Arguing whether skeuomorphism is good or bad is utterly pointless. The real argument is whether a platform should be the flag bearer or not. I know a lot of prominent bloggers wrote the opposite, I’m not sure if they’re just going with the flow or really giving this topic a serious thought. Anyway, going with the flow isn’t something for me, certainly not in this case.
Any design when tastefully done can delight users. Any design that is tastelessly done would only highlight every other shortcoming there may be in the object being presented to users.
Great technology should get out of user’s way and just allow unfettered creative expression. A platform is ultimately a place of happenings, where the vendor or moderator wants to attract people and let them express their creativity. Imagine a London Westend theater with a permanent set of stage prompts for every single performance, that would be overbearing for sure. In this sense, if the platform itself is too loud and too expressive, it creates unnecessary noise that may drown the creative message being brought forward by its users.
Flat or not, skeuomorphism or not, the platform should give way to the creative work of its users. In this context, I would welcome a UI refresh of iOS. This is what I appreciate in Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Flipboard, all these platforms that don’t push themselves too much in your face. In some respect, the current version of iTunes on iOS and Apple’s web store, illustrate the kind of UI refresh that would be nice to see across the board on iOS7.
I wouldn’t enjoy a context where all the major platforms would look the same and keep copying each other, that would defeat the very idea of creativity. Diversity is a good thing in all contexts, it’s how we thrive and evolve.