Following the announcement and subsequent release of iOS 7 beta, there have been mockups, complaints and criticisms flying rampantly around the design community. I’ve actually seen a lot of mockups that I’ve quite liked, and there are parts of iOS 7 that I’m fond of, but I’m not here to share my opinion of it. I’m here to discuss how Apple arrived at their design decisions.

There’s been heaps of mockups that have surfaced following the release, notably this one by Leo Drapeau. iOS 7 is almost entirely devoid of shadows; these new mockups are still “flat” but retain depth and clarity through the use of shadows and other methods.

This method of flat design has been popular for quite some time; it’s a style many designers are familiar with and employ often. After the announcement of iOS 7, “re-design mockups” began to surface almost immediately.

How can freelance designers churn out a beautiful product in such a short span, while it takes Apple’s assumed crack team so much longer? How can Apple’s product look so much different than the theme persisting throughout the design community?

This is not a complaint, merely an observation. I’m excited to see how iOS develops further. Feel free to respond.