The New Look of iOS 15

Apple is shifting its UI design after a decade of the same look.

Robert C.
Robert C.
Apr 8 · 4 min read
Credit: Vitality Studio (Dribble)

The rumor mill is churning and we keep seeing more leakers focusing on the upcoming reveal of the new iOS. An iOS update means more new features for people's iPhones, and that’s always very exciting for Apple fans.

Apple will release this new iOS at their WWDC 2021 event, which begins on the 7th of June, and then release the update to the public in September.

We know this because Apple has been following a consistent release schedule when it comes to their iOS releases. Firstly, they show off the headline features at the summer WWDC, roll out beta versions around 3 months later, and then release the final version with the launch of new iPhones in the fall. In this case, iOS 15 will be released to the public alongside the new iPhone 13 series.

Leaker McGuire Wood (@Jiroiku on Twitter), who’s had pretty accurate predictions in the past, says that we could see a redesigned control center on the new iOS 15. According to him, it will be very similar to what we see on Big Sur.

The control center on Big Sur

This makes a lot of sense considering this design of the control center weirdly feels like it is built for a touch screen device. In fact, some people have speculated that it’s hinting towards touch screen Macs, and while that doesn’t seem as realistic, it’s very likely Apple will copy and paste the design UI of the Big Sur control center over to iOS 15. Especially considering we haven’t seen a major overhaul to the control center since iOS 11.

McGuire also mentions that iOS 15 will have support for AirTags.

Read more about how AirTags will work here:

On top of that, Apple is supposedly working on a first-party API that would allow developers to use multi-factor authentication with their apps. This also could be hinting towards Touch ID, and Face ID coming to the iPhone 13.

As to what Apple’s visual design language is going to look like in the coming years, we now have a clearer idea due to these new icon leaks.

Apple has recently updated both the Apple Store Connect and Apple Music for Artists icons.

Updated design for the Apple Music for Artists app ( left: old icon, right: new icon)

The updated icon was first spotted by Reddit user DimVl. These definitely appear to mimic some of the design choices we see in Big Sur.

Before, the app’s icon resembled the regular Apple Music app’s red background being blended into the blue of the usual Apple Developer app. Now, it’s inset within a red border, and the entire image has a slight 3D depth to it.

Updated design for the Apple Store Connect app ( left: old icon, right: new icon)

We can see a similar change to the Apple Store Connect app, as well.

The fact that both app icons are from Apple and yet have stepped away from Apple’s familiar flat design, could be more of a hint of what’s to come in the future. The same design language across the pair is clear and heavily suggests that this is what iOS 15 will look like.

The 3D depth added in the new icons could only be the beginning, and many people believe Apple is heading towards a complete UI overhaul. None of this has been confirmed, but it makes sense considering the last overhaul happened in 2009.

Interestingly, these new icons incorporate the new material design that we already kind of see on Big Sur. If you haven’t noticed, the 3D elements are very similar to what we see with the Big Sur icons. This change makes sense considering Apple is likely wanting to make all of their icons look uniform across devices, as opposed to them having different distinct design languages on each OS.

macOS Catalina icons (left), macOS Big Sur icons (right)

The only downside to this UI revamp could be the fact that people generally don’t like this type of change. This is something we saw when iOS 7 came out and Apple got huge backlash for how different it was from the skeuomorphic design we had with iOS 6.

Let me know your thoughts and whether you think Apple is heading in the right direction with these new designs!

Mac O’Clock

The best stories for Apple owners and enthusiasts

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store