While there seems to be much to like in Apple's upcoming iOS 7, the verdict from the design community is in: the new GUI is inconsistent, while the icons and color palette are... well, perhaps the words "baffling" and "inexcusable" are a polite way to paraphrase the white-hot heat emanating from a community that has long been a core user of Apple technology, as well as one of its staunchest defenders. It should be pointed out that what was shown during Apple's presentation on Monday is not cast in stone, so there is hope that the icon color scheme — best described as that of a twelve-year-girl's bedroom viewed while under the influence of mind-altering drugs — can yet be brought back to the realm of the tolerable. And a rethinking of some of the wackier icons would also not be remiss, as well as the font choice of Helvetica Neue Light.
How could this have gone so terribly wrong, coming from the firm that popularized the use of graphical interfaces? It would be easy to lay the blame at the door of Jonathan Ive, who beyond hardware now also "provides leadership and direction for Human Interface software teams across the company." But according to news reports, two teams were responsible for the design of iOS 7, with much of the input for the new icons coming from Apple's marketing and communications department. Perhaps it thought the new look would help Apple catch up in particular markets, where the attraction for ugly but colorful objects is well known (that was a joke). Who knows? But the blowback has reached the point where there is already a petition on Change.org demanding the removal of these icons. Okay, that was also a joke. But what isn't a joke is the scorn heaped on Apple by designers, as collated in Designers Complaining on Tumblr. I've included a few gems below. Advantage, Microsoft.