Archive for June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iPhone 4 Design

Jonathan Ive (via Brandon Walkin):

The amount of care that went into that SIM tray is extraordinary. To achieve this kind of build quality is extraordinarily hard work and requires care across so many teams. It demands incredibly close collaboration with experts in certain areas, material sciences and so on.

The interview, from Core77, includes some nice production photos, and I love the first comment by John Appleseed. Ive’s comments are interesting in that some might say iPhone 4 places too much emphasis on form rather than function. The symmetrical shape has its advantages, and overall I like it, but it doesn’t feel as pleasing or identifiable in the hand. John Gruber:

Both aesthetically and tactilely, the iPhone 4’s glass back is very pleasing. It has a 2001-monolith-like symmetry. But as a heavy iPhone user since day one, I’m finding it slightly disconcerting. I’ve always carried my iPhone the same way: front right pants pocket, with the glass toward my body, so that if my leg hits something or something hits my leg, the back of the iPhone would take the impact, not the glass. Now it’s glass on both sides, and what keeps happening is that I reach into my pocket to take it out, my fingers feel the smooth glass facing out, and I think, “Shit, I pocketed my iPhone wrong last time.”

Gruber also has interesting comments about the new system font, Helvetica Neue.

Like Core77, I’ve wondered why you can’t undock an iPhone one-handed. I liked that with the old Pilot 5000.

text-rendering: optimizeLegibility

WebKit and Gecko support a CSS declaration for better kerning and ligatures (via John Gruber).

Update (2010-07-01): Jim Ray’s keming is a Safari 5 extension to inject this into every page.

DropDMG 3.0

Yesterday, I shipped version 3.0 of DropDMG. This is the biggest update ever for my first Mac OS X application, and it adds lots of new features and refinements that customers have been requesting and I’ve been wanting for myself. Pretty much everything has been rewritten or revised and modernized. It’s come a long way from the first version, more than eight years ago, which ran a single thread, had no preferences, and used an icon designed by the programmer. The basic concept—easy disk image creation via drag-and-drop or AppleScript—remains the same, however.

Although I’m the sole developer, I have many others to thank for helping with this release. Kenichi Yoshida did a great job on the new icon. The volunteer localizers had five translations ready by the time I was done with the code. The beta testers made lots of good suggestions and found all the significant bugs (so far, fingers crossed). And thanks, of course, to the users who paid for DropDMG, told me what was good and what needed improvement, and politely nagged about when the new version would be ready.

DropDMG 1.0 on Mac OS X 10.1

DropDMG 1.0 running on Mac OS X 10.1.2. I was pleased to find that it still works on Snow Leopard, a testament to good application code, Rosetta, and Apple honoring its API contracts.