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April 27, 2007 8:51 AM   Subscribe

What if Apple is bad for design? Or at least not good?
posted by Extopalopaketle (83 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
At the end of the day, all Apple really cares about are your credit cards, which also happen to be rectangles with rounded corners.
posted by mkultra at 9:01 AM on April 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


What if Apple is bad for design? Or at least not good?

Then the world will end and we'll all die.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


At the end of the day, all Apple really cares about are your credit cards, which also happen to be rectangles with rounded corners.

That's patently false. The cult of the mac also wants your soul.
posted by IronLizard at 9:05 AM on April 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


zzzzzzzz.....
posted by doctor_negative at 9:05 AM on April 27, 2007


Basically the iPhone is a 1996 Ford Taurus — that car in which all design problems, from logo to windscreen, were solved with an Illustrator-stretched oval.

ooooooh
posted by R. Mutt at 9:05 AM on April 27, 2007


"What if"? Oh wait, they're talking about the visual design, not the "I'm smarter than you are" software.
posted by DU at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2007


I have to say, if I hadn't seen the phone myself, that would be a damning critique. Anything resembling a ford taurus couldn't be good.
posted by IronLizard at 9:08 AM on April 27, 2007


I don't want to snark too hard, but I was surprised that that guy had won some writing awards. His sentences were clunky and reached too far for effect. Which might not have mattered too much if his examples of Apple's bad design hadn't been limited to three or four instances of missed opportunities and misaligned trim packages. He may be right, they may be boring, but that just may be what the lunatics are looking for.

What I mean is, I was all ready to be convinced as I like a bit of iconoclasm as much as the next fellow, but he didn't manage to even make me care.
posted by OmieWise at 9:09 AM on April 27, 2007


I nothing wakes me up in the morning like a freshly-picked nit.
posted by hermitosis at 9:09 AM on April 27, 2007


1996 Ford Taurus

Everyone knows the 1994 Sable was the pinnacle of Taurus design.

If only mine hadn't broken down a few weeks ago, sigh
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on April 27, 2007


I never liked Apple's design sense. Some of us like our beige boxes, dammit!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2007


1996 Ford Taurus

Why hate on the car used in Robocop?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 AM on April 27, 2007


What the hell is this dude's problem now? Too many curvy things?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:13 AM on April 27, 2007


What if Apple isn't preventing anyone else from designing things how the hell they want to?
What if Thomas de Monchaux is bad for the English language?
posted by Wolfdog at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2007


Almost ironically, he makes good points about everything but Apple. When it comes to the lameness of iterated product designs straying from any initial sense they might have had, I agree with him 100%. But the Apple nits that he picks don't hold up. [And I'm not even an Apple fanboy -- we have exactly two apple products in our house, of a set of objects of which at least ten or twelve could have been Apple if that was what we wanted.]

Case in point -- the front-to-back asymmetries of the iPhone which he finds so inexplicable. A phone has one front and one back, and they're not interchangeable in use. For your hand to be able to distinguish the front from the back instantly, from a number of unmistakable design cues both large and small, is essential for anything you're going to be handling, retrieving from various places often without looking.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:15 AM on April 27, 2007


This guy laments the lack of understanding of the difference between style and design, and then goes on to criticize Apple "design" from basically a stylistic perspective.

But I think we all agree on one thing: Apple sucks.

*ducks*
posted by Mister_A at 9:17 AM on April 27, 2007


Somehow they took a monopoly on the word design. Engineers design things all the time, and it has little to do with the "vibe."
posted by spiderskull at 9:18 AM on April 27, 2007


The problem with Apple's design isn't as pointed out in this article, instead, it's far more subtle (and not a problem in the immediate future per se).

By being on the cutting edge of design, Apple's things become gauche as they age. By being fashionable, they are going down a path where they will eventually be unfashionable.

In five years, the things the design that made the ipod so hip and edgy will make older ones seem horribly outdated.

In much the same way that we blanche at the design excesses of the 80s (think Miami Vice), we will feel about the iPod's current sleek look.

In a way, old school computer towers never look dated because they never looked new, but on the other hand, there are Apple monitors only a few years old that already look dated.

When I first saw the monitor you speak of, I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of hardware I'd ever seen. But they are starting to look dated now, even to my eyes.

They can continue to try to be on the bleeding edge, but eventually they'll be cut by changing tastes.
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


This article is nothing more than a few quibbles with the iPod and iPhone, larded up with a bunch of loosely-related general observations about design. For those who want to cut to the chase, the author's complaints about specific Apple products are excerpted below:
[S]omewhere in Cupertino someone still weeps at how the center of the 'hold' button on generations of mini-iPods almost-but-didn't rest precisely at the center of other localized geometries on the case. . . .

As for the iPhone, forensic examination of its published images is not promising: one hopes very much that it is a mere trick of the light that gives the appearance that the exterior and interior radii of the chrome trim around the edge of the iPhone's casing appear to deviate at the corners and base: a jarring disruption to the strongest piece of visual rhetoric on the object. That one can even reasonably speculate on this likelihood is, of course, appalling. . . .

Similarly, the curved profile of the phone's front-to-back edge is asymmetrical: a missed opportunity to give the phone the tactile and visual crispness of a new bar of soap; a matte black casing component on the back almost-but-doesn't address a similar black strip on the front.
posted by brain_drain at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2007


Whats an IPod? a veggie?
posted by Postroad at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2007


You know what else doesn't have any right angles or edges? Padded rooms.
posted by NationalKato at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


He had me interested in the first few paragraphs but then it went nowhere. It seemed like the entire article was created and padded just so he could say the last line, which he thought of first:

Or to put it another way, if you round too many corners, you lose your edge.
posted by chococat at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Then the world will end and we'll all die.

That's going to happen anyways. This is about stuff until then.

Yeah, the article could have been better than falling into the hole of nitpicking about design or stylistic elements. I was trying/hoping to extract some argument about how their approach or popularity is not so good -- lowering standards, homogenization, aesthetic monolith, narrow approach, etc. He touches on some points about people confusing style and design, but that's about it.

Bah. I'm going to molest some radii.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 9:27 AM on April 27, 2007


If you think about this in a biological sense, commodity styling decisions of the day, in all manner of taste-based industries, not just computing, are like alleles. Styles run from conservative to extreme mutants, and each serves different markets on a subjective level.

Where the rubber hits the road, successful holistic design works with taste to make a product profitable, placing selection pressure on styling choices. Copycats in an industry can quickly copy style, but design is a more elusive target and generally wins out in the long run. There are notable exceptions, but, by and large, functionality gets repeat business.

To wit, in the wake of Apple's success with the original iMac, a number of Windows-clone manufacturers tried unsuccessfully to imitate the outer appearance of the iMac, but neglected to address non-stylistic "inner" aspects of the iMac design which made it popular and useful (not least of which was the incongruent operating system).

The iMac design prospered and made Apple a lot of money, because it had good style and was well-designed. It did not make imitators much money, because they ignored design fundamentals. As a result, this style approach was ultimately scrapped by imitators in favor of safer, known-profitable options.

As a good counterexample, Apple's "hockey puck" mouse was admittedly stylistic but was not a good design. There were no imitators to speak of for this design, despite being stylistic. Apple itself scrapped this design relatively quickly in favor of the oval "soap" mouse, which was both stylized and well-designed.

The FPP's writer is asserting for some unclear reason that the iPhone will fail in the marketplace because it has the same stylistic approach as the iPod: rounded corners. But it's not explained why this is a failure of design: all indications appear to be that a unified design (specifically, the right combination of usability, applications and features) will again determine profitability and Apple's ability to become a player in a competitive cell-phone industry.

Rounded corners are not good or bad per se, since this is a taste-based, subjective evaluation, but the writer seems hard-pressed to argue his assertion that Apple is bad for design since we have no iPhone on the market, and no way to evaluate its functionality.

Apple may be good or bad for style, and the influence on style choices of imitators competing in the electronics industry, but its domain in design of consumer electronics is universally well-regarded in the field.

In sum, the writer seems to have put together a poorly thought-out smear piece.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:27 AM on April 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


In this article I'm going to suggest that cats have five legs. But why might cats have five legs, and not the usually-understood four? Maybe it's because...

This used to be called begging the question. I don't know what it's called anymore.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:29 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't really get the point of this article. This guy brings up rounded corners so many times, and the occurence thereof, but I'm not seeing what his issues are...

He sounds like one of those skitzofrenics who will over hear someone giving directions, and start screaming and pulling out his hair when someone says 'around the corner'
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:32 AM on April 27, 2007


That was exactly my thought, chococat, that the whole article was reverse-engineered from the last line.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:33 AM on April 27, 2007


Or to put it another way, if you actually build things, Thomas de Monchaux will judge your edges.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:35 AM on April 27, 2007


In much the same way that we blanche at the design excesses of the 80s (think Miami Vice), we will feel about the iPod's current sleek look.

You take that back, right now.
posted by Skorgu at 9:37 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


You can't evaluate the success of the iPod without considering its most critical component: Software. With a product like the iPod, design extends beyond the physical nature of the object. iTunes is an extension of the iPod, not a mere utility for buying and transferring files.

Sony has released some beautiful MP3 hardware. But their designs fail by crippling the hardware with an aggrivating software component.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 9:39 AM on April 27, 2007


The style of most apple products hold up well. The only mac designs that have aged really poorly are the jewel (fruit) colored iMacs and iBooks and to a (much) lesser extent the "lamp" iMac. The rest of apple products seem to have held up better than their pc equivelents.
posted by I Foody at 9:40 AM on April 27, 2007


Man, that article had no edge.

It sounded like "Apple products are smooooth and rouuuund and awwwwesome except there are too many rounded corners. AND THAT'S BAD DESIGN, FOLKS."

But I can't talk. If I had to write such an article, I wouldn't be able to get past "I hate that damned click wheel."
posted by katillathehun at 9:40 AM on April 27, 2007


Yet another nit to pick with the article's nit-picking. The author opens with the suggestive question "What If Apple Is Bad for Design?" It sounds as if he's going to suggest that Apple has dumbed-down the design world or something—which might be an interesting argument—but he never explores that. Instead he complains about a stripe on the back of a product he has never (I presume) even held in his hand.
posted by adamrice at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here's an example of good design.
posted by Mister_A at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2007


But I can't talk. If I had to write such an article, I wouldn't be able to get past "I hate that damned click wheel."
posted by katillathehun at 12:40 PM on April 27


Hear hear. What has prevented me from buying an ipod is that I can't stand that dumb wheel. Every interface element is linear - menu, song lists, volume, song position - sound the navigation tool is a wheel? What? Apparently the search far and wide for something to patent. The ipod would be much easier to use if the wheel was replaced with a nintendo "+" control.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2007


Can you masturbate while nit-picking? I think this writer has shown us that yes, you can.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2007


All those words and his complaint is:

As for the iPhone, forensic examination of its published images is not promising: one hopes very much that it is a mere trick of the light that gives the appearance that the exterior and interior radii of the chrome trim around the edge of the iPhone's casing appear to deviate at the corners and base: a jarring disruption to the strongest piece of visual rhetoric on the object.

That's right - the radius of the chrome trim deviates slightly from the radius of some other element.

That's his problem.
posted by odinsdream at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2007


Skorgu: You had to pick my weakness, the Lamborghini, the one car I had on my 5th grade trapper keeper.
posted by drezdn at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2007


Argh, my eyes. I sort of checked out after the very first sentence:
Odds are you’re reading this on a screen with radially-rounded corners; odds are the frame has a centimeter or so of pearly titanium grey, or milky plasticky white, or calfskin-smooth black; and, if so, I can report with 100 percent certainty that this text is being composed on just such a screen.
Maybe there's something here, maybe there isn't. Content aside, the dude needs an editor.
posted by boo_radley at 10:18 AM on April 27, 2007


The ipod would be much easier to use if the wheel was replaced with a nintendo "+" control.

I have a portable music player (iAudio X5L) which essentially has a nintendo + control, and I would love to be able to replace it with a click wheel.

Why? Speed control. With the click wheel, you can move fast or slow. With the + control, you hold the thing down and it always moves the same speed regardless of whether you want to find a 2-second snippet in a 30 second song or find the last segment in an hour-long podcast (yes you can configure the speed, no it doesn't solve the problem).

Otherwise, absolutely love the X5L.
posted by straight at 10:20 AM on April 27, 2007


Thomas de Monchaux is the Alan Sokal of design writing?
posted by LimePi at 10:20 AM on April 27, 2007


The ipod would be much easier to use if the wheel was replaced with a nintendo "+" control.

Did you ever notice how cars have steering wheels instead of joysticks? It's for the same reason. With a joystick, one has two options, click-click-click (once for each degree or something) or hold (and STOP at just the right moment.) With a wheel, you can accelerate and decelerate the degree of change.
posted by callmejay at 10:21 AM on April 27, 2007


Is there a single statement in the article that comes close to addressing the link-bait title?
posted by cillit bang at 10:29 AM on April 27, 2007


Holy unnecessary verbosity, batman! If you’re writing about design, why try to sound like a Kierkegaard translator? This article is dense and non-fascinating, and I’m pretty sure I even read the whole thing. Design is all about smooth communication, and this gentleman is tripping all over the Internet trying to get his intellectual on.

If Apple is bad for design, it is not because of rounded corners. It is because:
- The “Apple look” is quickly become generic and formulaic.
- Like drezdn said, this design style is, like, SO not timeless. *

* much like my overbearing valley slang.

Additionally, furthermore, consequently and so on, why is there only one image in this entire design-related article?
posted by Milkman Dan at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2007


You know what else doesn't have any right angles or edges? Padded rooms.

For a moment, I thought the answer was going to be Adolph Hitler.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're all wrong about the click-wheel vs. the Nintendo "plus" control. The problem isn't with the wheel itself, it's with its position. The answer to using a click-wheel motion to navigate a linear interface isn't buttons, it's a scroll-wheel, like on a mouse. It moves up and down, like the iPod interface itself, but you can control the speed.

/off to the patent office.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2007


Seriously, though, I don't even have an MP3 player. I still lug a portable CD player to and from the gym.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2007


By being on the cutting edge of design, Apple's things become gauche as they age. By being fashionable, they are going down a path where they will eventually be unfashionable.

In five years, the things the design that made the ipod so hip and edgy will make older ones seem horribly outdated.

They can continue to try to be on the bleeding edge, but eventually they'll be cut by changing tastes.


Steve Jobs: Noooo!!!!! Ives, get in here! Our sexy new designs are making our old designs look outdated!!! People have no choice but to keep buying our products over and over to stay in fashion! What can we do about this horrible crisis! We're doomed! DOOOOOOMED!
posted by designbot at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


Eponysterical!
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:37 AM on April 27, 2007


You know, it's funny odinsdream, I was going to quote that same paragraph, with my response being:

Are you fucking kidding me?

But your summation is probably more lucid.
posted by quin at 10:41 AM on April 27, 2007


Why? Speed control. With the click wheel, you can move fast or slow.

Did you guys even play a Nintendo? With a + control, to go faster you just press harder. Until your thumb hurts.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:47 AM on April 27, 2007 [3 favorites]



Did you guys even play a Nintendo? With a + control, to go faster you just press harder.


And to jump more precisely, you toss the controller.

Oh wait, that actually works now.
posted by drezdn at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


As others have said, I cannot believe this writer has won awards for writing. (I mean, I believe it, but I can't believe it, ya know?) Trying to understand his prose was like trying to swallow a too-big mouthful of peanut butter. First you feel like you you're suffocating, then you have a huge, painful bolus in your throat, then you eventually manage to choke it down, and you tell yourself to never, ever do that again. Except peanut butter is yummy in small quantities.

I checked out after he used "irritable" to mean (I think) "irritating."
posted by chinston at 10:59 AM on April 27, 2007


My biggest beef with the click wheel is that if I want to go down ONE TITLE, I have to have to slow down like an elderly woman turning at an intersection. 80% of the time, I miss it. If I at least had the *option* to move down one title at a time either with a button or a mouse-type scroll wheel that goes vertically and has, you know, notches or whatever... then I could put aside my wrath for the click wheel.
posted by katillathehun at 11:12 AM on April 27, 2007


So we're all in agreement. It needs a little trackball.
posted by IronLizard at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2007


infinitywaltz: I used to have (well, still have in a junk drawer somewhere) a Dell DJ MP3 player. Great player with a little scroll-wheel-like barrel for navigating lists. It was much better than the iPod click-wheel, but the fact that the player basically required use of MusicMatch Jukebox (a bit of software so evil I re-installed Windows to be thoroughly rid of it) was the nail in its coffin for me. So no need to run to the patent office.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:25 AM on April 27, 2007


This guy is full of shit.
posted by tkchrist at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm anti-clickwheel too, though what really keeps me from buying an iPod (opposed to my 20 MB $150 Archos Gmini which must be half that price now) are the:

- lack of a directory structure
- inability to easily (without extra software) copy content from ipod to multiple computers (Windows and Mac)

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. I'm anti-design. My corners are square. That way they bounce funnier!

I don't like white either, but Apple seems to have already moved past that phase.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Isn't iTunes basically just the nicer-looking equivelent of MusicMatch Jukebox? Lack of drag-and-drop support (unless you wnat to messa round wiht special software) has always been my top reason for not using the iPod, along with the problems I ran into trying to share music between machines.

Hence my USB stick sees lots of action and the MP3 player sits in it's speaker cradle doing not a lot...

TBH I never really found the wheel thingy that great of an interface once I had more than a few titles to scroll through, but for all I know they fixed that in later generations. Still, it seems to me that something like a scrollwheel on a mouse would be better.

As for the iPhone, it's going to suucceed or fail on the basis of it;s screen interface - how fidly will the lack of buttons turn out to be, and how easily damaged will it be? If those turn out to be not a problem then it'll probably be a huge success, otherwise it'll be for posers and early adopters only.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2007


Incidentally, how are blind people supposed to use the iPhone?
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:47 AM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Seriously how are deaf people supposed to use an iPod?
posted by I Foody at 11:52 AM on April 27, 2007


Wait, Apple sucks ducks? I want to hear Gruber's take on this.
posted by nowonmai at 12:07 PM on April 27, 2007


MetaFilter: A huge, painful bolus in your throat.
posted by Mister_A at 12:23 PM on April 27, 2007


This article is nothing more than a few quibbles with the iPod and iPhone

Exactly. I'm sure these little asymmetrical flaws burn the eyes of a design professional. For the rest of us, not so much. I was hoping the author would say something insightful about the design world in general that Apple was corrupting or something. Instead, the article was like me, a network protocol researcher, writing a full-length article about how 802.XX is ruining the wireless world because the data packets aren't as cleanly specified as they could be. I mean, maybe so, but no one else outside my narrow research niche really cares.
posted by deanc at 12:24 PM on April 27, 2007


We do care, it's just to express our feelings at this point in the relationship.
posted by The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield at 12:46 PM on April 27, 2007


good to see some contrarian thinking at the very least.
posted by 2shay at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2007


Apple is like the Frank Lloyd Wright of computers. Their stuff is so pretty and shiny! And "personable"! But it's over budget, the roof leaks, and it's slowly collapsing under its own weight.

I don't really give a shit about the rounded corners, though.
posted by Many bubbles at 1:10 PM on April 27, 2007


Crap, now I have to throw my iPod out.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2007


In five years, the things the design that made the ipod so hip and edgy will make older ones seem horribly outdated.


This is true, but how many people have a fully functioning five-year old iPod?
posted by oneirodynia at 2:06 PM on April 27, 2007


... how many people have a fully functioning five-year old iPod?

I do. I ordered it on the first day that you could (nov/ dec 2001 ? ). It's pretty scratched, runs well enough though. I've dropped it so many times on the wood floor of my work studio, that the wheel pops right off - snaps right back in...

seems kinda big though...
posted by R. Mutt at 2:18 PM on April 27, 2007


> Seriously how are deaf people supposed to use an iPod?

Is there a problem? Tasteless people can eat Big Macs, can't they?
posted by jfuller at 2:21 PM on April 27, 2007


The first iPod does look really clunky now. The fit on those buttons wasn't great and it had a real spinnging discs... it looks like something from the sixties.
posted by smackfu at 2:35 PM on April 27, 2007


straight: if you put RockBox on your X5L you can set the + to accelerate the longer you hold it (and all kinds of other awesome goodies). You can leave the original OS on the drive and boot into it when you want to watch video, too.

Incidentally, RockBox has a large number of blind users, since it has built-in support for "reading" (voice-generating) menus, filenames, etc.
posted by whir at 2:36 PM on April 27, 2007


...it looks like something from the sixties.

Why, yes. Yes it does. Something very beautiful from the sixties, which still looks smashing.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:46 PM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


In five years, the things the design that made the ipod so hip and edgy will make older ones seem horribly outdated.

But isn't it better for a product to at least look hip and edgy when it is introduced, even if it looks unstylish and outdated a few years later, than to be a product that looks ugly and outdated even when it is first introduced, like most other pieces of computer hardware and consumer electronics?
posted by gyc at 4:15 PM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone checked out Final Cut Studio 2 yet? Color looks fucking insane.
posted by phaedon at 4:23 PM on April 27, 2007


... how many people have a fully functioning five-year old iPod?

Also still using the 1st Gen. It makes for a better weapon should I ever have to fight off iPod snatching punks on the subway. And like a true crackpot, I've somehow convinced myself that it sounds "better" than my new iPod.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:50 PM on April 27, 2007


... how many people have a fully functioning five-year old iPod?

I do.

I have a functioning Mac Plus for that matter.
posted by tkchrist at 5:58 PM on April 27, 2007


I think one thing that actually is interesting about the iPhone design is that it'll be one of the first major mainstream devices to have "buttons" that don't provide tactile feedback*. It should be interesting to see how that affects it from a usability standpoint.

Also, I agree that the author could have made an excellent case for an idea that the iPod's success is so overwhelming that instead of coming up with new or different designs, companies are just emulating Apple. He'd probably still be wrong, but it would be a lot better than bitching about radii.

*Unless I'm wrong and it does provide tactile feedback somehow, or there are other things that don't that I'm overlooking.
posted by !Jim at 10:58 PM on April 27, 2007


What has prevented me from buying an ipod is that I can't stand that dumb wheel.
posted by Pastabagel


I bought my first iPod because of the click wheel, and there's more of me than there is you. Which means you get a ZUNE!
posted by justgary at 11:03 PM on April 27, 2007


Reading the headline "What if Apple is bad for design?" I rubbed my metaphorical hands with glee. Maybe they'll finally tear apart the Finder for its many flaws, like stubbornly refusing to default to a list view instead of stupid pretty icons. Or maybe he'll talk about Apple's apparent unwillingness to stick with a window theme (striped, brushed metal, grey, am I missing any?). Or perhaps the limitations of the OS X dock, or how about the deficiencies of the vaunted translucent mouse, or...

And then you get to his actual criticisms and they're a horrible disappointment. Of all the things you could criticize Apple for, you decide that the rounded rectangle needs to be torn a new one? And then you praise the hexagonal pattern of speaker grilles?

This has to be a joke. I refuse to believe that someone wrote this in earnest.
posted by chrominance at 1:22 AM on April 28, 2007


I think one thing that actually is interesting about the iPhone design is that it'll be one of the first major mainstream devices to have "buttons" that don't provide tactile feedback

You're forgetting the 3G iPod, which just had little touch sensitive circular depressions instead of buttons. It was widely hated (by me, anyway) and every iPod since has had proper buttons.
posted by cillit bang at 8:18 AM on April 28, 2007


"... how many people have a fully functioning five-year old iPod?"

*Raises hand* 1st gen 10GB, still works perfectly. I've replaced the battery once, that's all. It's a great piece of hardware. I've listened to it about 3 days per week for 5 years. When my iTunes collection outgrew it, I just switched to Smart Playlists and that seems to work well. Somehow the darn thing just knows what I like to hear...

Plus the box it came in has Jimi playing Monterey on it. The box is a centerpiece of my bedroom decor. :)

Meanwhile, this brandy-new MacBook Pro disagrees with the "bad design" opinion. Especially with the really awesome "tap trackpad with two fingers to right-click, use two fingers to drag" feature.

My lovely 4-year-old dual G4 disagrees too, even tho it's a bit jealous of the laptop.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:51 PM on April 28, 2007


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