There is More to Apple’s iOS 7 Than Meets The Eye

Written by Gradly on . Posted in Apple, blog, Design, iPhone, Metro, My Take, Steve Jobs

Apple knows the design of iOS7 sucks and they’re absolutely happy. Here is why:
Flat is in fact ugly

In terms of design, most people are confused about telling you what they need actually. I’ve been working in web design for a long time now and what I can tell you about the majority of people is that they tend to easily criticize design (how the system looks) every time, even if they are in need for more functionalities (how the system works).

Flat Calendar in Windows 8

Flat Calendar in Windows 8

Windows Phone as an example for flatness is still a failure, while the catchy thing like the live tiles may appeal to some, but looking at the GUI 50 times a day is enough to make it feel stale, boring, and repetitive. Android has an ugly UI and the only thing that people love about it is the many damn functionalities crammed in there.

Skeuomorph Calendar in iCloud

Skeuomorph Calendar in iCloud

Windows Phone and Android are not good examples for Apple to follow or people to compare. In many occasions, Apple used to demo Apps that made for iPad and Galaxy tablets showing the advantage of better design on iPad. Unfortunately Apple is going the Galaxy way this time, read below for more on this.

Apple’s issue is not in the design

I adore aesthetics, and that’s why I love the excessive life-like elements Apple implemented in their Apps. I like the calendar on iPad which is a joy to look at (looks like exactly the same screenshot above from iCloud). The idea that iOS starts to feel dull has nothing to do with the infamous skeuomorphism.I don’t know who came up with this idea in essence, yet people keep repeating that. Actually the heated debate over skeuomorphism diverted the attention to that instead of the real problem. Remember, people mainly criticize the look and feel.

The issue in Apple’s iOS is the lack of features especially the basic ones offered by the jailbreak community.

iBooks in iOS6

iBooks in iOS6

Who said skeuomorphism makes complex UX

I don’t know how people think that life-like elements in Apps are complex and not intuitive and they want more simple and modern UI? I also don’t get the idea behind why buttons should no more look like real buttons. Remember, this design is what made the iOS so damned mainstream; it was intuitive and easy to use by old as well as young people. Actually, the popularity of iPhone among young and old generations was 90% software success.

Forcing flatter design will let down many of old people who will find the new software unintuitive and hard to use. Is Apple targeting the new generation only?

We are not arguing if the new iOS 7 is usable or not, It’s somehow usable and I would’ve liked it if it were iOS 1 from the beginning. The point is that, iOS 7 is not better compared to iOS 6, from a design standpoint.

iOS 7 is broken
iOS 6 (Left) V.s. iOS 7 (Right)

iOS 6 (Left) V.s. iOS 7 (Right)

iOS 6 and iOS 7 are like iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 respectively, both are working fine but one has a premium look and the other has cheap plastic design!

iOS6 and iOS7 are like iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 respectively, both are working fine but one has a premium look and the other has cheap plastic design!

I like textures, Linen, and stitched-leather in previous iOS, they were executed well with fine attention to details. I thought it was amazing that something digital gave me the feel of real life. With that said, I am not opposed to the whole changes being made in iOS 7 as long as its executed well and not actually worse than they originally were. That’s the point. Most of the items are worse than the original. The icons for one are bad. So it’s no longer a flat v.s. skeuomorphic. It’s a good design v.s. bad design thing.

It’s no longer a flat v.s. skeuomorphic. It’s a good design v.s. bad design thing

The new notifications window with larger font and spaces which forces you to scroll more down several times to reveal few information which used to be shown on a fraction of one page in iOS 6. This is one example of the horrible usability in the new update.

The new Newsstand icon that looks like a bunch of grocery bags. Its just a terrible thing to think about. Most of the new icons feel like old clip-arts form Office 97. Apple is known for its premium, detailed icons that took designers a lot of attention and effort to create. A meaningless 3d color-bubbles icon for Game Center? A 2D color mix for images? Button that look like real button, text only buttons, blue text buttons, red circle buttons. Its inconsistencies all over iOS 7.

One of the real problems is that it took Apple 5 years to polish iOS up to iOS 6 which still has its share of inconsistencies (that needs a separate post). So, just imagine how much time will be spent (wasted?) trying to polish this new one.

What hurts me the most, there are lots of design elements I really considered as an Apple heritage or sacred stuff, which Apple chose to ditch completely in iOS 7. This is totally frightening.

Apple creates follows trends:

Apple is all about design and quality

Because I’m an Apple brand loyal and an iPhone lover, by iOS 7, Apple committed a grave mistake.

Ever since people started repeating words (simple, modern, flat, etc) without understanding the consequences, I was afraid Apple would eventually listen. I’m talking about power users, who understand that Apple is all about design and quality.

The problem is that Apple listened, and now instead of being a trend creator they are “following” trends.

It’s just unforgiving, if you tried iOS 7, its a huge step backward, We talked about inconsistent experience, awful colors and icons, and with all flatness the install file still the same 1.2 GB for iPhone 4S and its not running smoothly. Based on Apple records it will take them up to iOS 10 in order to finish or fix that. Don’t fool yourself that it’s still in beta because the final version will almost look the same, maps still in beta, Siri still in beta and Apple has a long history of slow polishing or still-in-beta stuff.

Apple's iconic "Slide to unlock" design

Apple’s iconic “Slide to unlock” design

None of Apple’s iconic elements are in iOS 7; Everything stripped in favor of ugly design stolen from Android, Windows Phone or the Jailbreak community. What is the real point of all this crap? It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that iOS 6 was smooth, light, beautiful and why the need for a new iOS if it doesn’t beat the previous in all of these.

How to fight iOS 7

Tell the truth so Apple may listen to you. Don’t just try to justify whatever Apple does. Tell them that the new iOS 7 looks bad? Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Not every shit by Apple considered an iShit, and people are supposed to love it.

Not every shit by Apple considered an iShit, and people are supposed to love it

I’m not updating to iOS 7, and after 6 years, I’m not gonna buy the next stuff from Apple, simply because of that tasteless design direction they chose. Jony Ive is a one-trick pony guy, who is only skilled in industrial design.

But .. whats the evil plan?

Apple wants to go head-to-head with Android, the system well-known for its fragmentation and not-so-polished UI. The secret in iOS 7 is in its flexibility and size-adaptivity; meaning that the next Apple devices will not have issues if the company ever decided to change their screen resolution or increase PPI. Apple now can’t compete in PPI for example, but with the new iOS 7, this is a no brainer.

Jony Ive is a one-trick pony guy, who is only skilled in industrial design

Apple can’t go the same approach when they first introduced the Retina concept. Apple can’t keep doubling every time and another, so the solution was to ditch heavy custom graphics and replace it with mostly colors, and/or gradient, repetitive images that can relatively fill any area or screen size. Yes, I hear you say, Android and ugly, yes but flexible. iOS 7 is ready to occupy any needed resolution or PPI, its that simple.

This was a major issue to Apple which about to get resolved by iOS 7 once and for all. But at the expense of…

.. And what is the big compromise?

It’s obvious, like Android, the iOS now lacks beauty, Apple will sacrifice beauty for adaptivity. Not only this, and like Samsung, Apple is now free to give you all arbitrary screen sizes for it’s valuable devices, Apple is also said to be working on a cheap plastic iPhone. They figured out the strategy for Samsung/Android is working fine and they chose to follow suit.

This is a first for Apple to react this way. And its also obvious, with Steve Jobs’ passing away and Forstall’s ousting, the new direction for Apple is alarming, anti-cult, and in my sheer opinion going toward the worst way possible. Apple, as I know it, is doomed!

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Xbox One Reveal UI Demo Faked?

Written by Gradly on . Posted in blog, Consoles, Funny, Humor, Microsoft, My Take, Rants & Raves, Scandal, Xbox One

Xbox One Reveal UI Demo Faked?

Xbox One Reveal UI Demo Faked?

The video below is an exclusive Wired video that shows Xbox One TV integration. As noted by a NeoGAF user, Microsoft seems to have faked the Xbox One Live demo reveal and judging by the video the actual UI is choppy, slow, and not smooth the way it looked like during the reveal:

User jaypah said, “Yeah, we found out shortly after the show. Apparently that wasn’t the actual episode of Price is Right that was live at the time. Plus there were videos of an actual demonstration and while it worked OK (choppy video on initial channel pull-up), it wasn’t as smooth as the stage presentation.”

User Kyoufu said, “Yeah there’s a video interview where they actually show the real UI with the snap feature runs at like 5 frames per second. They faked all of it on stage.”

For me, I have noticed two things that caught my eye which should prove the demo was actually staged:

1- Yusuf Mehdi, who gave the demo, had to put his left hand into his pocket whenever he talked to Kinect and issued a command:

Xbox One Reveal Demo UI Faked?

Xbox One Reveal Demo UI Faked?

2- I know that Bing changes the background in a daily basis (correct me if I’m wrong), so how come, Bing showed the same image during the demo which was shown again on the prepared footage, which must be done since weeks or even months ago, while showing the Xbox features and specs?:
Xbox One Reveal Demo UI Faked?

Xbox One Reveal Demo UI Faked?

Microsoft is already in hot water following a disastrous Xbox One announcements with vague features and lack of clear responses especially for DRM and used games issues. However, the company should be prepared for another backlash if the presentation turns to be totally staged. To watch the full Xbox reveal, watch the video below:

Enhanced Banner Notifications Concept for iOS 7

Written by Gradly on . Posted in Apple, blog, iPhone, My Take, Rants & Raves

Banner Notifications Concept

Banner Notifications Concept

I constantly find the banner notifications in iOS very annoying. That’s why, and until Apple finds another new or enhanced version, I’ve thought of a fix for the current implementation by adding a little “X” on the right part in order to dismiss whatever banner showing instantly.

What do you think?

Would like to see Apple implementing this or offering a better notification experience in iOS 7 this summer.

The Amazing Spider-man Movie Review

Written by Gradly on . Posted in blog, Comics, Movies, My Take, Reviews, Superheroes, Trailer

The Amazing Spider-man Movie Review

The Amazing Spider-man Movie Review

Finally, I managed to watch “The Amazing Spider-man” and it is not amazing as expected. This movie has serious issues that I hope the team would be able to avoid in the upcoming sequels.

First off, the cast are surprisingly great, but having two major characters killed off is nonsense and surely leaving a huge void in the sequels.

The Amazing Spider-man Movie Review

The Amazing Spider-man Movie Review

.. But what went wrong? [Spoilers ahead]

Peter Parker doesn’t have a specific goal in this movie. At first it was to figure out what happened to his parents, which isn’t explained as well. We know nothing other than that “They were scientists.” So what? That’s not even 10% of what I needed to find out. I know the staff are keeping this for the next movies but they kept teasing us with the tagline “The Untold Story” and what we got is less satisfying.

Peter’s second goal is to control his new powers. The scene in the subway train when a random loser puts the beer bottle on his head for no or a strange reason, Peter jumps off and sticks to the ceiling begins climbing walls and beating up some innocent guys, and guess what? Almost a dozen witnessed him doing such spectacular abilities and no one seems to care about that or reporting what they saw to the authorities.

Now Peter’s goal is to bring uncle Ben’s murderer to justice, after several trials he just stops doing this, with no reason! The only thing he would do is crying one time and kissing the girl in another.

Later, Peter’s new goal is to confront the new villain, The Lizard, which is more like a CGI version. This thing is horribly written and executed, it has confusing motives, in the human form he looks good while in his alter ego he becomes violent, angry and in one scene knocking cars off of a bridge for no obvious reasons! Maybe it was just to tell someone that the vaccine isn’t ready yet? This is ridiculous and not satisfying.

There were a confusion and inconsistencies in this movie that totally spoiled this experience. Peter seems to be very comfortable being in the sewers to the point enjoying himself there. Police trying to stun Spider-man with Laser rifle while shooting the lizard using live rounds?! Really! In one scene, where Spider-man rescues a boy from a burning car, he wastes almost 5 minutes trying to convince the boy to be brave, climb up and hold his hand. This is boring and unneeded details at all.

Apart from some amazing POV scenes that unfortunately were spoiled in the trailers, most action scenes were non-thrilling at all, taking place at night or visually uninteresting. Guys, CGI and the sky at night do not make good fellows.

The climax does not work because we have seen that in a dozen movies before. The chemical missile that needs charging, again, for no reason (actually for the hero to come and rescue) and guess what, there is an antidote for that! You know the thing Gwen has been working on for the past 5 minutes. Really? Since when kids study advanced genetics in school?

Finally, Spider-man keeps removing his mask almost to every major character in this movie, This really isn’t the spider-man I wanted to see.

Rated: 6/10

Watch the trailer below:

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