According to a new report at the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s new management team dynamic, which includes design maven Jonathan Ive at the helm of both the hardware and software teams behind iOS, is seeing a new era of collaboration. ONe source familiar with the matter went so far as to call the exchange of ideas between Ive and human interface lead Greg Christie, known for his bluntness, as “pleasant and cordial.”
Sounds like things are changing over there at Apple, which is a good thing for proponents of Ive’s preference for a less skeumorphic design ethos. Having Ive watching the software along with the hardware may bring a flatter, more modern look to iOS 7, sure to be coming soon.
This is a marked contrast from the earlier dynamic between the hardware and software teams, which was widely reported as secretive and somewhat contentious. The WSJ notes that the hardware design team at Apple, led by Ive, would frequently bring in favored software designers under intense secrecy to look at new hardware prototypes.
Now, Ive sits in with the software designers during regular review sessions to discuss current designs, say the sources for the WWSJ report. The human interface team, they say, is getting briefed on new hardware designs much earlier, as well.
While Apple may not make radical changes to the hardware or software of its incredibly popular iPhone or iPad lines in the near future, we all will benefit from a collaborative approach that brings Ive’s award-winning design sense to the software that runs on the hardware he also designs.
The WSJ also reports that the collaboration between the Mac OS X and iOS software teams under Craig Federighi, another result of the recent management re-organization, is changing a bit more slowly, however. Federighi has mentioned that he plans to keep the different engineering teams separate for now, though there is typically quite a bit of collaboration between the two teams.
Other sources said that some employees at Apple are expecting further changes in the many internal teams and groups to happen this summer.