Apple News: What Newsstand Always Should've Been

A few months ago, I wrote some initial reactions to the iOS 9 beta. In those comments, I raved about the replacement of Newsstand with Apple News.

Now that iOS 9 has been released to the public, I have to say I'm even more impressed with the subtle design elements Apple has implemented into Apple News.

dat frosted glass

Simplicity has always been a main component of Apple's designs, ranging all the way back to the beginning of the company and iOS 7 may have been the apex of this idea.

One of the most subtle, yet significant design elements in Apple News is the changing color of the status bar. When reading an article on a mobile device, there are few distractions on the screen, but the status bar is one of them. The time, battery, notifications, etc can all distract the reader. By making the status bar as nondescript as possible is the best thing for the user, short of removing it altogether.

The image above demonstrates the true talent of the iOS design team. When scrolling that status bar changes to whatever color the background of the screen is. But what about pictures? There's usually more than one color present, so what's the best way to go? Some designers might have the status bar change to whatever color is most prominent/present in the image. That's not a bad route to go, it'll still make the status bar less obvious. But Apple decided to add a gaussian blur, giving a frosted glass appearance, when scrolling over images.

For some reason, I just absolutely love the aesthetic of this.

The best thing about Apple News though, is that there really isn't anything to be said. It's a news aggregator app and nothing more. There's no bells and whistles, no crazy sidebars, no flashy features. It's purpose is to allow the user to read the news, and that's pretty much all it does.

Simplicity at it's best.