"Black, white, and flat all over." That's what we can expect from iOS 7 under the helm of design supremo Jony Ive, a source has told 9to5Mac.
But the new OS won't be completely monochrome. There will be "several new black and white user interface elements", according to the report. Heavy textures will also be dropped, giving it a more flattened appearance, which was tipped a while ago.
The black and white elements will replace some of the textures, such as in the iPad Calendar app. The dark linen background in Apple's Notification Centre drop-down panel will also become a dark grey/black with white text.
Apple's own apps will be mostly white, but with one unique colour theme running through each.
Ive is said to not be a fan of the skeuomorphic design elements that make apps look like their real-world counterparts -- with the calendar looking like a real wall-hanger, the Notes app looking like yellow lined paper, and so on. Ive reckons these don't age well. They also all look different, leading to confusion over whether they're official Apple apps or not.
Ive is said to be making his mark on "every corner" of the OS, while keeping the essence of iOS so as not to turn off long-time fans. Sounds like quite a challenge.
The Slide to Unlock screen is to have its first major overhaul since the original iPhone, too. The shiny, transparent bar at the top of the screen will go, replaced by a shine-free black interface. The square grid for entering your code will be dropped in favour of round buttons with white borders.
Quick panels should help you get all your info even quicker than before. As well as local weather and stocks info, Apple is testing a widget for localised news feeds. A dedicated panel for toggling Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, and Bluetooth should also be incoming.
According to sources, Apple has rejigged the OS numerous times over the last few months, so things could still change. But the fact Apple has been testing these elements just a couple of weeks away from iOS 7's rumoured announcement at WWDC seems to suggest they'll make it to the final version.