Your iPhone might be fully redesigned with iOS 15 and this might be your first look

Apple will hold its annual developer conference in June 2021, where the company is expected to showcase major software upgrades for its best-selling devices such as the iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and iPhone. While little is known about these new operating systems, we’ve seen some evidence that anything Apple has planned next for the iPhone could dramatically change the graphics on your smartphone.

If Apple follows the same naming convention it has been using for more than a decade, we can assume that the follow-up to iOS 14 will be called iOS 15. Aside from the usual stability and performance improvements, we’re seeing some indications that Apple may be planning a more extensive visual redesign.

In the past few days, Apple has revamped the icons for two of its apps: Apple Music For Artists, which artists use to manage their profile and view listening stats from the music streaming service Apple Music, and App Store Connect, which producers use to distribute music , Movies and TV shows to customers on the iTunes Store Since these two industry apps represent a small niche, the changes have been scrutinized.

Both app icons have a white background with a thin border around the iconic shape of a rounded circle. While the logos themselves – a musical note and the letter “A” – remain unchanged, Apple added a few new shading effects to give the impression of depth. Instead of a colorful digital logo, these new symbols look like indentations on a real, physical surface.

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The fact that both changes were made quite recently and they both look exactly the same suggests this is more than a whimsical change from Apple’s design team. This suggests that this is a new design philosophy within the company that will be available everywhere when iOS 15 is around.

And if you think that’s a bit tricky, as we’ve only seen two (rather obscure) iPhone app icons so far that adopt this style. Keep in mind that when Apple redesigned macOS graphics last year, every app icon used the exact same style. While some of the shared apps between macOS and iOS have similar icons, Apple added a sense of depth to the icons on macOS Big Sur, which were announced during the developer conference last year and shipped this fall.

Thanks to the new specially designed M1 processors, the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini computers can run Apple iOS applications on the desktop. And with more M1 computers on the way, this only gets more common. Do we really expect iOS to take such a dramatically different approach to design than macOS in the future – even though the two appear side by side on some Apple laptops and desktops?

That doesn’t seem like a very Apple-like approach.

When Sir Jony Ive, the man behind the iMac, the iPhone, and a dizzying number of other iconic designs from Apple, was blamed for the iOS design, he urged the team to make everything look as flat and minimalistic as possible. Gone was the imitation yellow-lined paper in the Notes app, which was replaced by strong white. Gone was the casino-like green felt in the Game Center app, which was replaced with a gray menu.

With the recent MacOS redesign and these new iOS app icons, Apple seems to be entering a new design era. While we don’t come back to fabric imitations and paper in our digital apps, it seems like the company wants to give its operating system a sense of depth again.

We saw this from Microsoft as well, slowly moving away from the sharp, angular, and flat software design that dominated Windows 8 and the early iterations of Windows 10. With its upcoming redesign, it will debut on all existing Windows 10 machines this fall, machines will use translucency and softer corners to give the impression that windows are actually on top of each other and other tricks to give a sense of depth.

Some tipsters have suggested that switching to a white background on all iOS app icons could allow Apple to swap out that background for a dark shade of black when system-wide dark mode is enabled. This makes the operating system softer for the eyes in the dark and also saves more battery life.

Apple’s WWDC developer conference starts June 7th, so we won’t have to wait long to get answers to these questions.

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