Apple iPad UI -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Sebastiaan de With of Cocoia has posted another of his UI roundups, this time focusing on Apple's evolution of the iPhone interface in the form of the brand new iPad.

He notes the expanded icon size of 72x72, and as-yet-unused 64 and 320 versions, along with more "earthy" metaphors, and since he designed the one for Classics, weighs in on the very similar looking iBooks.

Conversely, he's not a fan of the new "popover" UI element, calling it kludgy. And feels the repugnant, inconsistent look of the iPad iTunes application takes no advantage of innovations from either the iPhone or Mac, and is a visual punch-in-the-face. He's also worried that the lack of encouragement for resolution-independance in iPhone app development (though TiPb's heard Apple does indeed stress that) will make the iPad's 2x mode a blurry mess.

For our part, TiPb's wondering how much of these UI changes, good, bad, and ugly will hit the iPhone with either iPhone 3.2, or iPhone 4.0?

What do you think Apple should move over to the iPhone, and what do you hope they keep far, far away?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple iPad UI -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


I think the new UI is great, the popover and drop-down menus are slick. The transitions and core animation are awesome.
But somethig needs to be done about the home screen, it looks bare. And that four-icon dock better change when 4.0 rolls into town!

I EXPECT to see:
iBookstore (even outside the US!!!!)
Pop-over menu's (works fine in SmartRss 2)
Customisable backgrounds (even if hidden by icons)
Bigger screen (lol)
Landscape springboard (not urgent, but nice for when going from Safari to Mail and back)

You're clearly an idiot.
nothing to see here folks, move along just the typical Let's hate apple products bandwagoneer.

@Tom Not everything people buy, they need. Nothing wrong with just wanting it, if you can afford it - regardless of what it is.

The popover menus were probably necessary because the iPhone UI does not have dropdown lists. The only option developers have is the picker wheels which take up the whole screen unless you write your own specific view and it takes up a half-screen.

It's pretty much illogical to Slam a device because it's not for you.
The iPad won't be for everyone, but that doesn't mean it's not an impressive piece of tech.
Can't wait till it comes out!
I won't have to use my Desktop computer anymore for just casual surfing, email checking etc etc.

I'm still getting one. $15 a month for 250 mb and 3G come on how could you pass that up? well unless that plan goes to us iPhone owners then I might not get an iPad.

This Sebastiaan guy seems to have Gates in his arse. Who is this guy anyways?
And Tom is actually the retard. Weird eh?

Its sad that there are people like you around cause your the ones that make it seem like anything apple puts out is so GRAND. ITS not, its just a big Giant ipod touch. I ALREADY HAVE ONE NO ONE ELSE NEEDS ANOTHER Roided out one. Holy crap this is pathetic

NO MORE…enough of this. This is a terrible device and im so sick of hearing about all over. Cnet is all giddy happy about it too. Its NOT that MAGICAL. HOLY &*^% enough

Then why did i trade my 3Gs in for a Nexus one? i'm an informed gadget lover, not bias'd at all, seems to me actually that people like YOU are the one's bandwagoning.
I can see how you're getting upset because your small brain can't actually wheel turn any sort of intellictual gadget thought or use for this what so ever, but that's ok my friend, stroll along now and get back to your football game douchebag.
"giant ipod touch"
Ahhh... the george bush screwed up our country for 8 years statement of the iPad debate.. common.. very common..
Actually if you compared the iPad to the iPod touch or iPhone down on a chart the only ONE single item that would match up would be the App store, every single other Application on the iPad is different then the iPhone or iPod touch. Have you watched the videos? or is your Ape like tech brain drawn into the sheepless let's hate apple chatter and you didn't even notice that it's different.

@Milk It's intellectual not intellictual. (lol)
I can't wait for customizable backgrounds (and maybe themes!?). Not tons more I can yet see from the iPad that I would want on my iPhone.

@Carl I know, i was typing that on my nexus one, and there's no edit after you submit =) nexus one typing fail. lol

@Milk Did you really trade your iPhone for a Nexus. Think about your other posts on this site. You are lying here or lying somewhere else. Sounds like a fanboy changing his story to fit convenience.

All this hype for nothing. The iPad could have been great. One key change, OS X instead of iPhone OS. IMHO OS Fail. A stripped down version of OS X on this thing would have made this a killer device. Plus as easy as it is to strip back basically BSD, it was really a let down. I'm love my Macs, hate my iPhone. The fact that this is just basically a big iPod Touch is a damn shame. It could have been a killer device... (weeping)

The lack of new features on the ipad really worries me in terms of the future of iPhone OS. If this is apple pulling out all the stops to make a more expansive iPhone OS, count me out of another iPhone this summer.. I'll be buying a nexus one and switching over to wind mobile.

Why is it that every time i view the comments about iPad there is some lame person saying that people who would consider buying this is stupid. What's stupid is feeling like your dumb opinion matters. To each his own, if you want to buy it buy it, it you dont, dont.
Just my opinion (it doesnt really matter, i know) lol

@Bob, look for me on Androidcentral. I'm iPhonemilk
Not a lie what so ever, i also got a droid, and passed that down to my father then got the nexus one.

Quick question: Why does everyone want OSX? The apps will cover most anything that you'd want to do. Am I missing something? I own a MacBook and an iPhone. Frankly I don't want OSX on my iPad. Seems to me OSX would bog the iPad down. Just guessing...

@milk If you have a nexus one why are you here on tipb? To troll? Do you think because you have switched over you will get others to do so? People should keep there bashing to themselves. You want to state you opinion fine. But why bash something you have not physically seen or held? If you people don't like it don't get it. Believe me there will be millions of people that will get this. And there will be software updates and apps that will make this ipad all the more better. When the iPhone came out it was in the same postion as the ipad. Look at the iPhone now.

I think Apple did this on purpose. To get people talking. I am a little upset though because the iPhone needs some major updates but the whole thing to me seems like a smoke screen. I do believe that they are really trying to get the world to think differently when it comes to mobile computing. The companies that are nervous are the ones making eBook readers. For a few more dollars you can have one of these. For the students imagine having all ur books on this. Right now it's all over the place because Jobs is brokering deals signing off on software changes updates etc. I was skeptcal at first but this is gonna shift eveything. Smart money says this thing is gonna be major. It won't cut into other Apple products money making abilities but it damn sure is gonna cut into every other companies dough. Your gonna still need another system to do major work and it would be insane for Apple to cut the hand that feeds them. Mystery sells. I love my iPhone but because of the small screen I really don't want to read books. This one will be easier on the eyes more importantly easier on my iPhone battery. Because everything they are gonna put in the iPhone is gonna drain the hell out of it's battery. My choice is which one am I gonna get. One thousand on the side this year for tech stuff is what I will have to do.

I'm in the middle here. On one hand, I think apple released a incomplete device just as they did with the original iPhone. I wasn't impressed with the 1G iPhone, and similarly not impressed with the 1G iPad.
However, I'm glad Apple had the guts to manufacture this. It will facilitate innovation.
We'll see, maybe one day I'll love the iPad as much as I love my iPhone.

My question is why would I want this, when I can get a netbook computer that has flash and double the power, and costs $200 less?
Apple had basically released a big iPod touch and the fanboys are eating it up...16 gb? For $500? Really?
This tablet is an insult to the clueful...

hi everyone the ipad will be great and no its not something everyone needs.there is a lot of talk about how it would be great in the medical field for docs with lots of records and info instead of clipboards of paper that can get all mixed up. im sure there are other good uses for it also. here is a new site that is on the way lets just see what happends.