In recent iterations of iOS — Apple’s mobile operating system for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad — and in recent versions of OS X on the desktop, you will undoubtedly have noticed a move towards visual elements that mimic real-life objects. The ruled, yellow notepaper for the Notes app, the torn-paper effect at the top of the stitched, leather-bound Calendar app, and more are examples of this.
These software design elements mimicking real world objects have introduced a new word into our vocabularies: skeuomorphism. Such effects have, however, divided opinion, and it is just possible that we will see Apple shift away from these elements in future.
When OS X Lion was released last year, Apple put a lot of emphasis on how speedy it was on their MacBook Air line of ultra-thin notebooks – or “ultrabooks”, if you will. An example of this can be seen all over the operating system’s main webpage as Apple seems to be giving attention to mainly the MacBook Air in their slideshow of the key features included with OS X Lion. It’s quite apparent that Apple is trying to say something with all of this, but what exactly is that message?
I believe the corporation is hoping to move towards the MacBook Air and oust the Pro from the picture almost entirely. It was obvious that they were going to do this when they discontinued the original MacBook last year; this in turn made the Air their entry-level notebook, which is what they wanted since it sported an SSD that was ten times faster than the white MacBook – regardless of the task. But what is their master plan for all of this? Let’s explore some potential scenarios.
Despite operating within the profit-driven world of consumer technology, Apple has often maintained a distinctly rebellious public persona. Launched by two former telephone hackers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (in addition to Ronald Wayne), Apple forged their own path by ignoring the status quo and offering such innovations as the first widespread GUI and desktop publishing software which was easy for anyone to use.
As Apple lost a series of running battles with Microsoft over market share and the company faced a number of vicissitudes, Apple embraced their underdog status and turned their near destruction into a rallying cry. Never had a technology company made financial disaster seem so cool and owning an Apple computer could feel like being part of an exclusive club. However, as Steve Jobs and co guided Apple back from the brink to renewed success, there is a perception that perhaps they lost something of their free-thinking spirit along the way, that Apple have become part of the establishment which they once so gleefully ignored.
When I used an iPad for the first time, I couldn’t help but think that it felt like the future of computing. The iPad not only impressed me with its beautiful interface, but also delighted me with an effortless user experience. No matter how much I used the device, it never became cluttered or disorganized like my Mac. Apps launched quickly and I never had to spend time fiddling with window sizes or knowing what apps were running. Everything simply worked.
Apple has touted OS X as the most advanced operating system, but with iOS revolutionizing many computing paradigms, it is beginning to feel outdated. If Apple is to truly make the Mac the personal computer of the future, we will need to see some bold changes; changes that may eliminate some of the staples of desktop computing that most of us can’t imagine living without.
I think that Apple can, and will, successfully transition us to a future where iOS runs across all of its hardware. Read on for my take on why our computing world is headed this way.
Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 and its beautiful 326ppi screen, we’ve been dreaming about Apple expanding its use of this impressive technology.
Are Ive and the Apple engineering team on the same page as consumers? Will we begin to see retina displays in other devices and perhaps even a Mac? More importantly, what hurdles will this transition present?
When you purchased your Mac, you probably wanted the best web browser offered, whether it be Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, or some other worthy candidate. After all, quality hardware should also contain quality software. There has been much controversy on what truly is the best browser available for a Mac. Some say that Chrome is, and always will be, the best ever.
Others believe that it’s easier to stay with the default browser because it offers more functionality to the OS. While this is true and I’m not going to attempt to change those believers’ opinions, there is more to the situation than just that. For instance, Chrome does offer more than plugins than Safari does extensions, but this doesn’t necessarily make the latter a weak and functionless application, it just makes it a bit less desirable.
If you’re interested in finding out what browser truly holds the best functionality, speed and other elements then please join in after the break for some information that should fulfill your desires.
Quicksilver. For seasoned Mac users that word instantly draws up fond memories of an app that was once at the top of every list of must have utilities. The beloved launcher has been out of the game for years though, an unceremoniously abandoned project that went before its time.
It seems though that the story doesn’t end there. The open source Quicksilver project, housed at QSApp.com, is alive and kicking and recently released a major update for Lion users. Intrigued? Read on!
That’s a pretty bold title, isn’t it? I didn’t really mean for it to be. I’m not a fan of shameless link bait. And it’s not my intention to be hyperbolic. I chose that question as the title because it’s the reason I’m writing this right now. That question has been rattling around in the back of my mind. And instead of continuing to ignore it, I thought I’d try and solidify my thoughts into a cohesive essay.
I’m not making any claims to brilliance here. I don’t think I’ve stumbled upon any insightful or revolutionary ideas here. I’m not even really trying to prove a point. I’m just trying to give a voice to this ever present feeling of dread that’s crept into my thoughts when they drift to the future of Apple. And I’m sharing these thoughts with a community of people who will hopefully understand where I’m coming from, and what I’m trying to say.
Steve Jobs has left the helm of Apple. And while he’s still at the company in what amounts to an advisory role, everyone knows that the Jobs’ era at Apple has ended. Sure the ripples of his presence there won’t subside immediately. David Pogue thinks we’ll need to really start worrying in about two years. But we’re all wondering what this will mean — Apple without Steve. None of us knows for certain. The only way we’ll know is to wait, and watch, as time goes by. The question isn’t so much, will Apple change? It’s, how will Apple change?