Apple's human interface leader Jony Ive has begun to bring the hardware and software divisions of the company closer, according to The Wall Street Journal. Ive, once the chief architect for hardware design, moved into his new position last autumn during the executive shake up.
Ive is bringing the teams closer by briefing the software teams new hardware prototypes earlier in the design cycle, the WSJ's developer sources say. Last year, Tim Cook, Apple's chief exec, said Apple was increasing “collaboration across hardware, software and services".
Additionally, Ive is said to be bringing "a more 'flat design' that is starker and simpler" to the iOS platform. Full details of the next version of iOS, presumably version 7, haven't been shared ahead of its expected June reveal. Any user interface changes are said to be "conservative" and won't be an overall redesign of the mobile operating system.
Joining Apple in 1992, Ive is a highly regarded designer. When iOS chief Scott Forstall was booted from the company last year, industry watchers believed Ive would bring many changes to the iOS realm - doing away with the skeuomorphic design Apple has adopted in many of its applications.
Lastly, the WSJ says Mac lead Craig Federighi is working to combine a few Mac and iOS software teams when feasible - like the calendar apps - though most of the Mac and iOS teams will remain separate.
Ive's briefing the software team earlier on hardware is not typical for the company. In the past, software engineers have had to resort to making the software blindly, not knowing what specific hardware specifications it would appear on.
Could this mean a bigger connection between iOS and the hardware it is supported on?