iOS App designer/developer Jared Sinclair:
What makes something touchable?
For things that scroll or zoom, touchability means that the content under your finger moves with your touch, without any lag or jitters…
…For buttons, touchability requires something different. Touchable buttons need borders. By “borders” I don’t mean outlines, (although outlines are included in my usage of the word). I mean borders in a broader sense. A button is a tappable area, clearly delineated from the un-tappable content around it by an obvious border.
Native app design isn’t my background, but the switch in iOS 7 from clearly defined buttons with borders and gradients to raw text labels always rubbed me the wrong way. Jared makes a strong argument why. (via Jeffrey Zeldman).
Gradients and colors inspired by iOS7, generated by designer Tom Oude Egberink. The clean design fits very well with Apple’s aesthetic.
There’s a lot of designers and developers who love the design of Apple’s new product pages. But I’m not one of them and it’s almost entirely due to its very forced input methods. Designer Trent Walton explains it perfectly.
There’s been a lot of debate on the iOS 7 visuals, especially among designers. I myself fall a bit in the middle – there’s some icons I can’t stand, but largely I’m trying my best to reserve judgement until I actually get a stable beta build on my phone. But designer Khoi Vinh correctly identifies one major problem I have with iOS: the typography. Helvetica Neue Ultra Light was never meant to be used this across the board, especially at such small sizes.
iOS developer Dave Addey:
Apple’s iOS hardware business model – currently its largest revenue stream – is based on making a large margin from a premium hardware product. Their trick is hiding this fact from customers, and selling the iPhone and iPad not on their hardware specification, but on what you can do with them. And that, in every Apple advert, is all about the apps…
…This business model means that it is in Apple’s interest for the hardware to be as expensive as possible, and for the apps to be as cheap as possible.
True, and Dave has a lot of smart suggestions. But I don’t expect Apple to offer much of anything in terms of change, especially when iOS is still the considered the premier platform for third party developers. The numbers of the tech savvy begging for paid upgrades and trial periods are dwarfed by those that rarely make big purchases on the App Store.
2012 was the first year I really started taking iOS games seriously, and the first I found the device a life saver for gaming over long subway rides and vacation trips. A lot of great titles were released, and as usual Touch Arcade has a great handle on what stood out. (I still find Punch Quest and Pinball Arcade monopolizing far more time than I expected.)
It seems as if Apple tried to hide iTunes’ complexity under a shallow veneer of simplicity. Unfortunately, a new coat of paint won’t fix the leaning tower of Pisa.
Macworld author Dan Moren brings up some relevant iCloud weaknesses. At its heart, there’s one huge problem:
Tying files to apps has its advantages, to be sure. But Apple’s way of implementing has a cost: Sharing files between applications is more difficult and unwieldy now than it was before.
The always reliable design firm Teehan+Lax have released a new psd that contains all core elements from iOS 6 along with a great looking iPhone 5 shell. I’ve used Teehan+Lax’s work repeatedly in the past for my own design ideas. They are always very well organized, critical for psds of this size.
I’ve written off most tech opinions on the new iPhone 5 camera because they aren’t written by photography professionals. Granted, it’s clearly better than the 4S, but how does it realistically stack up against a dedicated point and shoot? That’s exactly why DP Review’s recent look at the phone’s camera matters: you get their usual rigorous studio tests and the attention to detail you rarely find elsewhere. (There’s a reason that when it comes to new DSLR releases DP Review is pretty much the review benchmark.)