iOS7 is being released sometime later today for iPhones and iPads. In addition to the changes “under the hood”, it also introduces an updated look-and-feel.
“Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away. Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed. And in taking away design elements that don’t add value, suddenly there’s greater focus on what matters most: your content.” — taken from the Apple website
Judging by the screen captures on the iOS website, and things I’ve read elsewhere, this means that the skeumorphs are being eliminated.
Skeumorphs are the little graphical elements that make an app seem like it’s a physical thing as opposed to a collection of pixels. For example, the Find Friends app has a stitched leather motif with a line of stitching at the top of the screen and subtle shading and texture to give the impression of leather. One of the ways you can display your books in iBooks is like in a bookcase. My first generation iPad, which is forever stuck using iOS5, looks like a leather notepad portfolio when you’re using the Notes app.
Functionally, skeumorphs may not add anything to the operation of the apps, but I kind of like them and will probably miss them when they’re gone.