This Is What The iOS 7 Icons Should Have Looked Like


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Some people like the new iOS 7 and some people don't - I am one of those people who absolutely hate the new iOS 7 icons.

I've seen so many tech blog posts say how flat these icons are when really they don't have a clue about what flat is. Flat isn't about removing all borders, shadows and detail from icons, then adding hideous gradients which have the lighting all wrong. It's actually pretty hard to explain what 'flat design' really is, the best way to explain it is by looking at examples such as our flat icons post.


Above is a screenshot of the iOS 7 homescreens with all the stock icons. Straight away you can tell that there is no consistency whatsoever. They're literally a gradient or solid colour with some icons slapped on top. These sorts of icons any Photoshop user can create within seconds.

What is going on with the mail and safari icons? For some odd reason the lighting is coming from below on the mail app, then it's coming from on top on the safari app. The same goes for the phone and music app. You'd at least get the lighting coming from one way right, surely.

That Game Center icon, I don't think anyone knows what's going on there. How are multi coloured bubbles supposed to represent gaming?

The shadows and borders for the icons have been removed too. So if you have a black background, the Compass icon would look like it's blending in, it'll end up disappearing.

A Dribbble user by the name of Leo Drapeau took the original design and redesigned it a little. Above is his work, on the left is his redesign and on the right are the default designs. Straight away you can see more consistency. All icons now have a more subtle gradient with the lighting coming from above. More spacing has been applied for most icons so it looks like they actually fit and aren't being crammed into a small space. It's these little things that make such a huge difference. I would much rather prefer the redesign by Leo.

But I still never liked iOS icons from the beginning, even before iOS 7. I've always found them too garish. I myself am jailbreaking fan which allows me to apply icon kits to my device and my favourite icon kits are MIUI and Jaku.

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MIUI is easily one of the best examples out there for flat icon design. It uses an absolutely beautiful array of colours for its icons that match very well. The icons represent the apps very well with just the right amount of detail. And the consistency is just fabulous.

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Jaku is another absolutely stunning theme which blows away any other theme when it comes to detail. The amount of detail in each icon is just phenomenal. The theme itself may not be flat but it's great example of how detail can have an impact on app representation.

It's a shame Apple, the company who bring us beautiful products like the iPhone and iPad, the company which prides themselves on detail and quality could overlook something like this. The word going round is that they let their marketing team design these icons, a team which most likely doesn't have a clue about icon design. Those icons are the representation of iOS 7 - it's the first thing any user will see, why would they overlook something like that?

I'm not going to give my opinion on iOS 7 itself and the new apps. It's still in BETA and far from ready for the public so it'd be unfair to give it review now.