Puts it in perspective – an improvement across the board, IMHO.

(via parislemon)

“Talk about a waste.”

John Rubinstein in an interview with FierceWireless:

FierceWireless: Looking back, if you could do things over again with the rollout of webOS, would you do anything differently?

Rubinstein: Well, I’m not sure I would have sold the company to HP [Hewlett-Packard]. That’s for sure. Talk about a waste. Not that I had any choice because when you sell a company you don’t get to decide that. Obviously, the board and shareholders decide that. If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company? I think the deal we had with Verizon really hurt us, but who knew that at the time? These things are all hindsight.

FierceWireless: Before Palm was sold to HP, do you think looking back it would have been better to have sold webOS phones through multiple carriers besides Sprint at the beginning?

Rubinstein: We would have loved to, but that wasn’t the reality. We almost had deals with Verizon and with Vodafone, and in the last minute both of those guys decided not to go through with the deal, so we had a deal with Sprint. It wasn’t like we made a choice of, Oh, we’re going to go with Sprint. We were negotiating with everybody. And the Sprint deal was the best deal we could get at the time. Palm was dying when I got there. It wasn’t like we had the pick of the litter. Everybody forgets that Palm was pretty much dead when we did the recapitalization. It had no future at the time.

The mobile future could have been so different.

Apple unveils iOS 7.

At first, I was bewildered and didn’t like it. In fact, I hated the homescreen.

A few hours later and I absolutely love it. My iPhone looks hideous now. Piece of junk.

Some of the home screen icons are a bit iffy, and the “Control Centre” is arguably uglyAcross the board, though, it’s a pretty amazing unification of iOS’ design and a huge improvement on the skeuomorphic, broadly design-chaotic iOS 6.

Bring on the future.

Tim Green:

To me, there is a distinct movement towards a particular style and I would be very surprised if Apple were ignorant of it. It’s not ‘flat design’ per se and it’s certainly nowhere near the ‘Metro’ levels that people are suggesting they may follow, but it’s a mellowing out of the visual indicators that people need to trigger the idea of a tappable element

A good overview of current design trends in iOS, some thoughts and even a mock-up. A nice way to see where mobile design in general is trending.

Last time I checked, the lack of Office on iPad was nothing to do with Apple or the device. What a stupid thing to say.

Please let iOS 7 be great.

marco:

Regardless of how big of an improvement the next iPhone is, Apple should just call it the iPhone 6 and give the finger to anyone who questions whether the name fits.

As Siracusa said - release it in many colours and call it the iPhone 6. Big enough differentiator to most people, though bloggers will still trash it.

Everything rides on iOS innovation.

iOS 7 Concept Video

Some really good ideas here.

(via parislemon)

The same is true of design trends. Many — not all, maybe not even most, but many — of the complaints I see about iOS, for example, boil down to it being familiar. It no longer scratches our itch for new. Apple needs to scratch that itch for us eventually or someone else will, but it’s essential that they find something new and better, not merely new and different.

Gruber gets at what I’m talking about.

“Regarding Ive: Word on the street is that iOS engineers with carry privileges all have some sort of polarizing filter on their iPhone displays, such that it greatly decreases viewing angles, thus making it difficult for observers to see the apparently rather significant system-wide UI overhaul.”

via Gruber on Branch.

Definitely the most exciting thing coming to the iPhone/iPad, if true. Software is key to getting people really excited about the iPhone this time round.

A thought on iOS, Apple, software and hardware.

In my opinion, a major iOS UI update will do more for the perception of the iPhone’s long-term success than the release of an iPhone 5S. I still believe it is the software that people are getting bored of, not the hardware, and yet no one has said this – everyone blames the hardware, but there is still absolutely no competitor out there – not even Samsung – that comes even vaguely close to the manufacturing quality of Apple products.

What will destroy the iPhone’s long-term success over the next 3-5 years is failure to innovate in software, not hardware.

“The rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old.”

Thorsten Heins, CEO, BlackBerry. 

My reaction.

[…] it’s quite clear that Samsung took its design inspiration for Wallet from Apple’s Passbook (even down to the icon that Samsung used).

More delightful and surprising innovation from Samsung. What a great company.

More on Apple’s overlooked software prowess:

The utter simplicity of the iOS home screen is Apple’s innovation. It’s the simplest, most obvious “system” ever designed. It is a false and foolish but widespread misconception that “innovation” goes only in the direction of additional complexity.

 

Apple IS a great Software company.

I’ve read a lot recently about Apple not being a great Software company. Most notably, I saw a lot of tech press scoffing (predominantly via Twitter) at Tim Cook’s assertion that Apple was a phenomenal Software company during the Goldman Sachs conference where he recently spoke. One of the most notable cries was something along the lines of “Cook trumpets Apple software prowess, ignores Maps, Siri failures.”

It was then that it struck me – Apple absolutely is an amazing software company. It is so easy to forget that Apple invented and continues to innovate and upgrade the operating systems that power its hardware; namely OS X and iOS.

OS X is indubitably the best Desktop/Laptop OS on the market right now, and Mountain Lion, for all of the geeks’ complaints, added some truly useful features (Notification Centre, iCloud/Facebook/Twitter integration and a whole new slew of apps) that Joe Public instantly understood and began using. Can you say the same for Windows 8? I thought not.

Then we land on iOS – perhaps the biggest thing to happen to Software in the past 13 years, if not longer (apart from the App-economy that the OS itself went on to create). iOS is a truly unbelievable invention – a totally understandable, touch-driven operating system with the power of a full PC behind it and no instruction manual required. Everyone can use iOS. Everyone. That is phenomenal. You can’t say the same for Android.

So, is Apple a great software company? Yes, it’s a phenomenal software company.

What Apple does suck at, and what the Press were getting at but misnamed, is web services. God, Apple suck at web services right now. I don’t have any problems with iCloud as such (I think people forget how unbelievably useful iCloud backup/restore is in itself), but Siri? Losing what little usefulness it has almost daily. And Maps? Let’s not even discuss it. Total shit – and it infuriates me that people like John Gruber, who claim to be objective (and I love Daring Fireball, by the way), still attempt to defend Apple Maps relative to Google Maps. Apple Maps absolutely suck. End of story. A dreadful “product”.

Even worse, Apple’s failure at launching great web services is beginning to tarnish iOS itself, as this is the platform upon which most of these services run. There is now a widespread perception that iOS is failing to innovate; that there was a time when each iOS update unveiled a new, shiny innovation in the OS that changed our iPhone usage for the better. This is somewhat true, and it’s a big danger for the perception of Apple’s quality and innovative abilities. We must remember, however, that pre-iPad Apple had a roughly 6 year innovation cycle. We were all spoiled by the iPad. Apple included.

However, we know Apple are pushing hard to change things – we’ve seen the job postings for Siri; we’ve seen the apology for Maps and the promise to make it better. Will these products actually improve to the point of being usable daily in the next six months? We will see (although I’m willing to bet Apple Maps are totally kaput, such is the damage to the perception of the service wrought by its failed launch, and so good are Google’s Maps).

We should all step back for one moment and realise that Apple isgreat Software company. This is especially more impressive when one considers that they are really a hardware company that makes some software to make its hardware useful. It also makes announcements all the more deflationary when Apple “fail” to deliver “amazing” updates to their Software. Microsoft never do this, few people complain. Such is the pressure on Apple.

What Apple is not great at is web services and it is this, along with a large update to iOS (to remove the perception of stagnation and which should be part and parcel with a web services overhaul as the two are so intertwined/mobile/connected) that should be Apple’s biggest priority in 2013.