Apple completely redesigned its mobile operating system in iOS 7, and now app makers have to catch up. We're tracking how some of the biggest developers around are responding to the design change, be it through small updates of their own, or big changes that alter how we use the app as a whole.
Nov 19, 2013
Apple finishes major app redesigns with Find My Friends update
Above: Find My Friends' old design.Read Article >
Apple has updated its Find My Friends app with an iOS 7-style design refresh, finally bringing the last of its major apps in line with the new look. Find My Friends was among the worst offenders when it came to skeuomorphic design, with the majority of its interface covered in fake leather and even its icon featuring pretend stitching. That's now all been replaced with a white and translucent interface accented by a bright tangerine tone, with user avatars switching from squares to circles, which seems to be the style now. Though a few remaining Apple apps haven't been updated, Find My Friends could be the last refresh for now — nearly everything else has been dormant already, with some still awaiting an update for the iPhone 5's larger screen.
Nov 14, 2013
Mint iOS 7 redesign highlights your spending trendsRead Article >
Mint's iPhone and iPad apps are getting a big new feature and a visual overhaul today that'll put them right in line with iOS 7's bright and simple style. The service — which helps manage personal budgets — is launching its Trends feature on iOS, which allows its users to see an overview of how they've been spending their money. The tool has been available online for some time now, and Mint says that it's been the most-requested feature on mobile. The app is also dropping its heavy and busy style for something that's a lot cleaner, bigger, and easy to read through. The changes aren't otherwise drastic, but altogether it should put some important polish on Mint's infrequently updated app.
Oct 14, 2013
GroupMe updated with video sharing and new design for iOS 7Read Article >
GroupMe, the Microsoft-owned group messaging app, has today been redesigned for Apple's iOS 7. The latest update brings a flatter, more minimalistic appearance, though the app remains largely unchanged as a whole. There is one significant addition, however, and that's video. With the new version of GroupMe, users can record videos up to 30 seconds in length and share them with an entire group simultaneously. Videos can be sent within direct messages, and you've also got the option of importing previously-recorded clips from your iOS camera roll. There's no word yet on when video sharing will come to GroupMe's apps on other platforms, but based on the company's history of timely updates, it shouldn't be long.
Sep 27, 2013
iOS 7 apps are prettier, but are they better?
Apple design chief Jony Ive loves to preach about how design isn’t just how something looks, but how it works. Yet, in the first wave of app updates for iOS 7, most developers seem to have simply given their apps a facelift to match Apple’s latest software. Instagram’s latest update, for example, is very attractive, but just feels like a fresh coat of paint.Read Article >
To Ive, iOS 7 is about more than a dash of color and Helvetica Neue. It’s about the physicality of the operating system, a functional skeuomorphism which helps people identify layers within apps as if they were papers on a desk. "It’s no longer about mimicking real-life objects visually, it’s about how they work, and the way things move and interact with your finger, and the rest of the elements on the screen," says Jeff Broderick, who co-founded software design studio Collective Ray, and is now creative director at ShopSavvy. If you pull up on the camera icon and then slam it down hard enough, Broderick points out, you can bounce your lock screen up and out of sight as if you had thrown a tennis ball into the ground.
Sep 19, 2013
Flat-out: the best new apps for iOS 7
Apple just released its “biggest change” ever to iOS — and it’s hard to argue with the company’s phrasing. From top to bottom, every corner of the operating system looks different, even if it all still acts pretty much the same.Read Article >
But there’s one area where iOS 7’s bright and colorful new look will need to catch up: the apps. Right out of the gate, just about every big name seems to updating its apps with gorgeous new designs that fall in line with the iPhone’s latest style. We’re rounding up how all of your favorite apps are going to look the next time you turn on your iOS device.
Sep 18, 2013
How Facebook secretly redesigned its iPhone app with your help
The App Store will be packed with updates today as developers roll out new designs and features to take advantage of Apple's new iOS 7. Facebook is no exception, but alongside the expected visual tweaking and trimming, the company is introducing a radically simplified navigation paradigm. Other developers sweat bullets when they make a big change like this, but Facebook isn't. It believes users will like the update because it's already tested it — with 8 million unsuspecting people.Read Article >
We sat down with the engineers and managers behind the Facebook app for iOS to discuss the new design and how the team rallied to make it happen in time for iOS 7. Michael Sharon, product manager for iOS, along with a team of product managers and engineers including Rousseau Kazi, Scott Thomson, Ari Grant , and Monica Horak walked us through the process of how Facebook combined this new navigation with a ground-up rewrite of its app for iOS 7.
Twitter redesigns for iOS 7Read Article >
Twitter is shaking up its style just a little for its first update on iOS 7. The new Twitter for iOS has a flat toolbar at the top of the screen and simplified buttons all across the app. Otherwise, the interface is largely untouched and should look immediately familiar to anyone who's already used it. Though it's starting to jump into the new operating system quickly, Twitter is still continuing to support phones running all the way back to iOS 5, though they may not see all of the same alterations.
Simplenote reborn: the first great notes app is back
Mike Johnston had an itch.Read Article >
Simplenote, his once-beloved note-taking app, had been gathering dust for the better part of two years. Johnston had been spending most of his time building Simperium, a syncing engine for apps that is part iCloud, part Dropbox and kept Simplenote in sync across platforms. Simplenote was once a prime example of Simperium’s syncing prowess, but the app had fallen by the wayside. “Is it a bigger business to sync text notes, or to build the app that powers syncing everything?” Johnston and co-founder Fred Cheng asked themselves two years prior. Simperium won.
Pocket for iOS now automatically syncs articles in the backgroundRead Article >
Pocket's latest update is going to make it a whole lot more useful for iPhone and iPad users. On iOS 7, the read-it-later service will now be able to automatically download and update your saved articles in the background using Apple's new multitasking tools. Though downloading articles isn't a huge issue when you're on LTE, finding that your latest articles haven't been synced can be frustrating for the commuter who finds themself without service and with nothing to read. The update doesn't adopt too many iOS 7-style flares, but it does also include an update reading view with edge-to-edge images and text that's justified and hyphenated just like in a newspaper column.
Evernote unveils complete iOS 7 redesign to cut down on digital clutterRead Article >
Evernote is making a big move to fit in on iOS 7 through a complete redesign of its iPhone and iPad apps. The new design does away with Evernote's card-style navigation and frequent reliance on textures and real-world metaphors in favor of something crisp, clean, and right at home on the new operating system — though you can still navigate through cards if you really want to. But stylistic changes aren't all that's come through in the design process. "We definitely did not want to just do a style update," Jamie Hull, Evernote’s head of iOS product, tells The Verge. "We took the opportunity to rethink everything in the app."
Popular to-do app Clear hits iPad, but you'll have to pay for itRead Article >
When Clear for iPhone launched 18 months ago, it introduced an unparalleled degree of simplicity in getting things done using an iPhone. The app's bare bones mentality might rub some people the wrong way, but there's no doubt that Clear, with its vibrant color palette, chromeless interface, and intuitive gestures, has been highly influential on app design since it launched. Today, Clear is finally coming to iPad as part of a brand new version of the app for iOS 7 that works on both iPhone and iPad, and replaces the previous version of Clear. It's on sale now for an introductory price of $2.99.
Sep 18, 2013
Yahoo for iOS update includes push notifications, article saving, and cinemagraphs
In April, Yahoo redesigned its news-focused iOS app to emphasize personalization, photos, and article summaries generated by Summly. With iOS 7 landing today, the company is adding a new set of features to the app, while refining the design to make it feel lighter and more fluid.Read Article >
The stream of news has an updated look, with lighter fonts and a design that emphasizes photos for every story. A handful of stories each day will include cinemagraphs, subtly animating photos in the app to make articles feel more lively. Perhaps the last major news app not to have push notifications for breaking news, Yahoo is finally getting them with today's update.