An entirely subjective opinion on iOS 7 design


If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the big iOS 7 reveal at WWDC it’s that designers, even more so than developers – and so help me, I didn’t think that was even possible – think they are special snowflakes.

Having met tons of developers, but never spent much time with designers, I genuinely didn’t believe it at first so I asked around people who do spend a lot of time around designers and they said “I can tell you don’t spend a lot of time around designers” …

Another Use For App Transfer

Two people shaking hands over a contract

One of the interesting things announced at WWDC is that Apple are adding an iTunes Connect facility for developers to transfer app ownership. The most obvious use for this, and the one everyone is talking about, is when a developer wants to sell an app.

Perhaps slightly less obvious is that it also enables developers to ‘upgrade’ from personal to business developer accounts …

My Business Cycle Clock

Big Clock

By sheer good fortune I was smack in the middle of the second iteration of the Enigmatic Ape business plan when WWDC happened. I happened to be thinking about rhythm, business cycles and planning, and the huge market disruption of the iOS 7 announcement made me realise something which, in retrospect, ought to have been screamingly obvious : if you’re working in Apple’s ecosystem, the WWDC keynote is Day 0 of your business year.

So I made this to visualise my annual cycle and the place of a few significant events that are annual and more or less immovable for the foreseeable future.

Delight, surprise, love, connection.


From the intro to the WWDC 2013 Keynote :

The first thing we do is ask, what do we want people to feel ? Delight, surprise, love, connection. Then we begin to craft around our intention.

Wow. I mean, blech, right ? So much design luvvie navel gazing wankery, right ? Only, well ...

This week, I upgraded from my ageing iPhone 3GS. I knew I needed to do it, but I've been putting it off for a while. I didn't want a new phone. I've been carrying that 3GS around for over two years. When I first got it, surprise and delight were the exact emotions it evoked in me.

On the eve of WWDC, knowing that I had to upgrade, that the advent of iOS 7 would finally render it obsolete - or maybe just force me to admit that it was already - I actually had an anxiety dream about the new phone being dreadful. I like tech, I've been rampaging through platforms and devices since the early 1980s, but that never happened before. That's how visceral the connection was. Love ? By many definitions, I believe you could call it that.

And then, the WWDC Keynote. Surprise. And on Tuesday morning, at 9am, I finally became an iPhone 5 owner. Delight. By Wednesday - and it would have been sooner if not for a DSL fault - I was an iOS 7 user, and my partner, who was up until that point carrying an Android, was also an iPhone 5 owner. Love. And since then, it's barely been out of my hand, or hers. Connection.

That's why Apple is making all the profit in the mobile sector. That's why Apple has the loyalest customer base. That's why the 5,000 developers sitting in that keynote so uncynically and enthusiastically cheered the intro.

Because it isn't just a wanky marketing statement. It's not even a promise. It's a simple statement of fact. Those are design goals that Apple achieves.

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