. But maybe something eerily similar to the original is plausible? Interestingly, this new color-based sorting and theme seems to have been around for a while. Let us know what you think in the comments.