Samsung and Apple are no strangers in the courtroom; in fact, despite being each other's favorite business partners, they are also the prime combatants in the ongoing global Patent Wars. Sort of like a couple going through a nasty divorce that can't stop hooking up. While the lawyers get rich, who suffers? Us kids. Now, both companies are heading back to the courtroom this week to begin a trial that holds every possibility of completely reshaping patent law in the United States. Or, perhaps, it could lead to the end of the Patent Wars once and for all. While you chew on those fat pieces of hyperbole, read on for the latest.
If there's one advantage our Android brethren have over iOS users, it's customization. From widgets to launchers to custom ROMs, Galaxy and Nexus users have virtually unlimited control over their phones and tablets, and it's unlikely that Apple is going to change its philosophy anytime soon.
But developers are always pushing the boundaries of the iOS SDK to bring us new and better ways to use our iPhones and iPads. And one of them just so happens to be working to bring us one of Android's best features — just in time for the round of new fall goodies.
For the past 12 years, we've been dreaming about OS XI. Based on Apple's relatively unconventional roadmap--point releases are tied to major changes, a break from the classic system of whole numbers--conventional wisdom assumed that Mac OS X 10.10 just wouldn't fly, and Apple would be forced to overhaul the whole system and rebrand things accordingly.
The upcoming release of iOS 7 seems to lend even more credence to that theory. Presumably, Jony Ive just didn’t have the time to apply his pixel hammer to OS X, and the next 12 months will be spent flattening icons and adding translucency until our Macs mirror our iPads and iPhones as much as possible.
When millions of users hit the download button once iOS 7 becomes available this fall, it's going to take some time to get acclimated to all the new accoutrements. New buttons, fonts, shapes and colors are hiding around every corner, and just about every little detail has been refreshed, from the battery icon to the semi-translucent folders.
Still, there's a certain familiarity to iOS 7. Wildly different as it may be, it retains the simplicity and intuitiveness that we've enjoyed for years. Icons still adhere to a neat grid, navigation uses the same swipes and taps; essentially, the interface changes in iOS are superficial, focusing on design rather than changing what we know.
For the past six years, Jony Ive and his team of designers have churned out gorgeous design after gorgeous design--tablets and handsets that people need to touch and want to hold. Every line and curve has been impeccably crafted down to the finest detail, and the results have been nothing less than staggering: metal-and-glass works of art that fit as comfortably in our hands as they do in our pockets.
Like last year, Apple started this year's WWDC keynote with a clever video. But this time it wasn't a cheap shot at Android or a silly swipe at Samsung. It was a peek into Apple's design philosophy, a beautifully crafted response to anyone who has been questioning its commitment to innovation:
"If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask is, what do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time ... there are a thousand no's for every yes. We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until every thing we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work: Designed by Apple in California."
It was barely a minute, but it stuck with me throughout the two hours of pomp and circumstance that followed. Apple hasn't been dragging its heels or taking its eye off the ball. On the contrary, it's more focused than it's ever been.
The days leading up to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference are always a frenzied affair, a bundled mass of nerves and anticipation filled with rumors, spy shots and black-draped banners. It's only natural to expect big things from this year's keynote, but like any Apple event, people are sure to be disappointed. So before the big day arrives, I thought I'd help temper expectations a bit by breaking down the odds — with an emphasis on design, of course.
Little about the act of slicing strands seems terribly appealing in our everyday lives, but that simple premise is responsible for one of the App Store's biggest sensations. Cut the Rope's diverse and colorful physics-based puzzles have made green alien creature Om Nom a household name across two entries – the original smash and the even-more-whimsical Cut the Rope: Experiments – and now Cut the Rope: Time Travel aims to push the formula further ahead by looking to the past for thematic inspiration.
The minimalist HiddenRadio blends into its surroundings, but when you whip out your iPhone and start streaming music to it over Bluetooth, its full, balanced sound is sure to demand attention. We're giving away the HiddenRadio that we recently reviewed, and the company also provided a 20% discount code we'll share after the jump...