New Concept Video Imagines What iOS 13 Will Look Like

iOS 13 Concepts Credit: Michael Calcada
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It won’t be long before Apple actually takes the wraps off of iOS 13, since the company is expected to unveil all of its new major operating system updates on Monday to kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). However, this hasn’t stopped Apple enthusiasts from continuing to create and post their own hopes and dreams for what Apple’s new mobile operating system will look like.

Working from a mixture of information that’s already leaked out and some whimsical thinking of his own, Michael Calcada, a UI/UX designer based in Toronto shared a new iOS 13 concept video with iPhone in Canada.

Calcada released a similar video highlighting a wishlist for iOS 12 last year, much of which never materialized since of course that release was focused much more on improving performance and stability, with relatively few significant changes to the user experience. With iOS 13 expected to offer much more significant changes, including a new dark mode that we’ve already seen leak out, and some significant app updates, there’s definitely room for a lot more speculation and hope as to what Apple may include, and the timing of Calcada’s video should help to stoke the excitement for Monday’s announcements.

In an email to iPhone in Canada, Calcada explained that his new video expands on last year’s concept, “showcasing many new innovative features and improvements along with the power of augmented reality in your pocket.” Much of what is shown in the video represents UI/UX changes, rather than new core features, and it reimagines the experience in several interesting ways.

Calcada envisions an “always-on display” that would take advantage of the more power-efficient OLED screens on recent iPhone models to display the time and data and various status indicators as white text against a plain black background. A redesigned notification hub is another part of the vision, which would group notifications in a section at the top of the screen, and show a dot in the status bar and on the always-on display to indicate how many notifications are pending.

Other features Calcada imagines include a dynamic dock and new app icons, along with new gestures, such as bringing up Control Centre with a circular swipe gesture up and around from the right, new homescreen widgets, and redesigned banners for incoming phone calls and a less invasive volume indicator.

One of the more interesting ideas here is Calcada’s proposal for an “AR Sight” feature that would bring augmented reality to all apps, allowing even non-AR capable apps to simply be pulled down below a through-camera view, with notifications — such as navigation directions — appear overlaid regardless of what else the user is doing.

The reason behind creating this concept, and my biggest hope for the release of iOS 13 is to bridge the gap between our physical and digital world’s through augmented reality, Siri, and machine learning working together natively throughout iOS. Features such as dark mode and personalization are great for the end user, but pushing the technology of AR forward by putting it in the hands, and home screens, of millions of people will allow for many new uses for the technology.

Michael Calcada, UI/UX Designer

Although Calcada only published the video this week, he notes that it took months to create, and that he’s actually been working on it since December, “planning, iterating, and developing ideas into designs, then designs into animations.” There’s definitely an impressive amount of work behind the concept video, which doesn’t just provide screenshots, but actually mocks up what a wide variety of the envisioned UI changes would actually look like. The full video is definitely worth a watch, and you can view it on YouTube. The only risk is that some of Calcada’s concepts are so cool that it could make Monday’s announcement of the real iOS 13 seem underwhelming by comparison.

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