1. campaignoutsider:

    What’s Up with the New Apple Ads?

    Well the Doc opened the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

    Dear Dr. Ads,

    Apple has…

    View Post

    Interesting that the obvious comparison to “Think Different” is left out. This, and other stories of its kind make me think the authors are simply serving up softballs to themselves so that the next time Apple releases a product, and goes back to the product focused style, they (the authors) can say they were right about the “Designed in” campaign.

    For months pundits and consumers alike have been down on Apple for myriad reasons. It’s not innovating, or it’s not releasing, or it’s lost its cool. “Designed in” is Apple’s response to them. It says “Who are you? We design things with a thoughtful, specific process.” Reminds me of a Steve Jobs quote in which he asked a particular web writer just what it was he produced, what he added to the world.

    "It’s done when it’s done. We do not design by market pressure, perceived competitive ‘innovations,’ or the whining of bored journalists."


  2. Layered Glass, The Nothing UI

    First, consider these three (of many) iOS perspectives.

    Shawn Blanc:

    I see iOS 7 as a blank canvas — an ‘un-design’ if you will.

    Peter Alguacil:

    One could argue that by making the user interface behave as if it is backlit, Apple is treating iOS 7 as a more integral part of the device itself.

    Marco Arment:

    This big of an opportunity doesn’t come often — we’re lucky to see one every 3–5 years.

    iOS 7 is a UI built around lightness. At the most, at its heaviest, it’s a UI of plate glass moving and sliding, zooming and panning. At its lightest, it’s a UI of nothing, invisible, recognizable to us now only because it’s so different from what came before it. I’ve heard it called “opinionated.” I’d agree. That opinion is that the stock UI should be a not-UI. The discussion shouldn’t be about how it looks, because when iOS is doing its job, it doesn’t look. The discussion should be about how it works.

    The best developers will see iOS as an operational model, not a visual one. Imagine a Tapbots app that, instead of removing the cute “I’m a twitter robot in your phone!” aesthetic, doubles down on it. Zooming metal plates, ratcheting gears not shadowed from without but appearing from within the device, only now it isn’t a robot-esque layer over the stock controls, the UI becomes the character that the developer envisions—even more so than it has ever done before.

    Ive’s new design doesn’t necessarily exile skeuomorphism, it forces its proponents to go all in. Picture a compass app like the old one, only now when you tap the icon, you zoom down onto an object within the device. iOS merely serves it up to you. What is banished from the new UI is half-assed skeuomorphism: tinfoil-thin, wood paneled wrappers over menus and buttons that slide just the way a default list would.

    iOS 7 is not so much a blank canvas as it is an empty space waiting to be filled. The only thing the new design language says you can’t do is make UI’s the way developers have been making them for the last six years.


  3. A fascinating perspective on the lack of shadows in iOS 7.

    I can’t wait to see how all of this comes together. But the most intriguing thing might be where all of this design language goes on the desktop. Imagine 13-27 inches of iOS 7. Talk about transformative.


  4. Wow. Leave it to Matt Gemmell to illustrate the difference this clearly. See what I mean about looking back at the old design only to find it is ancient?


  5. The iOS 7 Reveal

    So, what is left to say about iOS 7? Was I right when I wrote that there were only two likely outcomes by the usual Apple bear media? (Turns out I wasn’t about the two outcomes, but I was in the negative responses.)

    I certainly can’t reveal anything that wasn’t shown in the videos, web pages, and presentation. But I can give you my gut reactions to seeing this change. Remember. Most people who have to make a decision about which phone or tablet to buy will be in a similar position. They will see it in an ad or on another person’s phone. They might walk into an Apple retail store and try it, but most people’s initial reaction will be based on sight.

    The Verge, predictably, spends the initial paragraphs of its assessment concerned with the “troubling” issues present in the new design only to, also predictably, double back on all of that in the end with hopeful words aimed at the progress of the system between now (its first ever look by the public) and its release this fall. It’s ok Verge writers, I’m sure Apple’s designers will just fall asleep after this event and wake up sometime in November.

    Personally though, I have to agree on some level with the Verge’s critique of the icon design for iOS 7. I want to get this out of the way because it is the main complaint I have about the new design. There’s something about Apple’s new grid concept for icons that makes any that use a circle as a primary element seem bloated or puffy. It reminds me of the balloon power up in Super Mario World. I keep waiting for them to let a little air out.

    Otherwise, visually, Apple absolutely does it again. From clearer typography to clever animations to conscious use of translucency and parallax (like skeuomorphism, a word I thought I’d never see so often) everything about the new design seems new and fresh. The telltale sign was when I finished watching the keynote last night. I sat there, a little slack jawed at what Ive and co. had done. The icons stood out to me, and I thought to myself how I wasn’t sure if this was really Apple putting it’s best foot forward.

    Then, I picked up my iPhone.

    It instantly, almost magically, seems ancient by comparison. The home screen, with its glossy sheen on half the apps, seemed noisy, the shadow behind the text squeezing the legibility to its limit on what is admittedly a small screen. I wasn’t worried anymore.

    I could talk about Air Drop or collaborative Photo Streams or even the choices made with Control Center. But I’ll save those for another time. For now, I’ll stick with the part of the OS that we are all likely to see and touch again and again, for some, maybe a thousand times per day.

    Those details have been sweated. Those features have been tweaked and considered and re-envisioned. I have no doubt that when I pick up my iPhone after its next big update, that it will indeed feel like a new phone. Because for the first time (in software) it is.