Chris Brummel

iOS 10 Beta 1 & 2 for Designers

We got the first couple betas of iOS 10 and we wanted to share some of the differences from iOS 9 that we’ve caught. Keep in mind, this is just a beta, so things are bound to change.

Music and Maps had two of the larger redesigns in the new beta. They both are using a “card” metaphor for what used to be the player screen on Music and the details screen on Maps. Both slide up from the bottom but are using a different visual language for dismissing them.


Music is using a similar chevron that Control Center and Notifications does, while Maps is using a flat bar that is more similar to the Control Center indicator on the lock screen. This seems like the type of thing that Apple will get consistent with by the time it hits a release candidate.

While we have that Map screen up, take notice of the distinct buttons. While the button style for the “Directions” button is not everywhere yet, the full-bleed style introduced in iOS 7 seems to be a thing of the past. Also, encapsulating icons in circles is far more common, similar to the icons in the iOS Phone app.


I saw that News was updated to include them when swiping, but used a hair-line style that the others didn’t, while Mail hasn’t been updated at all.


The icons in Music are strangely different. They’re in the hair-line style that has been used since iOS 7, but they’re twice as thick and use rounded corners. They’re similar to Quick Launch icons, but not quite as thick. So now we have most of the OS icons with 1pt lines and sharp corners, Music app icons at 2pt and rounded corners, and Quick Look icons at 3pt and round corners. Hopefully they can simplify that in a future beta.


Speaking of strange changes that we’re only seeing in one app, we’re seeing slight adjustments to Music’s action sheets as the left and right margins are changing from 10pt to 15pt, which feels off to us as the bottom margin is 8pt and the previous dimensions felt like a better balance.


There is a new “Back To…” status bar implementation. Instead of the “Back to” text, now there is a bold back arrow and the word of the app you previously were using. Also, Maps is using a blurred background for its status bar, which I don’t think I’m a big fan of. I’d rather use a scrim in that scenario. It doesn’t feel very natural to me.



Another trend we’re seeing throughout the OS is that things are just bigger. I’ve seen plenty of comments about the large headlines in News and Music, but overall I’m seeing larger type everywhere. Even the search bar in Apple Music is twice as large as a standard search field.



Lastly, I leave you with this:


This is the new treatment for contacts without an associated photo. Prior to this beta, it was a flat grey with white initials. Now they’ve added the gradient with a slight bevel and drop shadow to the text, which all feels very out of place to me. This is clear foreshadowing of the return to skewmorphisim in iOS 11 😉

These are the little things that we’ve noticed in our short time with the updates. If you find any details we missed, let us know on Twitter or Facebook.


Image courtesy of Lukas Blazek for Unsplash.

Chris Brummel

Chris Brummel is responsible for overseeing the user experience of L4 products. Chris takes projects from basic requirements, and forms them into fully-realized products, taking each platform's distinct differences into account. Chris has over 20 years of experience in UX/design, starting with the web and switching over to mobile after the iPhone's smartphone revolution in 2007. Since then, Chris has designed award-winning mobile applications that have reached millions of users, including Foursquare for Android.

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