Apple unveiled the first-ever version of iOS helmed by Jonathan Ive yesterday. And to the surprise of almost no-one, the Brit design don ushered in a new, less cutesy and sharper looking platform.

Showcased at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) get-together, iOS 7 does away with the skeuomorphic touches that were the hallmark of former iOS head Scott Forstall.

iOS 7 for iPhone (official)

That means the end of apps that take on the look of real-world objects, such as the much-lambasted Notebook app that resembles an actual notebook.

Gone also are attempts to reproduce materials, such as the wood and baize finish that featured in the Game Centre.

Fonts have been revamped too, for a crisper, sharper feel that matches the minimalist design approach applied to icons for proprietary apps.

But that’s merely cosmetic next to what might be the most significant change, which arrives in the form of the Parallax effect. This uses the phone’s accelerometer to detect movement and then shifts icons around, lending things a gentle 3D effect.

According to Ive, the change marks the introduction of a “cleaner” look that bring users’ content to the forefront of their iDevices, in what might be seen a subtle nod towards the more ‘alive’ user interfaces of Windows Phone.

Ive said:”The interface is purposely unobtrusive. Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away. Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed.

“And in taking away design elements that don’t add value, suddenly there’s greater focus on what matters most: your content.”

Although widely predicted on tech sites, it’s thought that the shift could disgruntle some long-term iApostles who’ve grown (too?) used to the icons that epitomised iOS since 2007.

By Jonathan Leggett