It's easy to overlook, but there's a very simple formula for Apple's success. It's the reason why you can take an iPhone or an iMac out of its box and it just works, and the reason why Samsung is secretly working on its own mobile OS: control. Steve Jobs summed it up perfectly during the 2007 Macworld keynote: "Now, you know, one of the pioneers of our industry, Alan Kay, has had a lot of great quotes throughout the years. And I ran across one of them recently that explains how we look at this. Explains why we go about doing things the way we do, because we love software. And here’s the quote: 'People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.'"
Through my tireless efforts to find new and interesting topics with which to entertain you each week, I happen across lots of patents. Some are absurd, many are dull and dense, but for the most part, the one thing they have in common is that they're nearly impossible to extrapolate.
Still, they make for fascinating reading. At the very least, it's a peek into the Cupertino development process, a rare chance to see what the company is working on between revolutions. For example, in December, Apple was granted a patent for a "Curved touch sensor" that consists of "depositing and patterning a conductive thin film on a flexible substrate to form at least one touch sensor pattern, while the flexible substrate is in a flat state and wherein the flexible substrate is a glass substrate." (Honestly, that was the clearest description I could find.)
Keyboard design isn't something that generally gets a whole lot of attention.
Back when they were our primary input devices, keyboards were mostly viewed as cumbersome necessities, plastic nuisances that extended ungracefully from the backs of our PCs, resting lifelessly on our desktops with little character or personality. Even on laptops, where the keyboard can make or break the design, they were often an afterthought: cheap, flimsy keys crammed into fixed spaces, with little attention paid to how they felt under your fingers or where the optimal position for the mouse might be.
With the advent of officially supported iOS 7 controllers, many types of games that weren’t always a perfect fit for a touch interface — like shooters, racing games, and 3D adventures — suddenly have an opportunity to shine much brighter on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now you don’t need a dedicated gaming box to experience a wider array of really excellent experiences. Here are our current picks for the 25 best games that support iOS 7 controllers, and we’ll be updating this list from time to time as even more stellar games add support or are released.
With the release of iOS 7, Apple finally recognized the demand for physical gamepads via built-in support through its Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program, which means all game developers and peripheral manufacturers alike can use the same compatibility standards. Now, any game that supports iOS 7 controllers should work with any MFi gamepad — in theory, at least. That hasn't exactly worked out thus far, with at least one game only compatible with a certain early controller, and a few titles that work better on some gamepads than others. If you're thinking about investing in an iOS 7 game controller now, here's a concise look at the strengths and weaknesses of each, complete with our review scores from the full appraisals.
Not too long ago, web apps were the saviors of the new world — rich, universal programs that needed little more than a browser to deliver their power. Steve Jobs believed in them so wholly he nearly bet the entire future of the iPhone on them, telling developers during its launch: "You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today."
And at least one developer still believes that's true.
It's been quite a year for iOS. Jony Ive's redesign shook things up, but developers once again stole the show, taking the Helvetica Neue Light ball and running with it. From slick, minimal buttons to beautiful fonts and menus, 2013 was the year iOS apps fully matured and finally left its iPhone OS roots behind. So without further ado, here are my favorite designs of the past 12 months.
Google formed with an internal motto of "Don't Be Evil" in response to the perceived business practices of Microsoft, and then proceeded over the years to manipulate customer data (see what Google does when you search) and force software on users (see how you are already signed up for Google+) much like Redmond. Now the Mountain View company is taking hypocrisy to a new level with their latest lawsuit against the Apple- and Microsoft-led Rockstar Consortium. Ah, the irony!
We said it the last time we did one of these, but it bears repeating: Mac gaming is getting better by the year, with big AAA-style games making the leap from PC and consoles much more quickly, and indies embracing the platform more readily than ever. We’ve got a great mix of both on our list of The 10 Best Mac Games of 2013, with glossy first-person experiences, utterly charming 2D titles, and even a couple of late ports of no-doubt classics that we’d been dying to play on Mac. If you’re looking for the most memorable games that the Mac has had to offer in recent months, then there’s no better place to start than here.
It’s been another exciting year for iOS games, with 2013 offering an amazing set of intriguing and innovative indie games, stellar sequels and pristine ports from other platforms, and increasingly blurred barriers between the worlds of free and premium games — a good thing, in this case. And we ramped up our coverage in response to the ever-growing flow of new iOS games, reviewing more than 200 games over the last 12 months. Picking just 25 of those to spotlight as the cream of the crop was a challenge, but we’re pleased to present our picks for the best iOS games of 2013.