I figure it started around the time I first laid eyes on the Nexus 4. For hours, I would gaze at its screen and pore over its tech specs, trying to convince myself that I needed a second phone. I similarly lusted over the Google Play editions of the HTC One and (to a somewhat lesser extent) Samsung Galaxy S4, but the financial commitment was always enough to scare me off.
But when Google took the wraps off its new Nexus 7 a few weeks back, I finally pulled the trigger. Running a brand-new version of Jelly Bean and packing 323 pixels per inch, the Asus-built tablet seemed like my perfect match. I ordered one as soon as it was available, and I could hardly wait for it to arrive.
Finally taken the plunge and subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud, only to find yourself horribly overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications and features? A free week-long workshop will help make sense of it all.
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.
Apple released the fifth beta for iOS 7 today just a week after it released the fourth beta build, but this newest release points to evidence that Apple might be finalizing some of the key design changes before the anticipated launch this fall. The changes range from minimal tweaks to icons to entire new looks for key menus.
If you could reduce the 20th century optical artist Victor Vasarely to his essence and jam him into your iOS device, you’d end up with Isometric, a sparse design app with a single creative element: the rhombus. There’s an old design adage, “less is more,” that seems to be the underlying philosophy of this universal app, which presents an almost Zen-like simplicity (in terms of interface and toolset), challenging you to make the most of its one basic building block. While this limitation is meant to be a creative motivator, we found it to be a little, well, limiting.
While there's a synergy between iOS and Apple TV, the two interfaces couldn't be any more different. Put them side by side and they barely resemble each other; if anything, they've gotten further apart with their latest respective updates. Apple has designed each interface to work in its respective environment — we're never going be tapping our televisions to play a movie, and we won't be navigating our iPads with a remote anytime soon.
But there might be a way to bring it all together. At Apple's quarterly results conference call, Tim Cook divulged a bit more about the mysterious iOS in the Car initiative, calling it a "key part of the ecosystem."
Every baseball fan who owned an iPad in 2011 made a spot on their home screen for Pennant. No longer did we have to stare at tiny boxes full of tabulated numbers to see how many hits, runs and errors were recorded on a given night; more than 60 years of games, standings and stats were presented as stunning, animated infographics that responded to our every touch and swipe.
There was no learning curve, mainly because there was no labored interface to get in the way. Creator Steve Varga built Pennant as OS-agnostic, and it showed; everything felt natural and logical, from the carousel of teams and games to the floating navigation bar that paid little mind to Apple's design guidelines.
It's hard to keep track of the seemingly countless photographic editing tools on the App Store, but Tangent actually brings some new tricks to the virtual light table, combining some very appealing graphic design elements together with a really slick, effortless interface, making it easy and enjoyable to add visually pleasing effects to any picture.
Call me crazy, but I'm just not sold on the whole iWatch thing.
Of course, that's not to say Apple isn't building one, or that it won't be an unfathomable success, or even that I won't rush out to buy one if and when it releases. But from where I'm standing, I just don't see the reason for it.
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.