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6/12/2013
10:36 AM
Thomas Claburn
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Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour

With iOS 7, Apple wants to shore up doubts about its ability to innovate in design. Take a closer look.
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Apple has become the Rodney Dangerfield of technology companies: It doesn't get any respect.

During the keynote address at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, Phil Schiller, SVP of worldwide marketing, sounded as if he had something to prove when he presented a preview of the forthcoming Mac Pro, boldly reimagined as a cylinder. "Can't innovate anymore, my ass," he proclaimed.

Apple has always been able to innovate. It couldn't have survived in the shadow of Microsoft for so long any other way. Nevertheless, doubts have been growing, fueled by the absence of visionary co-founder Steve Jobs and the lack of a new product line that looks like it could match the promise and profit of the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The decline of the company's stock price from its stratospheric high of over $700 per share in September 2012, to around $435 today, can be seen as one way to measure that doubt.

Apple watchers have been hoping for an iWatch or an Apple television. Instead, they got change: A new look for iOS 7 and a radical revision of the Mac Pro, a product many feared would be a casualty of the mobile revolution.

Perhaps unavoidably, such defiant difference has been punished with comparisons to a trash can, an ash tray and a roll of black toilet paper.

Similarly, iOS 7 has been criticized. The Verge calls it confusing. Designer Andrew Munsell renders the same verdict. That's unavoidable with major design changes. The new look has also, predictably, has been praised.

Apple deserves some blame here for its hagiographic assessment of its design competency. Its opening video at WWDC presented a precious paean to Apple's design ethos. The words on the screen describe design with the adoration appropriate to a religion: "We simplify. We perfect. We start over. Until everything we touch enhances each life it touches. Only then do we sign our work. Designed by Apple in California."

Were Apple's products truly perfect, perhaps such reverence for design would fit better. Hyperbole works when the product is truly revolutionary, like the iPhone was in 2007. Whether the new Mac Pro meets that bar remains to be seen: It hasn't been released yet. But when it comes to iOS 7, an operating system upgrade, Apple's invitation to be awed isn't quite enough.

For developers, numbers make the case: iOS 7 introduces more than 1,500 new APIs. That means iOS 7 will support all sorts of new ideas. But for consumers, affinity will depend on exposure and experience. That will be possible in the fall, when iOS 7 is released. In the meantime, here's a look at what's to come.

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dlessard611
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dlessard611,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2013 | 7:49:15 PM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
I've been using iOS7 for almost a year now, wait I mean Windows Phone 8. "Modern Design" and Apple, doesn't sound as cool when your second to it.
I'll stick with WP8
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
6/17/2013 | 6:43:36 PM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
iOS7 is already being called the biggest joke in tech since Apple's iOS6 Maps. Apple isn't long for this world.

http://bit.ly/IC4m9t
jbrown91701
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jbrown91701,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2013 | 3:28:26 PM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
Remember when the iPad was first introduced in 2010? Many critics (and comics) had a field day with the revolutionary tablet's name, comparing it to feminine hygiene products. After millions of units sold and in use worldwide, you don't hear that snark anymore. "iPad" has become a part of our lexicon.

The success or failure of the redesign of the iOS interface will be determined by how many competitors - particularly Android and Samsung - copy it. Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of intellectual property theft.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2013 | 1:25:13 PM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
Apple must have been stung by those Samsung commercials. I definitely think AirDrop is an improvement over and a good answer to the bumping feature, though.
Mathew
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Mathew,
User Rank: Moderator
6/13/2013 | 9:59:23 AM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
Based on screenshots, this design is gorgeous and useful. Puts a ton of features at one click (or one swipe and one click) access -- flashlight (when needed, always at moment's notice), camera, music player, silent.
Midnight
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Midnight,
User Rank: Guru
6/13/2013 | 1:48:34 AM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
Apple's lack of respect is well earned and well deserved. Let me start with the biggest nail in the coffin.. " It couldn't have survived in the shadow of Microsoft for so long any other way." That is fundamentally untrue. Do your homework before spouting nonsense like that to the world. Apple is older and had the "first to market" advantage from it's inception, but in a series of blunders to keep the hardware proprietary (aka special tools to even open the case) the more open ecosystem of the PC rapidly overshadowed their initial lead. And during the 90's if it were not for a MASSIVE cash injection from Microsoft (their competitor) the company would have failed back then. So shadow my derriere, this is a company that has more continuous bail outs than the banking industry. Innovation? Don't make me laugh.. Apple's definition of innovation is stealing existing technology and repackaging it, then suing anyone who calls them on it. Even the ipod (first big saving win) was nothing more than an media player that had been done decades before. (Real Media pretty much owned that market then. Remember the Rio players?) Technologically Apple is a repackaging company, not an innovator. (Before you completely melt down, remember even the UI of the desktop, for both Mac and Windows, was stolen originally from Xerox PARC's office of the future... even the mouse idea)

What Apple does have is a keen since of style. Even when the devices have showstopper flaws (iphone antenna that shorts if you hold it in your left hand?) they are still pretty enough that people want to play with them. That is the company's true power... packaging the technology to make it enticing. In that arena they are trendsetters. But then again... the ipad didn't exist when 2001 a Space Odyssey was filmed, look at it sometime, compare and then try to tell anyone Apple is an innovator with a straight face.
Zamuck
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Zamuck,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2013 | 11:23:37 PM
re: Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour
The "Dramatic" design looks almost identical to Windows 3.1 - so I guess Thomas was not aware of the "innovations" from the 1980's.
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