Apple in “Crunch Mode,” as iOS 7 overhaul may lead to delays

Following rumours regarding the behind schedule state of iOS 7 a few weeks back, two new reports today come courtesy of AllThingsD and Bloomberg, which give more insight into the release of Apple’s upcoming iteration of iOS.

The Bloomberg report was first out this morning, stating that Jonathan Ive’s overhaul of iOS may “leave the company at risk of falling behind.” The report states that much of this pressure is coming from the amount of change Ive is imposing on iOS, as much of the previous design influences are removed for what looks to be a more sophisticated and modern feel.

“Apple is really under tremendous pressure to come out with something different and something new,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research in San Francisco. Ive has “a tremendous sense of design, and he’s been the guru behind a lot of these enormously successful products, but he’s always had someone like a Jobs to push back on him and give him some guidance, and it’s not clear that Tim Cook is capable of playing that role. Maybe without a collaborator, he’s not as strong.”

With iOS 7 expected to be unveiled at this year’s WWDC, further pressure is put on the iOS team to finish developing the software, but unlike previous years, Apple looks to be in a much less prepared state, which has presented them with a number of problems.

AllThingsD followed up from Bloomberg’s report with their own hours later, stating that Apple are in “crunch mode,” trying to finish the revamp with ample time left over.

They continue to say that iOS 7 has a “flatter,” less skeuomorphic design, which was to be expected since Ive’s involvement has dramatically increased. This has lead to many design choices imposed by former iOS chief Scott Forstall, to be undone, such as the green felt look seen in the Game Center application.

Sources who declined to be named because they are forbidden to talk publicly about Apple’s plans tell AllThingsD that the company has been “borrowing” engineers from the OS X 10.9 team as part of an effort to double down on iOS 7. “Yes, yes — it’s essentially a repeat of the iPhone/Leopard scenario,” one source said, referring to Apple’s 2007 decision to pull engineers from OS X 10.5 to work on iPhone. “Not as much of a fire drill, though. It should ship on time.”

As we saw a few weeks ago, the iOS 7 development difficulties have also had an effect on OS X, with many OS X developers working with the iOS team to ensure the software is ready for WWDC. This has also lead to the delay of OS X 10.9, which would otherwise likely have been unveiled, as it was last year, in the earlier months.

While both iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 may be shown to the public at WWDC, it will still be a number of months until both of their releases. iOS and OS X both have to go through several beta versions, with OS X needing more development time than iOS to be ready for the public. iOS iterations are traditionally released at approximately the same time as new iPhone hardware, which will likely be around the months of September and October.

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