When The Daily launched in February 2011, it had everyone's attention. At a very publicized event in New York City, Rupert Murdoch announced a venture to "give readers everywhere the engaging experience of a magazine combined with the need-to-know content of a newspaper and the immediacy of the Internet." With The Daily's final issue due out on Dec. 15, it might be easy to dismiss the young publication as a failure. This is a mistake.
I still remember my first visit to an Apple Store. Several years later, I would live close enough to walk to one, but back then there were barely 15 of them, so as soon as one opened within rational driving distance, I made sure to get there. Roughly 65 miles away, I set my sights on Woodcliff Lake, N.J., where Apple had targeted a new shopping center for its first store in the tri-state area.
The average Apple user doesn't know Sir Jonathan Ive. When the subtle diamond-cut bezel of the iPhone's unibody construction rests in their hand, they don't consider the prototypes that didn't make the grade, or the long nights spent poring over every detail. But they do, of course, know Steve Jobs. Even among Apple diehards, Jony Ive was always positioned as Jobs’ dutiful sidekick, the one who turned his fantasies into reality.
Apple's ads don't generally require explanation. From the iconic "1984" Super Bowl spot to the silhouette and "I'm a Mac" campaigns, Apple's commercials are designed according to three rules: simplicity, straightforwardness and recognizability.
Apple likes going small. Or, more specifically, Apple likes going smaller. The Power Mac G4 Cube crammed the power of a tower into a stunning lucite square. The iPod mini shrunk the already small iPod into an even slimmer, sleeker enclosure. The iBook carved a lightweight, attractive notebook out of the bulbous iMac. The Mac mini... well, you get the idea.
It takes years, often many of them, to turn a simple design element into an unmistakable part of a brand. Movado's midnight dot. Adidas' stripes. Audi's grille. Apple's home button.
These things don't happen accidentally. Teams of high-paid creative types gather in large rooms for months, poring over prototypes and brainstorming for just the right combination of simplicity and seduction. Sometimes the result is fresh and bold, like the iPod click wheel; others put a unique twist on an everyday item, like Coca-Cola's contoured soda bottle.
While it might not be as powerful as its name suggests, Layout brings a fresh style of design to the iPad, with a clean interface, brilliant menu approach, and robust color palette that rivals the most powerful desktop publishing software. With Layout, you can create neat, modular collages with up to 16 pictures and captions, customized borders, and in-app photo enhancing.
The rumor mill has really been piling on with rumors of the next iPhone, which isn’t expected until this fall. The latest is a spy shot of a schematic which appears to show the front of the handset -- and yes, it matches the larger screen that keeps turning up.
When the man who designed every Mac computer from the iMac on -- not to mention the iPhone and iPad -- says that Apple is currently working on its “most important and best work” to date, we’re likely to sit up and take notice.
I feel a bit lazy picking out today's free app from the App Store's front page, but this one was too cool not to share. ArtCircles helps you discover classic and current artwork on your iPad in a dynamic way. Rather than forcing you through aisles of unrelated works, artCircles lets you pick your virtual art walk by curator (featured artists, musicians and designers), words, or colors. It's like picking out your music playlist by mood.