One of the many changes Apple made to the iPhones software was the addition of
a parallax effect on the home screen.
The parallax effect is what makes it look like you can see under the icons on your screen to see your wallpaper. The icons shift subtly when you move the phone.
Why did Apple add parallax? In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, lead designer Jony Ive said he wanted to create depth, but he didn’t want to rely on shadows and highlights to create the depth.
The previous version of iOS had lots of shadows and highlights. Ive wanted to create a new look for the iPhone without abandoning the feeling of depth in the software.
“One of the things that we were interested in doing is, despite people talked about this being ‘flat,’ is that it’s very, very deep,” says Ive. “It’s constructed and architected visually and from an informational point of view as a very deep UI, but we didn’t want to rely on shadows or how big your highlights could get. Where do you go? I mean, there is only so long you can make your shadows.”
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