• Friday Morning News

    The design of iOS 7 is simply confusing, writes Joshua Topolsky at The Verge. You might have read yesterday's article from The Next Web about how icon design was passed on to the marketing team at Apple, not the same guys who did the apps themselves, and maybe that's why they look so out of place. But the basis, the foundations, for an entirely new look and feel are mostly there, and I for one hope they're going to improve over the coming months.

    There's a quote from Steve Jobs that says "design is not just how it looks and feels, but how something works". The corollary of that quote is something along the lines of "look and feel is supposed to tell you how something works", which describes how intuitive an interface is something the lock screen in iOS 7 lacks. The words might say slide, the glistening animation may move towards the right (as it always has), but there's a handle that suggests you pull upwards. And another handle at the top that says you can pull down, too.

    There's very few shadows in iOS 7. No longer are the names of apps on the home screen backgrounded by a shadow from some unseen light source; instead, they change between white and black based on how dark or bright the background is. This lack of shadows is a deliberate decision to reflect how the display itself is backlit, making the interface a representation of the display.

    We're still in the early stages of a massive change for Apple. Call it design by committee, call it whatever you want, but many people aren't sold by the design and desperately hope Apple will change it in time for September and the public release of iOS 7. Don't get me wrong, this is a massive change for Apple, and my biggest fear is that Apple hasn't been known to change things UI-wise in these public betas. Then again, we've never seen such a complete UI overhaul on this kind of scale before. If we continue to hold Apple to the high standards that we do, I just hope we aren't disappointed come September.

    IOS 7 now warns you if you're using uncertified Lightning cables, which include any that you may have acquired from places other than the Apple Store. You get a warning whenever you plug in an uncertified cable in that the accessory may not work reliably with your device, even though the cable will still continue to function just fine. It's a warning shot across the bow intentionally missing the mark, but also letting you know: Apple are on to you, buddy.

    No new iPhone hardware was announced at WWDC. Instead, we get rumours Apple are considering iPhones with different screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.7 inches, with both the iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone due in September. The good ol' fingerprint technology sensor rumour has also made another appearance, and if that wasn't enough, Apple are looking to adopt a variety of colours for the next iPhone, based on the colours of the Apple Bumpers that you could purchase for the iPhone 4.

    WWDC was home to the announcement that iOS would be officially supporting game controllers, and we now know it'll be working with Logitech and Moga for the game controllers. Mockups and prototypes were shown off in a WWDC session, with one design being described as a form fitting extending gamepad.

    The new Mac Pro will reportedly be assembled in the US by Flextronics, a Singapore-based company who already owns and operates manufacturing facilities Stateside. The move isn't expected to have much of an impact on Foxconn, one of Apple's primary manufacturers, who mainly operate out of China.

    The new Control Centre in iOS 7 means I've done away with that flashlight app I used to keep around, and it's the perfect solution to widgets. It's hidden away so it isn't taking up unnecessary screen space until you actually need it, and has shortcuts to things you might need to use every now and again* the calculator, alarms, and so on. Spotlight has also been hidden away, no longer occupying a home screen of its own, instead activated by a gesture (swipe down anywhere on screen, but not from the edge). And Notification Centre, too, now sports a new Today view that tells you what's up. Useful if your agenda is always jam-packed with events.

    Tim Cook is a great CEO. He still stresses certain words awkwardly in his keynotes, but he's the best successor to Steve Jobs Apple could have asked for. He's the man to make the hard decisions, and if his demeanour at the keynote was anything to go on, his big bet of firing Scott Forstall paid off.
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