Did Google beat Jony Ive to the punch with minimalistic iOS design?

Every since Ive replaced Forstall, practically everyone in the media was shouting "THANK GOD! No more skeumorphism! Ive will bring the same minimalism that he applies to hardware design to iOS!"

Think about what that means, and how that might look like.

  • No more skeumorphism? Check.
  • Soft colors for "humans" that Apple is known for? (See the "iOS Human Interface Guidelines".) Check.
  • Minimalism and simplicity associated with Ivy? Check.

Now look at these screenshots:

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 3iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 4iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2

They're Google's new iOS apps, and they're special because no other iOS apps look like them. Now, when you see minimalism, soft colors, and zero skeumorphism in an iOS app, you can tell right away that it's a Google app.

The problem? They look exactly like what people expect Ivy to do.

If I were Jony Ive, I must be fuming right now. Google just pulled the rug from underneath Apple! Apple's giant ego won't allow them to copy Google, but to maintain a distinct look separate from Android/WP/etc. they will have to continue with skeumorphism.

Or if they don't, iOS7/iOS8 is going to look a lot like Google's apps, and Apple will be seen to have lost its design prowess.