There is a lot of design trend analysis on the internet every year, but most of the time it only analyzes some surface layers and does not go into depth. The trend is changing almost every year. how can we see the essence through the phenomenon? I think one way is to
You can try to lengthen the timeline, app store design trend, which looks at the trend evolution from a higher dimension, and analyze whether you need to follow the trend to design by positioning your own product brand.

Apple’s app store design trend has always been the wind vane in the field of design. this article reviews the design evolution of 10 classic applications in app store or app store design trend
Look horizontally at the changing road of design trend.

After a brief blog post was posted on apple’s website, it marked the arrival of one of the most important design opportunities in recent history. Steve jobs wrote in this blog post, ” what I want to say is: we hope

There is a native third-party application on iphone and it is planned to make SDK available to developers in February. ” In less than a year, app store was opened to iphone users on a quiet Thursday morning

Over 500 applications.
Driven by app store design trend, few modern innovations can change our lives and interact with the surrounding world more than iphone applications. The first batch of 500 responses released at the press conference
The developers who use have a special opportunity to shape the design direction and interaction strategy of millions of applications created since then.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the app store, let’s study the visual evolution of the next 10 original app store applications.

1. app store design trend

As far as this article is concerned, my focus is on the obvious visual changes of the applications, which can be downloaded on the first day and are still being updated today. In app store design trend, although many of them also have ipad versions, this article mainly talks about some changes in iphone versions.

1) App store design trend:iTunes Remote

Apple has set a benchmark for other developers by publishing some of its own software on the app store. The two applications originally developed are Texas hold’ em and remote, which are a simple application.
Which is used to control the playback of the itunes library of MAC or apple TV through wi – fi. In 2011, Texas hold’ em application was taken off the shelf, but remote is still in the process of being updated.

From the very beginning, remote’s design was greatly influenced by the appearance and feel of the iphone ipod application ( now called music ). In fact, the appearance of the playing icon is essentially the same as that of the current playing icon.
Version 2.0 brought the icon redesigned by Louis mantia. The two apps started to diverge on IOs 6 when the music app was completely redesigned and set up a volume slider to respond dynamically.
Your mobile operation on iphone. Remote maintains a more conservative look and the icon is updated again to match the style of itunes 11 on your MAC.

The first major revision of remote was completed on IOs 7. In contrast to the pure white theme of music application, remote’s dark fuzzy background is matched with the color of the album. In 2016, apple released the apple TV remote application for the 4th generation apple TV, which is a logical iteration and seems to replace remote. Soon afterwards, remote was renamed itunes remote. Although this app can still be downloaded, it has hardly been updated for a long time afterwards. It was not until June this year that a new design was made and iphone x was adapted.
This update of itunes remote reverts to a more conservative visual appearance, reminiscent of IOs 11 music applications, but abandons the design of headlines and cards and supports traditional navigation. Itunes remote uses blue to match the updated icon instead of the original dark color system.

2) App store design trend:Facebook

In stark contrast to the gentle changes in itunes remote, Facebook applications have been continuously redesigned over the past decade and are increasingly frequent. If I want to fully display Facebook’s visual update history, I may write a whole book, so I have only chosen eight of the most important updates here.
Facebook’s update on iphone actually started before app store existed. This app was first introduced as one of the first network applications for iphone in October 2007. Except for the iconic blue navigation bar, version 1.0 in app store hardly recognizes Facebook now. Even icons lack white signature ” f”. The message flow of the application is essentially one with five flags
Sign the column and decorate the table view: homepage, personal data, friends, chat and inbox. Version 2.0 is also based on the same concept, only two layers of navigation have been added under the main title bar.
Facebook introduced a 3×3 grid icon for the first time in July 2009’s version 3.0 to help solve the expanding navigation of applications. Earlier screenshots showed this icon, but this design has never been released in a public version.

In October 2011, Facebook 4.0 took the lead in adopting the navigation ” Hamburg menu”. In the next few years, the popularization of this application has accelerated the innovation in design elements of various applications and websites. After version 4.0, Facebook’s design timetable has become more challenging. Facebook’s appearance starts to iterate faster and is often rolled out step by step instead of being rolled out completely in the main version at one time.

In April 2013, Facebook tried ” chat heads” in IOs applications. the heads can pop up and move independently, and can directly open the chat window when clicked ( translator: there is a video on YouTube that introduces this function, and you can see https: / / / 2013 / 04 / 16 / Facebook – for – IOs – to – gain – chat heads – ipad – app – reset – today – b Richter – working – on – home / ). Ios 7’s new style requires redesign of navigation bar. The tab bar icon is still regularly repositioned and designed between updates.

Some of Facebook’s design challenges come from the scale of its operations. Unlike many small applications, Facebook must provide a consistent experience for its customers on a large number of platforms, not just IOs. 2017 8
The monthly update is trying to unify the information flow design on IOs, Android and the web. its comment style also looks more like messenger dialogue.

3.)App store design trend:Things

Things was first developed as a task management tool on the MAC side, but the last version 1.0 was released on IOs. Culture code, author of the development of the app, pointed out at the press conference that the original version was completed in a month’s time – a time that seemed impossible to complete.
The two key problems of version 1.0 and MAC are that there is no way to synchronize and labels cannot be used. Despite the initial pressure, the basic architecture of this application continues to this day. An excellent Flickr photo album records the early design stage of the application. The first major update was released on August 2.0, 2012, with a brand new look and some personalized icon designs.

In September 2014, the thickness version 2.5 updated the ui again, making it flatter and lighter in color. It was originally planned to redesign the thickness 3 version, but the development took longer than expected.
The third release in may 2017 is the most significant revision of this app so far. Almost every icon and ui element has been redesigned, leaving only the underlying layout. In the updated release video, cultured code emphasizes in particular how to use animation to provide a completely new feeling for the application. In 2017, redesigned thinks won the apple design award.

4) App store design trend:OmniFocus

Even in its early days, app store already had a lot of task management applications. Two apps, thin and omni focus from the omni group company, came into existence on the first day of the app store’s launch. Although these two applications provide similar functions, they both have their own unique design directions in the past ten years.

Omni focus’s iphone version initially used simple tabular view and custom icon navigation, winning the 2008 apple design award. In June 2010, omni redesigned the interface and application icon to support the retina screen of iphone 4. One of the biggest changes in this app was the addition of a forecasting model in June 2011. The smooth date selector below the navigation bar became an element defining the user interface until 2013 when it was redesigned and abandoned for IOs 7. The new flat interface relies heavily on text color to perceive hierarchical relationships.

The spring 2015 update replaced the iphone version of thines with a dark application icon and the graphical corners in the icon became softer. Since 2012, each icon has contained a colored egg, which even the old users may not know. Enlarge the icon to notice that the texture in the original icon is actually made up of tiny repeating omni symbols.
The most recent major update was omni focus 3.0 released in may. Although many changes are related to functional logic, the headline and optimization of iphone x still make the ui look brand – new.

5) App store design trend:Evernote

Evernote’s style iteration perfectly demonstrates the design trend of many major software since 2008. Before the app store was launched, this note-taking and organization tool was originally developed as a desktop application. before it was released on the iphone, it had already used its iconic elephant logo.

Like many earlier iphone applications, evernote 1.0 relies heavily on the uik it and realistic icons of the iphone. The 2011 edition redesigned the tab bar and will optimize the ” all notes” view in chronological order. When evernote added support for iphone 5’s larger screen in 2012, the app still uses the default IOs ui element. Navigation bar and buttons automatically read the ui group of IOs 6 Pieces.

Evernote 5 was released in November 2012. This application has been redesigned from scratch, which is a typical design example with rich texture and distinct theme in that era. Relief icons, paper textures and shadows give the application a sense of space. The applied icon removes the outdated luster texture but retains the metallic luster.
In a blog post, evernote said: ” we usually do not carry out a complete redesign. In fact, it happens at least every few years. ” although they did not know at that time, evernote was redesigned only one year later when IOs 7 was released on wwdc in 2013. Later, evernote 5 also won the apple design award.
Evernote fully embraced IOs 7 design trend. Each texture, shadow, and bevel is replaced. A bright, left-to-right gradient bar is applied to the navigation bar and matches the color used on the new text icon. An update earlier in 2017 made the design softer, with a softer icon, a light-colored navigation bar, a note card with subtle shadows, and a black label bar. The font and tab bar icons have also been updated simultaneously.

6)App store design trend:eBay

Ebay’s design can be said to be the most noticeable of the 10 applications in this article. Although apple emphasized it at the wwdc 2008 conference, the original version of ebay for iphone is very rough compared to today’s exquisite experience. By November 2009, the entire application had reconsidered a more consistent grey user interface.

Ebay 2.0, one year later, has laid the foundation for how to design this app in the next few years. Although ebay has previously introduced an independent sales application, this feature has now been incorporated into the mainstream experience. The main interface of this app has also been updated, which finally makes people feel that it is a real IOs design.

In several updates in 2013, ebay created a new user experience while maintaining the basic user experience. Each change reflects the rapid development of software design taste in this era. This continuous iteration means that ebay’s face changed quite smoothly when the app was redesigned for IOs 7. The use of familiar color matching and navigation hierarchies helps to preserve the user’s memory.

In September 2015, ebay 4.0 broke the inherent design pattern. Most of the application’s functions are placed in the Hamburg menu, with only three tabs at the top: ” activities, shopping, sales,” but this design did not last long. By may 2016, ebay had almost completely restored its application’s organizational structure, and its current layout is closer to the design launched in 2010.

7) App store design trend:Twitterrific

Craig hocken berry and the iconfactory built the first Twitter client for the iphone before the app store was released. Thanks to the jailbreak software developed by apple’s enthusiast community, developers already had several months of application writing experience when apple provided official tools.

Twitterific 1.0 draws on many design elements from the prison break version. from the point of view of ordinary users, it is very glorious. It won the apple design award in 2008, and twitterific was also one of the first applications to use dark themes. this style is also very popular today. However, the twitterific design iteration more reflects the history of Twitter as a service than the design trend. each update reflects the changes in the features and functions of the Twitter platform. In the early days, these characteristics usually required the third party to innovate by itself.


In 2012, twitterific 5.0 moved all navigation to the top of the interface and used fully customized ui elements. similar layout continues until today. Just like the design of this app, what attracts people is its icon. In addition to being the first Twitter app to use bird icons, twitterific is also one of the few IOs apps that look more modern while retaining rich detailed icons. Ollie, the mascot of this app, hardly changed during the upgrade to IOs 7. it still looks as fresh as 2012.

8) App store design trend:Instapaper


An application designed specifically for reading puts content above chrome, so the design of instapaper is naturally limited from the very beginning. In fact, some of the most obvious visual changes come from changes in IOs itself. Ios 6 and 7 both changed the navigation bar and button style, giving the application two ” free” visual updates.

Of course, it is not very accurate to say that this application has not evolved. The installer started as a free download in the app store. Shortly afterwards, a paid version named instapaper pro was released. A new icon designed by Dan cedar holm, co-founder of drible, was introduced in autumn 2011, greatly improving the reading experience and deeper ui elements. This icon later appeared on a PPT of wwdc about the great picture.

In April 2013, beta works bought instapaper from founder Marco arment, setting the app on a different path. The first major update under the guidance of beta works was released in September 2013, coinciding with IOs 7 update. Pinterest bought instapaper in August 2016 when the company promised to continue updating the app. Under the current ownership, even after the update of the super retina screen supporting iphone x, instapaper has maintained a fairly consistent visual effect.

9) App store design trend:PCalc

The story of PC ALC began more than ten years before the introduction of the app store. Developer James Thomson released the initial version of MAC in 1992, and its development continues to this day. Pc ALC has launched a fully customized interface on IOs from the very beginning, providing more and more topic selection and customization options. There are too many things to emphasize here, so I intend to choose only a few milestones to illustrate.

The first PC ALC version of the iphone was transplanted from a widget in MAC dashboard, but it was well integrated with the classic iphone ui. The button with highlight and the dark blue LCD panel match the icon of the application. In December 2008, a hot topic named ” prospect” was added to PC ALC, somewhat similar to IOs’s default calculator application. Until now, it is still an option in the application.

Pc ALC has adopted a new default theme named ” samurai” and matching icons to adapt to the flat style of IOs 7. Some classic topics are still available in the application settings. The icon of PC ALC was updated again in March 2016. Since IOs 10.3 was released, apple has allowed third-party applications to dynamically change their application icons without submitting new versions to stores. Pc ALC began to make full use of this function in may 2017, introducing various spare icons for you to choose from, and adding more content to subsequent updates.

After 10 years of development, PC ALC has broken through the practical limitation of iphone calculator application. the latest update has already enjoyed some innovative freedom, such as ar calculator mode. The iphone x – enabled display adds rounded corners to the samurai theme.

10) App store design trend:Yelp

Like Facebook, yelp’s iphone version interface has changed a lot over the years, but its brand logo is still recognizable due to the use of the same navigation bar color. Due to its deep integration with apple maps, this app is becoming more and more popular.

In August 2009, yelp applied a basic augmented reality interface to the iphone version to locate the surrounding enterprises. Although it was only a novelty at that time, given the rise of arkit applications, this function seems prescient today.

In January 2010, a shortcut icon in the form of nine squares was introduced on the new yelp homepage. The same basic interface was perfected in style until the entire application was redesigned in October 2013 to make the appearance flatter and highlight the ” nearby” label.

Yelp’s latest update enriches simple location-based results by displaying content related to you. This method of discovering information through comprehensive processing is the trend of user experience design and has achieved great success in the app store redesigned by IOs 11.

2. app store design trend: icon

By comparing all 10 key application icon iterations, the unique modernization path chosen by each is revealed. In the past ten years, some icons have remained quite consistent, with only minor changes, while others have been redesigned every few years. Judging from the timeline, it is becoming more and more obvious that the whole industry is following the design trend.

When app store was first launched, shiny icons dominated the land. The icon has a gloss applied by default, and developers must specifically disable the effect in xcode to delete it.

With the maturity of IOs applications, most applications have finally lost their luster and adopted very clear personalized design.

As we all know, IOs 7 redefines a good standard. Together with apple’s new icon set, high-quality and 3d rendered works usually do not look very suitable, and some conflict with the updated fillet radius. As designers and developers gradually formulate new specifications for icon design, details and more restrained colors slowly return to many icons.

3. app store design trend: personality

Early iphone applications plunged into an unknown world. In addition to apple’s own built-in applications, the appearance and working methods of the applications do not have established specifications, and designers and developers can conduct experiments completely freely.

Nevertheless, many early applications look and feel very similar when users and developers learn best practices by hand. Early feedback, attempts and errors quickly shaped the development process of each application. Within a few years, most applications have found their own position and developed unique styles and personalities. With the improvement of hardware performance, design differentiation gradually shifts from static graphics to dynamic graphics and dynamic interfaces.

The homogenization interface guiding principle introduced in IOs 7 allows designers and developers to design from scratch. many applications begin to attach importance to the user experience, not just vision. Thoughtful comprehensive information processing and predictive information design are often used to help show new and interesting content, otherwise these content may be ignored. Intelligent workflow simplifies common operations and helps reduce the time required to complete tasks. The importance of excellent design goes beyond the visual level, which has led to the popularity of user experience design in recent years.

4. app store design trend: next 10 years

In 2008, it was not possible to accurately predict the development of app store at that time. The reform stems from innovation. the taste and habits of iphone users shape the types of applications developers choose to develop. The same principle applies to the future. the upcoming new iphone and IOs versions will definitely change the application pattern in an unpredictable way. A new design trend may sweep the world tomorrow. Even 10 years later, the future is still exciting.




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