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Apple's Jony Ive discusses iOS 7 in rare interview, but says he'd 'like to design cups'

Apple's Jony Ive discusses iOS 7 in rare interview, but says he'd 'like to design cups'

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Jony Ive press
Jony Ive press

Apple chief of design Jony Ive is rarely seen publicly outside of the bright white room he sits in for polished videos on the design of the company's latest products, but he and other executives are granting media interviews ahead of the new iPhone launch tomorrow. Ive has long been the key man behind hardware design at Apple — from the original iMac to iPods, iPhones, and iPads — but he and his team took a more meaningful role alongside head of software Craig Federighi to work on the drastic visual overhaul introduced with iOS 7.

Ive reiterated some key points about the design philosophy of iOS 7 in an interview with USA Today, saying that "we understood that people had already become comfortable with touching glass ... So there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally." He adds, "We were trying to create an environment that was less specific. It got design out of the way."

"It got design out of the way."

Some of the changes in iOS 7 — notably the app icons — have come under criticism, but he says that the drive for simplicity that leads to so many of Apple's design decisions is not just "the lack of clutter." Instead, as Ive explains, "True simplicity is, well, you just keep on going and going until you get to the point where you go, 'Yeah, well, of course.' Where there's no rational alternative."

For a man who's been working in the field for so long, Ive is still excited by the challenges posed by creating "objects whose forms don't hint at what they do," noting that before electronic devices, the utility of most products, like chairs, was obvious. "It all feels so new and all-consuming ... It feels like we're just getting started." However, what's excited him the most recently may be Touch ID, explaining that this "is what I love about Apple, this incredibly sophisticated powerful technology that you're almost not aware of, it absolutely blows me away."

But what would Ive create if he weren't focusing on iPhones and MacBooks? "I'd like to design cups."

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