Archive for November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple’s Aesthetic Dichotomy

James Higgs:

When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone—perhaps his greatest product presentation—he joked that the iPhone was an iPod with a rotary dialing system on the front. It was deliberately absurd, and the audience duely delivered the anticipated laugh. (I’m reliably informed that an early prototype of the phone actually did feature such an interface.)

But no one laughs when Apple delivers a calendar application for the iPad that tries its hardest to look like a real-word desktop calendar pad, complete with fake leather and “torn” pages.

Richard Gaywood:

My biggest problem with skeuomorphic design is that it creates false UI interaction clues. After reading a novel in iBooks, I once switched to Calendar, and instinctively started dragging the stack of pages on the edges of the screen to flip through the display. This doesn’t work, of course. Neither does dragging at those cutsey little torn edges in the Calendar, in a futile attempt to clean them up—which is precisely what I’d do to the real-world object.

Apple Removes “Texas Hold’em” From App Store

Eric Slivka reports that Apple has silently removed its own game from the App Store. It hadn’t been updated since 2008, but it still worked, and I know people who still play it. Rather than explaining what happened to the game, the Web page now simply redirects to the main App Store page.

This is troubling on two levels. First, there’s a reasonable expectation that a successful app, especially a first-party one, will be updated for new hardware. Texas Hold’em never got support for the Retina display, and it may stop working on future versions of iOS.

Second, if you had been relying on the cloud for backups of apps that you bought, you may have lost access to your purchase. Even though it could run on your current iPhone, you can’t re-download it. I recently deleted a large number of older apps from my Mac, to reduce clutter in iTunes and free up disk space. One of the new iCloud features in the App Store is a list of everything you’ve previously purchased, so you don’t have to worry about keeping backups on your Mac. Not surprisingly, you can’t re-download an app that Apple has pulled.