The arrival of iOS 11 includes many changes, some of them user interface-related. But not everyone is happy about them.
iOS 11: New Icons Anger Some Apple Fans
Ever since the original iPhone launched a decade ago, Apple has prioritized design, especially the way its customers interact with it. Gone are clunky user interfaces that put almost no importance on form and fluidity. Thanks to Apple, and the companies who mimicked its direction, design has evolved into finding a balance between movement, aesthetics, and effect.
Jony Ive, Apple's design chief, has become almost a mascot for Apple too, thanks in part to the company's relentless approach to making sure its products — both hardware and software — look gorgeous, premium, and sophisticated — "It just works," to borrow a common phrase commonly associated with Apple products.
Apple's design language has changed over the years, from former CEO Steve Jobs's preference for skeuomorphism to flatter, more modern-looking icons. This time, with the arrival of iOS 11, a major upcoming software update across Apple devices, fans are now expressing frustration over a crucial visual change.
Let's look at some of the changes:
The Maps icon now features Apple's spaceship campus instead of 1 Infinite Loop, Apple's current headquarters. This of course makes sense, and it doesn't look like a major change. The Safari logo was also changed a bit by slightly moving the needle. Both of these are not as drastic as the new App Store icon.
The pen, brush, and ruler that made up the "A" have now been replaced with three plain rounded lines, also making up the "A." At first glance they look like overlapping sticks, but some Twitter users have compared the new design to that of popsicle sticks glued together.
What the heck happened the App Store icon pic.twitter.com/skwjlCmALI
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 14, 2017
Inspiration for new App Store icon: those popsicle stick bombs we used to throw at other kids pic.twitter.com/KtH8DIUN6t — Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) August 14, 2017
Why Apple Changed The App Store Icon
It remains uncertain why Apple would fix something that's technically not broken, but consider this: Ive is famously against Jobs's preference for skeuomorphism, a design language where visual elements look like their real-life counterparts. For instance: the Notes app for the iPhone used to look like a legal pad, but Apple decided to make it look cleaner, more plain.
Getting rid of the brush, pencil, and ruler and replacing them as regular lines might be Ive's way of phasing out skeuomorphism further. It does look cleaner, though, more uniform — albeit a little plain.
It's worth noting that iOS 11 isn't finished yet, so there's still a chance that things could change once the final, stable version arrives.
iOS 11 is scheduled to arrive this fall, along with a brand-new 10th-anniversary iPhone. iOS 11 includes a ton of new features such as an updated Control Center, expanded 3D Touch support, a new Files app, a new file system, and more.