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Dubious, Interface Form over Improved Functionality (for the Win)

ios apps

ios apps (Photo credit: osde8info)

News of Jonathan “Jony” Ive signing on to helm iOS 7 development and interface overhaul is creating some much needed buzz for Apple.

Glitz and glamour distraction from its grandfather of modern design should help offset the greater concern that no one at the company from Tim Cook on down seems to know where the next great thing in hardware “wow” factor is coming from.

These are not heady days in technology circles when talk of taking iPhone icon development from looking like what they are supposed to represent in the real world (“Notes” app on an iPhone looking like a Yellow Legal Pad) to a “flatter,” more present day look (not sure what that will look like), constitutes news. But I suppose Apple should not be any different in terms of us not remembering (or caring?) which commercials we watch on TV nor the products they are pitching.

Personally, I was saddened to read Mac OS X 10.9’s release date is pushed back in favor of iOS 7 development. I also understand Apple is robbing from its 10.9 development team in favor of iOS 7’s—similar to OS X Leopard’s release being delayed while a similar re-distribution of engineering talent took place for original iPhone development needs.

All this “news,” while most definitely less exciting, is indicative of the computer world’s current state. Sales of tablet and mobile devices, technically “computers,” will one day soon eclipse sales of the PC—another thing that makes me at least a bit melancholy. I am old enough to remember when new computer operating system release announcements would generate tons of excitement and anticipation. Whether it was The Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” Windows 95 theme song or a Steve Jobs led WWDC keynote previewing OS X Tiger, it was like watching a pre-steroids, young Alex Rodriguez hit for the cycle—you felt like you were experiencing something historic or at least pretty important.

Compact Disc Logo

Compact Disc Logo (Photo credit: Douglas Heriot)

I also read about the pending death of the optical drive today. Really? I am sorry, but every time I view a stuttering YouTube video, it makes me want to say the cloud still has a long way to go before it gets to retain my most precious data. Besides, I do not want to pay for premium broadband connections in order to upload data at more than a snail’s pace, relatively-speaking. Double besides, the IRS and the Feds in general are still using CDs and DVDs—evidence there is no shame in being generations behind the technological curve. On the consumer side, choice is dictated to us by manufacturers. If the manufacturers can reap more profit by keeping the optical drive out of modern laptop design, then by golly, that’s what they will do. Fortunately, there is still an abundance of external optical drives on the market for those of us with tons of DVDs and CDs or who still prefer utilizing these types of media.

Jonathan Ive

Jonathan Ive (Photo credit: SimonQ錫濛譙)

Speaking of hardware design, any word on when a new Mac Pro might be coming out?

I suppose those new icons Ive will be responsible for will really make me like my new iPhone better once I purchase it. By the time I get around to doing that however, I suspect Apple could kibosh its “New Coke” iPhone and iPad iOS 7 interface design, and return to something retro.

Fruity Apple logo anyone?

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