The office put up Apple's WWDC keynote on a giant projector screen, and hilarity ensued (and swiftly turned to horror). Five comments from work that perfectly capture the complete and total awfulness of Apple's new iPhone operating system:
- Person who casually walks into kitchen, unaware of what's onscreen: "Oh hey! What's that on screen? Is that Android?"
- Apple fanboy, slowly deflating: "Didn't the Nokia phone fail?"
- Smug Apple-hater: "It's like they kidnapped the designer of the Windows phone."
- Bewildered so-and-so: "Did Apple buy out Yahoo so they could steal the design of the Yahoo!Weather app?...And make it worse?"
- "It's funny that they're making album covers so prominent. You know who taught me not to look at album covers anymore? ...iTunes."
You may detect a common theme in these remarks (which are closer to verbatim than you might think): there's nothing remotely original about this design. It cobbles together aesthetic ideas that have existed for years in various smartphones, failing to tie them together into a coherent whole (and let's face it, this is what Apple used to do best).
It's possible that this is a functional problem with the technology of the smartphone itself. Think about it; the iPhone debuted almost 7 years ago, and hasn't really changed interaction. What devices have stayed so static? Even with dumb phones, every year there were new ways of interacting, from standard buttons to touchscreen buttons to horizontal keyboards to different kinds of screens entirely.
The technology is stuck and so the design is stuck. Which brings me to the greatest shortage in my industry today: creative hardware developers.