Jony Ive was ‘tormented’ with jealousy over Yahoo’s beautiful weather app

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Photo: AddictiveTips
Jony Ive's jealousy over Yahoo weather app yielded a startling imitation. Photo: AddictiveTips

One of the first projects Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer oversaw as CEO was the Yahoo Weather app. The app was so well received that it even ended up receiving a coveted Apple Design Award in 2013.

Apple also redesigned its stock Weather app to look just like it in iOS 7.

It turns out that it wasn’t a coincidence the two apps looked so similar. Jony Ive was “tormented” with jealously of Yahoo Weather’s design.

Here’s an excerpt from Nicholas Carlson’s new book, Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo:

On May 1, 2013, Marissa Mayer ran into Jony Ive, the famous Apple designer, at an industry event.

Ive sidled up to Mayer and, in a confiding tone, told her, “I’m tormented by the Weather app, Marissa.”

Yahoo had just released an app called Yahoo Weather. It drew from Yahoo’s photo-sharing site, Flickr, to show users photos of their approximate location in weather conditions similar to the day ahead. So a snowy day in New York would feature a picture of Central Park covered in white.

“I’m so jealous,” said Ive, in his British accent. “I don’t get jealous.”

Mayer replied, “Jony, if the Weather app made you jealous, we’ve got something up our sleeve on Flickr that’s going to make you want to die.”

“Oh, go to hell.”

A complete redesign of Flickr’s website was unveiled later that month.

Yahoo Weather was given an Apple Design Award at WWDC one month later. WWDC 2013 was also where iOS 7 debuted with a strikingly similar weather app design.

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Apple Weather in iOS 7 vs. Yahoo Weather circa 2013. Screenshots: Business Insider