Apple's developer portal begins displaying square app icons days before iOS 7 unveiling

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Developers viewing their applications on Apple's official site on Tuesday were surprised to find that their icons are now being displayed with square edges, rather than the usual rounded corners.

Square icons
New square icons in Apple's developer portal. Image via AppNext.


The changes, pointed out to AppleInsider by numerous developers, have been interpreted by some as a sign of the anticipated iOS 7 user interface overhaul for iPhone and iPad Apple is expected to unveil at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Developers have always been asked to upload their application icons as a square with "sharp corners," but Apple's system would then automatically apply an effect that would create rounded corners. Application icons then appear the same way when they are uploaded to the App Store, or are downloaded and installed to a user's device.

But as of Tuesday, those rounded corners no longer appear on applications when viewed in Apple's official developer portal website. It appears whatever filter was in place before has been dropped, with less than a week to go before Apple's scheduled WWDC keynote.

The changes may not necessarily mean that Apple is planning to adopt square icons for iOS 7. Instead, the company could simply be replacing or tweaking the filter that was previously automatically applied to icons once they were uploaded by developers.

The square icons also come just a day after Apple launched its official WWDC 2013 application for iOS. Some have interpreted the design of the new software as a potential sign of changes to come in iOS 7.

Specifically, in contrasting the new WWDC 2013 app with previous years' applications, the design is decidedly "flatter," as can be seen below:

iphone 4s
via Garee's Blog


The recently released WWDC 2013 app for iOS appears to sport the same flat design aesthetic that is said to be forthcoming in the next version of iOS. Twitter user @yuize recently posted an image that shows the evolution of the WWDC app's design from 2011 to 2013.

Whereas the 2011 version sports a number of gradients and elements that make the interface options "pop," the 2013 version is much more subdued, with much of the "gloss" of the app having gone. The look is generally in keeping with the aesthetic seen in what is thought to be an early screenshot of iOS 7, which shows all of the stock Apple icons having lost that same faux-3D effect.

The flat look is said to grow out of the preferences of Apple's hardware and interface design chief, Jony Ive, whom Apple CEO Tim Cook has described as having "the best taste of anyone in the world." Ive took the reins of interface design after the ouster of Scott Forstall, who had a penchant for skeuomorphism, the design aesthetic seen in the faux stitched leather of the Calendar app or the felt green table in Game Center.

Apple has signaled it plans to show off both iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 at next week's WWDC keynote, scheduled to take place next Monday, June 10, at Moscone West in San Francisco, Calif.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,719member
    Guess we'll know soon enough.
  • Reply 2 of 75
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,580member
    In a year we'll look at screenshots from today and shake our heads. Its a promise!
  • Reply 3 of 75
    ungenioungenio Posts: 49member
    I do much prefer the rounded corner icons. With sharp corners they just look... ordinary. Maybe I'm too accustomed. Here's hope this flattening redesign will not take away the character of iOS, too Google-like to be any differentiation.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 334member
    Must have corners... I'm getting in line! /s
  • Reply 5 of 75
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member
    I'd literally bet my life the icons will keep the rounded corners. It's one of the best parts of iOS. I'm not being sarcastic, either. Heck, the rounded corners are permanent pained on existing device home buttons. Nothing to see here, just a dev portal glitch, move along.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    The closer it gets and the more leaks and hints come out, the less I like what I see. All we've really seen are poor mockups of course, but they are all pretty hideous overall.

    Whatever Apple is really working on, it will have to be significantly different and significantly better than a simple "flattening" or it will look like crap.

    The garish green, purple and orange icons look ten times worse for instance, with the texture and gloss removed, and they didn't exactly look great to begin with.
  • Reply 7 of 75
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    The closer it gets and the more leaks and hints come out, the less I like what I see.

    There has basically been no leaks so far. And this certainly isn't one. Trust me,
  • Reply 8 of 75
    Hahah. What's wrong with Apple Insider? Getting folks crazy over nothing. Apps will not be squares with edges.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    Truly sad if this is all they have to offer. Lets not trade true multi-tasking for square icons.
  • Reply 10 of 75
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Yuck.
  • Reply 11 of 75
    A disappointment after WWDC will drag AAPL down .
  • Reply 12 of 75
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by raymondinperth View Post

    A disappointment after WWDC will drag AAPL down .


     


    A success after WWDC will drag Apple down. Announcing a cure for all forms of cancer will drag Apple down. Replacing their entire lineup with quantum computers at the same price will drag Apple down.

  • Reply 13 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    The closer it gets and the more leaks and hints come out, the less I like what I see. All we've really seen are poor mockups of course, but they are all pretty hideous overall.

    Whatever Apple is really working on, it will have to be significantly different and significantly better than a simple "flattening" or it will look like crap.

    The garish green, purple and orange icons look ten times worse for instance, with the texture and gloss removed, and they didn't exactly look great to begin with.
    None of us have seen what the final iOS 7 will look like. I think it's pretty unfair to throw around words like hideous and crap over something you haven't seen. :rolleyes: And a grainy picture of a rumored very early version of iOS doesn't count. :no:
  • Reply 14 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mscientist wrote: »
    Truly sad if this is all they have to offer. Lets not trade true multi-tasking for square icons.
    Yes because if this is all that the rumor sites have reported on this is all Apple has to offer. :rolleyes:

    You do realize that the software and designers working on UI changes most likely are not the same ones working on functionality changes.

    I can't believe people actually think Apple will hold a developer conference and all they'll show off is icon changes. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 14 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mscientist wrote: »
    Truly sad if this is all they have to offer. Lets not trade true multi-tasking for square icons.
    Yes because if this is all that the rumor sites have reported on this is all Apple has to offer. :rolleyes:

    You do realize that the software and designers working on UI changes most likely are not the same ones working on functionality changes.

    I can't believe people actually think Apple will hold a developer conference and all they'll show off is icon changes. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 16 of 75
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by mscientist View Post

    Truly sad if this is all they have to offer. Lets not trade true multi-tasking for square icons.


     


    For the love of humanity.

  • Reply 17 of 75
    mrrodriguezmrrodriguez Posts: 215member
    I don't think it'll be square, I think they're just waiting for the announcement to add the new filter (maybe a cleaner rounded rectangle)
  • Reply 18 of 75
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by raymondinperth View Post



    A disappointment after WWDC will drag AAPL down .


    I would love it.

  • Reply 19 of 75
    If they release an iOS update without round corners it would make the world cry.
    It would seriously be a bad move.

    But then again most people won't update to iOS 7 if this happens like they did with iOS 6 until Google Maps and Youtube were back. I don't want my iPhone to start looking like a Blackberry... it's the main reason I own an iPhone.
  • Reply 20 of 75
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mscientist View Post



    Truly sad if this is all they have to offer. Lets not trade true multi-tasking for square icons.


    Sir, can you define true multitasking and tell us about how other OSes use it and its main advantages and disadvantages?

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