Apple will soon be unveiling the new version of iOS – iOS 7 – at the upcoming WWDC 2013 conference, and the question in everybody's minds is whether the company will be bringing any radical changes to the six-year old mobile operating system. Art Director at digital agency Simply Zesty, Philip Joyce, has come up with a concept for what the next version of iOS will be. The concept has been showcased in a video:

Going by the video, the concept completely overhauls the iconic look of iOS. It opts for flat square icons with sharp corners which are reminiscent of Windows Phone's tiles. The lock screen has also been changed with the slider to unlock the handset being moved to the top. The concept also has provisions for widgets from the pull-down notification centre, but it ends up looking too cluttered. Apps have also been changed to better align with the general interface. The apps generally seem to follow a two-tone colour theme.

All in all, the concept seems to borrow heavily from the MIUI custom ROM. Despite MIUI starting off as a rip off of iOS, the ROM has come to its own with a new design, and the heavy use of whites and bright colours in the concept design for iOS 7 very easily reminds one of booting up an Android phone after freshly installing MIUI on it.

If such a radical change in the design were to be employed, a big problem would arise. Every single app on the iOS App Store would look completely out of place, thus calling for a complete redesign of hundreds of thousands of apps.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Apple is gathering additional engineers and UI designers from within the company to get a preview of the OS ready for the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

Sources close to the project say Apple has been “borrowing” engineers from the OS X team to double its efforts on iOS 7. “Yes, yes — it’s essentially a repeat of the iPhone/Leopard scenario,” a source told the website, in reference to when Apple reworked OS X for the iPhone. “Not as much of a fire drill, though. It will ship on time.”

With Apple not having changed much in the OS’s look and feel since it debuted in 2007, critics feel it is time to give iOS some new UI elements as well as a redesign. This is especially true at a time when new OSes are arriving on the scene. Whatever the changes, one can expect Apple to retain the stellar hardware-software optimisation and the intuitiveness of the UI that are so crucial in the overall iPhone experience.

“The key question here is whether those changes deliver on the core Apple promise of improving customers’ ability to make productive use of the device and deliver a clearly superior experience,” Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told AllThingsD. “Presumably they don’t need the flashy stuff to realise that vision,” he added.

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