With iOS 7, Apple completely overhauled every stock icon in their arsenal. In addition, they completely redesigned Multitasking on iOS and introduced the all-new Control Center. Together they make iOS 7 the most beautiful, advanced mobile operating system available. However, as with all things new, sometimes the learning curve can be steeper than intended...
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iOS 7 icon guide

iOS 7


With iOS 7, Apple completely overhauled every stock icon in their arsenal.  In addition, they completely redesigned Multitasking on iOS and introduced the all-new Control Center.  Together they make iOS 7 the most beautiful, advanced mobile operating system available.  However, as with all things new, sometimes the learning curve can be steeper than intended, and can vary greatly form one individual to another.  To assist in mastering the new iconography of iOS 7, we have created an easy-to-use guide to identify each and every one of Apple’s stock icons.  For those who are only familiar with the iOS 6 icons, we have compared them side-by-side with the newly designed iOS 7 icons, and supplied a short explanation of their function.











Described by Apple as a pure representation of simplicity, iOS 7 has been stripped down to reveal only the essentials. The Phone icon on the left is from iOS 6, on the right we see Apple’s interpretation iOS 7–a focus on content and not the adornment or decoration that we have come to know from Apple. Decide for yourself which version is “better.” For many, iOS 7 has had a polarizing affect when seen for the first time. 











The Mail App received one of the more modest updates from iOS 6 to iOS 7.  Gone is the recognizable glossy layer that has been removed from all of iOS 7 icons.  However, along with the Phone App, the letter icon is pretty much accepted as the universal symbol for mail.











Messages, formerly iMessage, also changed very little from the iOS 6. With the exception of the gloss and texture layers now gone, Messages is still very recognizable as it is probably one of the most commonly used apps on the iPhone.












While the calendar app looks very different, but there is still no confusing the iOS 7 version of the icon with any other app.  Never-the-less, when you open the app, you will see a stark contrast from iOS 6.  The calendar app, like most apps in iOS 7, is stripped down with much more white and muted colors.  However, what’s left is a an app that’s clean and easy to read and navigate.



Camera iOS_Camera






The camera app changed dramatically from iOS 6.  However, I think the change is definitely for the better.  It is much easier to recognize the camera icon than the previous lens representation.  With iOS 7, it is easy to see where you need to go if you want to take a video or picture.












The Photos app in iOS 7 has gone through quite the transformation.  This is one of those app icons that has me scratching my head a little.  It is definitely not immediately apparent what this icon represents.  The photos icon does look like a “iOS7 interpretation” of the sunflower, but that is not immediately apparent.  Rest assured, though, you will still be able to access all your photos, albums, moments and videos taken on your iPhone with this app.










The trusty clock app might not look very different in iOS 7, but to the trained eye there is one minor improvement.  The face of the clock now shows the actual time and not the eternal 10:15 that we have seen forever.  While this is kind of cool, I can’t really see any benefits from the change.












The Maps app is still very recognizable and similar to its former version.  Apple cleaned it up a little and reduced it to appear minimalistic and simple.  Removed are some of the extra lines that made the app a little “busy” looking and the iconic One Infinite Loop oval that mostly only the die-hard fans knew existed in the first place.











Newsstand is an app that I’m still on the fence about.  Is the icon a better representation of a newsstand?  I’m not sure.  If you take the time to look closely at the contents of the app, sure you could probably decipher that these depict magazines and newspapers.  I can also see the icon confusing first time users, whereas the bookshelf is clearly a bookshelf. Should be a short learning curve on this one, though.











The stocks app is where you go to check how all your important investments are doing over the last day, week, year or more.  I actually think this is icon is an improvement from iOS 6, but I find it equally easy to decipher the function of both icons, and you probably will, too.












The reminders app is a little misleading.  The check marks from the iOS 6 version make it easier to identify, whereas the simple colored dots depicted on lined paper can easily be confused with the Notes app.  I understand the tie-in with the color palette, I’m just not a big fan of this icon.













Speaking of Notes–yep, still looks like a notepad.  Gone is the ripped piece of paper at the top of the notebook (if you even knew it was there) along with any “shred” see what I did there, of evidence that skeuomorphic design was ever a part of iOS 6.












The videos app in iOS 7 is nearly identical to it’s predecessor.  There are slight “enhancements” and changes to the glossy appearance that most iOS 6 apps possessed.  However, there is no confusion what this app is for–watching your favorite videos and TV shows.











Although I wan’t a big fan of the last version of the GameCenter icon, I really am not liking the current version either.  If you are new to iOS 7 and/or iPhones in general, there is no way you are going to know what this new icon stands for.  I’m guessing these different colored balls are suppose to resemble balls from games?  But in the end, I don’t think they really pulled it off.











The Safari icon, representing the gateway to the internet on the iPhone, still resembles the iOS 6 version enough that I think that most iPhone users will have no problem making the transition.  I actually think they did a great job with this app icon.  It was way too busy looking before.  However, if this is your first iPhone, and you don’t own a Mac, the Safari icon could definitely give you trouble.











The Music app is where you go to get to all your, wait for it…MUSIC!  One of the most basic and easy to recognize icons in any version of iOS, The Music app underwent a slight flattening and color variation from the previous version.












Gone from the Weather icon is the stagnant 73 degrees label.  However, slap some clouds and a sun on an icon, and everyone know youa re talking about the weather.













If you haven’t picked up on the iOS 7 icon formula yet, the iTunes icon is a great example of what has happened to the majority of the apps.  Flatten, remove gloss, and make icon larger and easier to see.  No arguments on this one.  They probably could have done a better job of differentiating the iTunes app from the Music app, but iOS veterans can spot that purple icon anywhere and know that it will take them directly to the iTunes Store.











The App Store icon  is probably one of the most popular  apps used on your iPhone.  The changes in the icon design from iOS 6 to iOS 7 parallel that of the iTunes icon.  Flatten, remove gloss, and make icon larger and easier to see, but still keep the iconic shade of color (blue in this case) that we have come accustomed to over the years.












Passbook is one of those apps that, for now, seems to get tucked away in some folder, rarely to be seen from again.  I’m sure there are many iPhone users who don’t even know what it is, let alone have ever used it before.  The idea for Passbook is awesome–a place to save your digital receipts, passes and tickets so you don’t need to use a paper copy.  However, the real world use it still very limited.  The new icon is “ok” but I was more fond of it’s predecessor.



Compass iOS_Compass






The Compass app icon is “different.”  Not better, not worse, just different.  I like both the iOS 6 & iOS 7 versions, and it is equally easy to understand the function of each of them.  The black version from iOS 7 is a little cleaner, and easier to read, and this coincides with the overall look and feel of all the iOS 7 icons.













It is clear the this is the Contacts application.  There is the silhouette of a man bordered with letters of the alphabet indicating this is where you would look to find all your contacts in one place.  Pretty standard and clear.












FaceTime is one of those apps that, if you don’t routinely use, you might not recognize the icon.  I think the newer, more simplified version is a step in the right direction, as the iOS 6 version always seemed a bit out of place to me.  However, unless you already have an iPhone, you probably won’t know that tapping this icon will allow you to talk to someone face-to-face over video or make audio only calls.











The Calculator app is a staple in the family of stock Apple apps.  For iOS 7 there is just a subtle change in color variation, and a thinning of the font.  The end result is a damn good looking calculator icon!





There you have it, all 24 stock Apple icons representing iOS 6 and iOS 7.  I hope this guide helps ease any transition woes you might have going from iOS 6 to iOS 7, or even from a completely different OS to the iPhone.  If there are any other design changes that we haven’t covered here that you would like to see expanded on, ask away and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.


[images: Apple


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