Archive for March 31, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Skype 5 for Mac

Lukas Mathis:

The window no longer looks simple. Instead, it looks overwhelming. On the plus side, it’s now easier to add a new contact, and I can decide whether to call somebody or start a chat by hovering over a contact. On the minus side, everything else. Since every Skype feature is crammed into a single window, that window feels overloaded. No longer do I see a simple list of contacts. Instead, I have a complex multi-paned window whose right panel shows entirely different things, depending on the application’s mode.

I’m especially not a fan of the little buttons that only appear on mouse-over. Xcode 4 has many of the same issues, although on the whole I think its redesign was a success and most of the problems could be solved within its current paradigm.

Multitouch Multitasking Gestures on iOS 4.3

Guy English:

This all sounds wonderful but I still think they’re a bad idea and shouldn’t ship enabled by default. The problem isn’t that they’re not handy (zing), rather that they break what I feel is one of the key wonders of iPad — it becomes the application that is running. These multitasking gestures add a set of interactions that relate not to what is on the screen but to an abstract higher-level of functionality. The touch screen is now an input into two systems: the application and the operating system. Despite the utility I believe this is a step backwards and certainly a trade off I’d be hesitant to make so early in what will undoubtedly be a long-lived product’s life cycle.

His idea of using the Home button seems unwieldy, but I agree that it makes sense for system-level gestures to require something more than touching the screen.