Apple’s iOS 7 will arrive “on time,” according to a couple of well-placed sources following a report from Bloomberg this morning that suggests it was risking delays in the face of major software changes. Apple blogger and noted beard-wearer Jim Dalrymple gave one of his famous one-word confirms today on his blog, agreeing with a source which told AllThingsD that while Apple has had to shift engineering resources away from OS X to iOS to make sure things proceed on schedule, the update will arrive on time.
Apple says on its WWDC landing page that we’ll see “what’s next in iOS and OS X,” but it hasn’t spelled out that we’ll see new versions of either its Mac desktop OS, or the mobile platform that powers iPhones and iPads. Still, the focus at WWDC is on software, and it’s more than reasonable to expect given the teaser on the information page as well as references to the future of iOS and OS X made in the official press release noting when tickets for WWDC would go on sale this year.
iOS 7 delay rumors have been making the rounds since John Gruber noted that Apple was “running behind” on the next version of its OS, and they cropped up again today thanks to Bloomberg’s report. But while Apple is apparently having to devote more engineering resources than normal to helping with the redesign process, which is rumored to be headed up by Jony Ive and involves a big visual refresh, which will embrace “flat” design (favoring solid colors and doing away with optical effect that mimic the textures and reflections of physical materials) and bring big changes to the calendar and email tools built-in to iOS.
The changes coming in iOS 7 are about modernizing the UI, likely to inject some fresh energy into a mobile operating system that has retained a fairly stable aesthetic style throughout the course of its six year existence. A significant change to the basic functionality of some apps and the look and feel of the entire OS would be quite difficult on its own, but Bloomberg says that the management shift that took place at the end of last year with Scott Forstall’s departure ended up causing a pause and refocus in the direction of overall development.
WWDC is just over a month away, so we’ll see exactly how extensive the modification really is with a likely introduction of a public developer preview version at that time, if Apple continues doing the same thing it has in the past around the iOS development process.