Apple's signature, its meaning, and its promise
This was Tim Cook's WWDC, not only headlined by a risky, heavily skeuomorphic, deeply gamified iOS 7, but wrapped in messaging that elaborated on their core beliefs, and re-affirmed a promise to the people who use their products. From the opening video to the closing words, Apple repeated that message, and a few things came to mind as I watched the video and the event:
First, Apple is hitting the California angle hard. California is, of course, Apple's home state, and part of the USA. It has its own unique culture and history, as every place does, and one deeply part of Apple since its founding. Over the last year or so, Apple's faced scrutiny over everything from their business practices in China, to the growing power of their competitors in Korea, to all the money they have in other countries, and the US tax implications thereof. Putting the focus back on America in general, and on design and California in particular -- especially with a hot new Mac Pro announced as being made in America -- cleverly re-orients perception. Apple's heart wasn't left in San Francisco. It was born there.
Second, a signature implies responsibility, like signing a contract. Apple wrapped their new messaging in a promise of quality and of principle. From putting their name on their work, to "not innovating anymore... my ass!", Apple looked people in the eye -- people who might be wondering if they'd lost their drive or edge or general magic -- gave them a little wink, and then did a little strut.
It wasn't the return of Steve Jobs or Think Different. It was a more complex, more nuanced message for a more complex, more nuanced time. Time will tell how effectively it resonates internally and externally, and how well the new Mac Pro or iOS 7 really portent Apple remaining at the height of their power.
But either way they've already shown Apple remains at the height of their guts.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
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- New features in email to increase productivity. So far what iCloud does, it does well. But we need it to do more. And while we are at it, a File Manager, even though it doesn´t have to be the focus and as such confuse some customers it should be an option. iOS 7 would be as normal as IOS 6 was for a non-tech person, but it is loaded with functionality for those who would want that. A focus like that to iCloud would be welcomed.
Gamification of the OS would be doing something like giving you points every time you used the calendar or sent an e-mail or unlocked the phone lol
And no more so than with Sir Ives treatment of iOS7 and the Apple customer base in general. Let me say from the start that I actually do like the idea of some of the new features that I truly think will improve the way I could interact with my phone. Quick access to frequently used settings (like WiFi or Bluetooth for example) would be a huge bonus for me.
Unfortunately there's just no way I'm even going to consider "upgrading" to iOS7 when overall I think it would be a huge downgrade in my overall experience with my phone. I'm hating the flat look, and nothing more so than the truly horrific icon set that we were shown. I actually think that the look of iOS 6 is beautiful. I really like the current icon set, I really like the dock, and the whole experience I get from iOS 6. It feels classy, somehow superior and different to ALL the other UI's out there (just for my own tastes). The icons are beautifully drawn, the whole experience feels "grown up" and gives me a confidence that the phone and it's apps (native and third party) are truly professional and functional. Then I look at iOS 7...
While some usability is certainly improved, the whole experience for me now seems very childish. The whole flat experience, simply lacks to state the obvious..."depth". Nothing looks business like, professional or "grown up" to me. The UI now looks childish and like a toy phone rather than an iPhone. I've stated before that my 6 year old has an "Innotab" from VTech and the latest screen shots of iOS 7 remind me very much of that UI and supporting software. I don't want a kids toy phone, I want a grown ups classy professional phone. For Johnny to spend so long trying to tell me that the UI and the icons are beautiful actually proves to me that they are a complete car crash. You shouldn't need to be told that something looks good, or that design works. It should be obvious to you without the need for explanation, and to my eyes iOS 7 just looks cheap, tacky, and childish. Then to read that actually it wasn't even the design team that came up with the colour palette and indeed even many of the icons then sorry Johnny that's just lazy. It seems that he has basically make a cock up with the whole iOS 7 design, let it be managed in his name by "marketing people" rather than actual designers and not bothered to keep involved himself. Then try to sell this garbage on the world hoping that his name behind it will carry and we'll all just accept that if he says its great then it must be. For me perfect would have been some of the functions of iOS 7 but they should have left Mr Ives off the UI design completely. We have a saying in the UK... "If it aint broke, don't fix it."