To me, there is a distinct movement towards a particular style and I would be very surprised if Apple were ignorant of it. It’s not “flat design” per se and it’s certainly nowhere near the “Metro” levels that people are suggesting they may follow, but it’s a mellowing out of the visual indicators that people need to trigger the idea of a tappable element. Why? Because this is not 2007 anymore, and we are all now fully aware of the medium and the process; we don’t need to be led garishly by the hand. There is still a sense of depth and tactility but done in a refined and suggestive way, sensitive to the changed perceptions that people have of interacting with touchscreens.
That’s something important not being talked about nearly enough in all this “Apple is moving towards flat design” chatter: it’s not that flat design is necessarily “better”, it’s that Apple can start changing some things now because so many people have become accustomed to using the iPhone (and smartphones in general) over the past 5+ years. Not as much hand-holding in the design is required. Apple no longer has to try as hard to make new users think they’re just doing something like pressing a bunch of buttons on a screen. Hopefully that’s liberating for the design team.
With Intel’s next-generation Haswell processors set to launch in a matter of weeks and WWDC to kick off soon after, availability of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air had begun to dry up at major authorized resellers.
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