I used to run a website called CrapPackaging.com because there are so many things out there that are stunningly badly packaged. I was all set to launch back into the horrors of blister packs and screw tops that are welded to the bottle, when I got a shock from a completely unexpected packaging source.
Some of you may know that I’m what’s widely referred to as an Apple fan boy. I don’t buy everything they produce, but I’ve done my fair share of propping up their company profits. I like Apple hardware and software, design is a cornerstone of their products. As Steve Jobs once said
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
So, the preview of iOS 7 came as a bit of a shock. Well, lets not beat about the bush – I nearly cried. In fact, I suspect Mr Jobs was probably wincing as the new lock screen for the iPhone was announced.
It’s monochrome, apart from the tacky green battery gauge. Why it’s singled out for such abuse when the WiFi and cell signal strength meter remain white, I don’t know. I’ve also no clue why the cell signal strength has been turned into dots that take up more space in an area of the screen that’s already short of space.
Gone are tha dimmed bands across the top and bottom of the display that made the date and time readable.
Gone is the “slide to unlock” slider and its patiently obvious arrow. In it’s place there is now a line of text and an arrow at the top and bottom of the screen, both of which point orthogonally to the actual direction you slide the slider (the one that isn’t there). Meanwhile there is text there with it’s sweeping searchlight, but it’s not obvious to me where I’m supposed to slide that text to unlock the phone.
I would harp on about the thinner font, but maybe the slight increase in text size makes that a better compromise, at least if you’ve 20/20 vision.
I know I’d be able to use this interface after a while. I’d adjust. Me. I would change my habits to meet the requirements of the device. Somehow, that’s not a product from the company I’ve loved for the past twenty years.
So, does the screen appeal to you? Am I a Luddite? Or should I get with the 21st century and put up with these changes like a good fanboy?
Can we still be friends if I like the pretty blue with the bubbles?
Hubster and kids tell me my phone, not an iPhone, is from the dark ages. Now that’s just silly, they didn’t have cell phones in the dark ages, but my logical argument does not deflate theirs. Not possessing an iPhone, I don’t think I’m entitled to a vote.
Does it help that I like my little LG Rumour with the cute little flip out keyboard. Makes me feel like Barbara Feldon’s Agent 99, with a walkie talkie hidden in her lipstick.
Hummm. Well, I’m going to have to think about that. I don’t mind the background so much, it’s just that the lettering (the stuff you actually want to read) gets impossible to see.
The way things are changing, I expect my handy-dandy iPhone will be a relic by the end of the week. Mind you, if you can feel like anyone called “Agent” that’s got to be worth a few cool points 🙂
Less is not always more. Sometimes we need more…like more contrast.
One of the determining factors for me in choosing a Toyota Camry over a Honda Accord recently was that the Camry had buttons/knobs that I could more easily find and work while driving. Sure, the Honda looked sleeker. But when I’m cruising 65 mph down a Houston highway, sleek ain’t cutting it for me. I need functional.
So I hear what you’re saying. I’m not an Apple user for the most part, though, so no worries for me.
I totally agree about functionnal over sleek, Julie.
I’m with you on the knobs and buttons in cars thing. Rotary controls that tell you which way their pointed by touch are great. The new Cadillacs boast about only having switches. But to me that’s a giant step back. A rotary volume control will always beat one where you have to press some button thirty times to turn the thing down. All touchcreen things are about as bad.
Hmmmm. Why does my iPhone 5, purchased 6/6 after theft of my purse, still have the “before” screen?
Shh! Tell no one. I like the old way.
First, Windows 8 and now this pending doom? Gaaaah! Hand me a Big Chief notebook, two tin cans, and a string.
iOS 7 isn’t out yet. Probably be out in fall. It’ll also probably have changed a dozen times by then. And I’m pretty sure they won’t ever come to be for my opinion! Sorry to hear that you had to prop up Apple’s profits even further after some ^&^$# stole your phone.
Being old myself, I always prefer the old way/model/style or whatever.
Age doesn’t matter, it’s always the functionality that counts!
I’m a bit of a Luddite too, Nigel. And crap packaging and crap design are EPIDEMIC! I have a Droid, so I’m running the Android OS. It’s okay, but there is a lot of unnecessary stuff on it. And my phone’s own design is not the best—my previous Droids were nice but this one, the Bionic, seems to have been designed by someone who doesn’t actually use smartphones. It seems that with most things these days, the “upgrades” only serve to make things more complicated and less user friendly. I just don’t get it. Sigh.
Yeah, crap packaging is everywhere. That used to be a line of my old site. I’ve played with some of the Android phones, and they’re pretty good, but they do tend to have things that feel bolted on. Mind you, Apples iTunes has so many things bolted on its hard to find your music anymore.
As Julie says, sometimes less is less. But I am a proud Luddite who just got her first smart phone and refuses to put on apps. Nevertheless, this screen is just . . . boring.
Piper, you don’t have a picture of your latest release (WHICH IF ANYONE HASN’T HEARD IS CALLED FIRELANDS, AND OF WHICH JAMES ROLLINS SAYS “A NOVEL TO BE SAVORED”) on you phone. Really? I’m going to be editing a copy of the FIRELANDS cover for you screen right now!
PS DEAR READERS, FIRELANDS IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON, B&N, KOBO, and ITUNES – as if you hadn’t already guessed 🙂
LOL. You rock, Nigel! I’m such a techno-moron I barely have phone numbers on my phone. 🙂
I got nuthin’. I’ve never even handled an Apple device. Can we still be friends?
Already downloaded Firelands – now I’m trying to prevent myself from gobbling it up instead of working!
It was 50/50 until you mentioned Piper’s book, but now we’re definitely friends. It’s not that I’m biased, it’s just that my morals have a (very low) price 😉
“Why it’s singled out for such abuse when the WiFi and cell signal strength meter remain white, I don’t know”. This was Apple’s big contribution to “going green”
Brilliant, Holmes. The answer was hiding in plain sight, or put another way, hiw did I miss that?
I bought an Android smartphone a couple of weeks ago. A friend decided to get out his iPhone 5 to compare – and ended up with a nasty gash on one finger. Ridge of sharp aluminium that hadn’t been properly burnished off in the Foxcon factory. But I still can’t help thinking that the iPhone, about to be compared to Samsung’s competing product, bit him…
That’s a laugh. Maybe it was feeling slighted at the idea of being compared to something else. I’ve got mine in this big rubber case, but maybe I should check it (out of sight of other phones that may make it feel peeved, of course!)