Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts tagged iPhone

Some updates in random order. No time to re-find URLs for them, sorry.

It seems pretty much certain that the iPhone (at least the prototype) uses an ARM processor. That said, much of the hardware – except that affected by the FCC certification process, not sure if that would include the “computer” parts – may still change in the next few months.

It’s now being said that Cingular isn’t helping Apple with iPhone pricing at all, meaning that those prices are the actual prices. Apple is supposed to handle support, too. I don’t know enough about cellphones to say much about that, but it strikes me as less restrictive than the usual abusive tie-ins.

Many people seem convinced the narrow black strip on the iPhone’s left side is a phone chip or SD card slot. It’s not. Now that I’ve finally watched the keynote, it’s clear (and Steve Jobs says so) that it’s the volume control. This means that the phone chip, and the battery, are built in. However, they should be replaceable with the same amount of care (read: a whole lot) as in the iPods.

Negotiations between Cisco/LinkSys and Apple about the iPhone seem to have broken down. Cisco says they’re suing, while Apple haven’t commented; but from all indications they seem to have decided that the Apple iPhone is sufficiently different from the LinkSys iPhone (which is a cordless/VoIP phone) that there should be no confusion. Apple seems to have entered an iPhone trademark request through a dummy company.

“OS X” seems to be a new generic term, with “Mac OS X” now being understood as “OS X for the Mac”. Makes sense. Birdies tell me the iPhone OS X (or whatever it’ll be called) has a different kernel, which would make sense if the ARM processor is used – embedded kernels should be very finely tuned to the hardware.

Phil Schiller is supposed to have confirmed that the iPhone will remain closed to third-party software. Some sources add the words “for now”. Apple ADC says people interested should contact them, which sort of confirms my theory that, for now, it’ll be invitation-only, like it is for iPod games.

Several reasons are being discussed for the closure. One, of course, is that Apple wants to ensure the UI quality of the system. Another one is that third-party software running on a cellphone must be isolated into a sandbox, to disallow them tampering with the phone hardware – disrupting US 911 systems or whatever. This is of course easier for phones that use Java apps, and it might be a reason for allowing only widgets on the iPhone. A third reason would be that releasing any developer kit might give away too much about the generic Leopard/OS X, which certainly isn’t beta-ready for now.

The new Airport Extreme now accepts any number of printers or hard drives over its USB port. meaning it’s a NAS server. I posted some months ago about inexpensive NAS being a necessity, and several such are being launched at CES, too. This ties in nicely to Time machine’s need for an external backup drive. Let’s hope it (or some future firmware for it) work with ZFS, too.

Nokia in an interview welcomed the iPhone competition. Curiously enough, a few days before they introduced a new cellphone while saying “this is a computer, not just a cellphone”. Maybe they’ll change their name to “Nokia Computer, Inc.”? icon_smile.gif

People are relearning in a hurry that the symbol can be typed (on my keyboard, at least) as shift-option-K; there’s no easy HTML equivalent though, so I had to make a new small image for showing it here. So, with the tv out, why didn’t they name it the phone…? Probably just to associate it with the iPod, a name they’d be ill-advised to change.

Hm. Did someone leak the iPhone design to LG? Or is it a case of “great minds think alike”? Not that you can say from just one photo…

Whew. Apple (formerly “Computer”) Inc. has managed to surprise almost everyone. Yesterday I sat up late reading comments and analyses, and there’s a bewildering array of information (and FUD) out there – and we’ve seen only the tip of the iceberg yet.

First of all, there was no mention of the options issue, although Steve Jobs touched on it briefly in a TV interview afterwards, saying he was confident that it’s not an issue anymore. Investors seem to agree; AAPL stock soared over 7% during the day and gained a little more after hours. As the owner of a modest few shares, I’m very happy. Also, Jobs looked healthy and fit, and no mention was made of health issues or resigning/retiring, and we’ll hopefully hear no more of that. I guess he looked haggard lately because of all that secret twiddling away on the iPhone design…

My personal predictions didn’t fare well on the whole. Of course, like everybody I thought it’d be a Macworld (note lowercase “w”, sorry, must be some ReFlex to write “W” there) keynote, but it turned out to be an Appleworld keynote. So, no Mac news, no Leopard news, no iApps news, no .mac news. Except indirectly, which is of course also significant. Many people were disappointed with this, of course, and if I wanted to be superficial I could say so too; after all, here are two devices I’d never use myself (a phone and a weird TV interface thing), and my pet subjects weren’t even mentioned. A third device, the revamped Airport Extreme, didn’t rate a keynote mention; neither did the 24% price drop on the Airport Express; the general migration to 802.11n was glossed over very briefly.

On the software development front, there’s nothing new either; the only exception is a new document called “Introducing Dashcode“. No new Leopard seed.

So why all the uproar over a couple of consumer electronics items which should have been introduced at the neighboring circus, the CES? And where’s the Mac news?

I’m declaring myself disqualified to write much about the i, oops, AppleTV. As I’ve said before, I don’t watch TV much, and of course all the stuff like the iTunes store, or even PVRs, aren’t available here – and they’d probably sink fast if they depended on me as a customer – I don’t need or want to be “entertained” the whole day, or even at all when I’m home. To me the AppleTV looks like a huge non-portable iPod without a screen, and that’s it.

The iPhone looks a little more interesting, and I might even look into buying a second or third generation version of it. If it truly does have GPS, as some say (others say it uses less precise cellphone-based localization techniques), it will be very useful for trips. Even so, it remains to be seen how the service side of that will work out. Currently the iPhone is tied to a single service (Cingular), it won’t be out until middle of the year and the operating costs haven’t been disclosed, so it’s pretty much a limited-application, US-centric device, and will remain so until 2008 or even 2009. So I won’t talk much about the phone aspect either.

But when you look at the whole picture, it becomes much more interesting. If it were just a cellphone with a built-in iPod (or vice-versa), even Steve Jobs would have been hard put to spend nearly two hours demonstrating it. On the contrary, we really saw just the highlights, there was very little hard technical information, and the implications are far-reaching. Let me touch on some of those in no particular order.

The iPhone runs “OS X” (note the missing “Mac” in there). Yes, it’s an embedded version of Mac OS X, and it’s stripped-down to fit on the device. All the major stuff seems to be in there – generic application support (at least as far as Cocoa, WebKit and networking are concerned), high-end graphics support or a works-well-enough fake thereof, and of course a cutting-edge user interface. How much did they strip out? Details will have to wait until June, I’d say. Not even the exact processor type is known; people tell me an Intel processor was mentioned during the keynote, but Intel makes a huge range of embedded CPUs, ranging from legacy 80186s to brand-new Core 2 Duos. There’s also a huge range of supporting chipsets available. I suppose it uses an integrated GPU with some OpenGL support, but it needn’t be too powerful, since we’re talking about a comparatively tiny 320×480 screen here. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it used some as-yet-unreleased Intel chip.

Still on the hardware, the iPhone will come in 4GB and 8GB varieties. Of course they’re talking about the flash memory capacity here (or is it a tiny hard drive?), and no mention is made of built-in RAM and boot ROM. I suppose RAM needn’t be too large – 256MB sound good to me. For comparison, I believe the iPods have 32MB. The OS and the applications would be stored, probably in compressed form, along with the songs/pictures/videos, but it wouldn’t use more than 10% of that. As with the CPU, Apple has been careful not to talk about exact capacities.

So will Leopard be officially released as “OS X 10.5”? Well possible. It seems safe to say that the iPhone OS is some sort of “Leopard Lite”. The user interface looks like the Finder has been stripped out and Dashboard put in its place, with every widget running maximized (to coin a term icon_smile.gif). In fact, Steve Jobs showed that widgets are supported, which makes sense. Widgets run off JavaScript and WebKit, with lots of underlying Cocoa help, so they’re relatively lightweight. Even Safari and Mail could be turned into widgets once you put more direct support for their UI into Cocoa, so I presume that’s what Apple did. So is the recent release of the Dashcode beta a coincidence? Time will tell… for now, no word on whether Apple will allow random developers to do iPhone apps, or whether there’ll be an invitation-only selection process like they’re doing with iPod games. This year’s WWDC promises to be even huger than the last two, mark my words; I certainly intend to be there. Estimates of Leopard’s actual release date vary wildly from February to June, although April/May was my personal bet before the keynote; now, my feeling is Leopard and the iPhone will be released on the same day. Perhaps around the end of May; delivering early is part of the new Apple not-only-computer philosophy.

You’d think the rumors of a Tablet Mac would have died by now, but people are still calling for one. But the iPhone is sort of a Tablet Mac; I can well envision a second or third-generation device with a 9″ or 10″ screen, and a more mature gestural interface. This would need more advanced screen and battery technology than what we have on the market now, but next year it’ll be another story. Would Apple just turn the screen around on a MacBook and require users to use a stylus, or keep the current UI which is designed for a mouse+keyboard interface? Of course not; that’s why current Windows-based tablets remain a niche product. The new multi-touch UI looks just like what the doctor ordered.

My feeling is that the whole gestural interface, multi-touch screen, animation-centered philosophy will percolate back into mainstream OS X/Leopard and that what we’ve actually seen was a preview of one UI mode in Leopard; perhaps the Simple Finder/kiddie mode, at the very least the Dashboard interface. Why did the Finder seen at the WWDC Leopard preview look just like the ho-hum old one? Perhaps it’s destined to be an optional install for traditionalists. At this point I think we should try to extrapolate what the iPhone interface would look like on a large screen. Imagine the entire palm rest on a MacBook turned into a multi-touch interface. Optional keyboard? I doubt even Apple could pull that off, but it’s not impossible.

Looking back at Apple’s recent patent filings much of what we’ve seen was already revealed, especially the multi-touch part. Is the iPhone really made of that radio-transparent ceramic, and is that the secret of the supposedly smudge-free surface? If so, a larger tablet version is just a matter of time. One item which stayed in the labs was the screen-as-camera patent; that might be the reason the iPhone doesn’t (yet) have a second camera in front for video chatting.

No new iPods were announced for a good reason: the iPhone now is the high-end iPod. Look for future iPods, except for the screenless ones like the shuffle, to become iPhone Lites; at first in styling, later in hardware platform.

Regarding market share, Apple is looking for 1% of the global cellphone market next year, which seems to mean 10 million devices sold. However, as with the original iPod, that’s not the right point of view. The iPhone competes more with the current “smart” phones, of which 6.5 million were sold last year. Even supposing those figures don’t change, and nobody migrates to the iPhone, it still seems reasonable to assume Apple will capture half or more of that market. I suppose the competitors are already tearing their hair out at this point. Read Bill Gates’ CES keynote transcript just a day before for some chuckles:

…mobile phones. This is an area where we’ve made tremendous progress. This year we have some of the hottest selling phones in the marketplace, and the cool thing for me about those phones is it’s not just about phone calls, although we do that great, it’s not even just about e-mail, since that was the next round of things people wanted to be able to do, but it’s also about IMs, it’s about movies, it’s about TV, it’s about music, it’s about connected entertainment on my phone.

So the features we’re delivering in these exciting products are bringing that to market. If you think about Cingular’s Blackjack from Samsung, Cingular’s Treo from Palm, the T-Mobile Dash from HTC, and Verizon’s Motorola Q, those four alone are leading, cutting edge designs that are driving tremendous market share advances for Windows Mobile…

Talk about instant obsolescence…

I known there’s much more to talk about, but this post is already too long. The upside is, we’re looking at lots of “special events” over the next months, each (hopefullly) with its own little stock boost.

Your Subject Here!

No comments

MacWorld predictions (and the parallel tracking of the options “scandal”) are growing ever more frenzied, and even starting to overlap, with a pronounced “Chinese whispers” effect, even stronger than usual. I’m not a lawyer or stock/options expert, but my bogometer just about pegged. Frankly I can’t see how Steve Jobs resigning (or even taking some time off for “health reasons”) would help Apple stockholders in any way. FWIW, I think nothing serious will come of this… and I’m not selling off my AAPL stock before the keynote.

Looking over the spate of recent rumors, it struck me that it’s very likely that a future small Apple device would feature an “embedded” Mac OS X. After all, embedded CPUs are constantly becoming more powerful, and RAM and flash memory capacities on embedded devices are also growing – and Unix-like OSes are known for being well-suited to embedding.

At first glance, Mac OS X is a huge beast. You need several gigabytes drive space for a normal install, and half a gigabyte of RAM is now standard on Macs – meaning, double that is the minimum for serious use. However, most of that stuff is necessary for general use. If you look inside the system folders you’ll see tons of drivers for all currently supported hardware configurations, tons of frameworks for all sorts of applications, and lots of extra apps and utilities.

In contrast, any embedded device running Mac OS X would have a stripped-down version of the kernel (most probably supporting only one CPU), the exact selection of drivers and frameworks needed for that device, and one single application controlling the user interface. Supporting additional applications would be relatively easy once their focus is defined. Looking at it in another way, this describes the original Mac very well… and it had 64K of ROM, 128K of RAM and 400K of disk space. That’s much less than the iPod has, of course.

So how small could Mac OS X be squeezed in order to fit into the iTV, or into any rumored handheld Apple thingy/paradigm smasher? That’s hard to say. Offhand I’d estimate 64 to 256MB of flash memory, anything from half to double that of RAM, and that without raising the price too much, given the volume discount Apple could get.

What, already?

No comments

Heh. Seems the year’s over already and I almost didn’t notice.

Looking back, it’s been a busy and surprising year. I traveled more than I’d planned and wrote less. XRay II saw a lot of progress in fits and starts, but my plans to release a public beta this year didn’t work out – mostly because I had underestimated the back-end work necessary to actually save data.

On the Apple front, the year has been busy. No iPhone from Apple. Zune out, Vista out (sort of), AAPL options scandal, Leopard, Mac Pro, the Intel migration has been completed, lots of security flaps, new laptops… it’s a long list, so long I don’t feel like finding all those old links. Looking back, what surprises me most is that Apple doesn’t seem to be as interested in virtualization as I felt they should be.

And of course MacWorld is just a little over a week away. Rumors are already flying fast and furious, of course. Here are some things I believe to be more likely (not that I have any inside knowledge, I hasten to add):

  • New Apple displays, with built-in iSights and microphones.
  • New Mac Pro with 8 cores, probably with a new case design.
  • The transition is over, and people are now sure the Intel Macs are “really Macs”, so new case designs are overdue across the whole line, although in the case of the laptops I’d say that’ll be really hard. Thinner and better/larger screens of course, but there’s only so much you can do with minimalism.
  • Leopard? Perhaps we’ll finally see some UI changes. My tip for the release date is March/April.
  • iTV, no idea in which direction they’ll take that; I watch very little TV. Regarding the name(s), it would make sense to go away from the whole iThing.
  • whateverPhone: I don’t use a cellphone, so the basic idea leaves me cold. Unless Apple breaks the entire paradigm with some sort of VoIP breakthrough, it’s bound to be some sort of weak US-only experiment. Let’s hope they don’t do that. I also see no sense in having music capabilities built-in as a default. Opening it up to developers in a big way would be excellent, and the recent rumors of a stripped-down, embedded Mac OS X dovetail with that.
  • .mac is dead. It’s never worked well (or at all) outside the US, as far as I know. It’s an expensive embarrassment. Apple could close it outright, sell it to Google, or allow people to operate their own sync servers.

Happenings

No comments

Things seem to be moving along well. Here are some random observations.

As I thought, Time Machine is starting to prompt manufacturers to begin offering affordable RAID backup systems. First out there was the D-Link DNS-323, which has 2 SATA drives and a gigabit network interface, and now there’s the Iomega UltraMax (no URL yet), 2 SATA drives and USB/Firewire interface. At WWDC I actually looked for such a product but couldn’t find anything suitable; they were all too large, too expensive or both. Time Machine without RAID means putting all your backups into one basket, so expect lots of better and less expensive backup drives to show up before or at next MacWorld Expo in January 2007.

The 64-bit iMacs are just out, as well as speed-bumped Mac minis. The timing on this is significant. There’s the mysterious “showtime” event announced for Sept.12, the initial day of Apple Expo Paris – and also the final day of IBC Amsterdam, the “content creation” conference. On the end of the month Apple will be present at Photokina. Of course this means that the upgrade are not significant enough to be presented at these events; rumors are flying about what media-related products will be announced. I suppose that movie sales over the iTunes Music Store is pretty much a given, although that’d a pretty unexciting, US-centric, thing by itself.

I suppose that the putative iPhone might be counted under “media”, as everybody seems to expect a phone-capable iPod instead of a music-capable cellphone under that name. While I’m a happy owner of a 3rd-gen iPod – by coincidence bought in Paris shortly after Steve Job’s last Apple Expo keynote 3 years ago – I can’t see why I would want a cellphone built into it. Or a PDA; I bought the original Palm Pilot when it came out and couldn’t get used to that either.

Should Apple bring out a product that might be classified as a “phone”, as a stockholder I seriously hope it’s not a me-too cellphone/music player/PDA. Just look at the restrictions that have so far hampered world-wide deployment of the iTMS. Combine that with the hundreds of technical and regulatory circumstances that govern cellphones in the various countries, and it’s a recipe for disaster; just check out what happened to that Motorola/Apple phone. So, hopefully, Apple will bring out something pioneering and generally usable – perhaps involving new wireless and VoIP technologies.

The iMac announcement also has deeper meaning. With the new 64-bit chips supposedly running faster at the same price point, it’s mostly a question of chip availability to convert all the line. I seriously expect all Macs to be 64-bit capable in January. Converting the iMacs at this time also means that more developers will have extra time to port their apps, if necessary. When Leopard comes out sometime between January and March a surprising number of applications will be ready for it.

Update: Apple has patented a “multi-functional hand-held device” that purports to:

… include two or more of the following device functionalities: PDA, cell phone, music player, video player, game player, digital camera, handtop, Internet terminal [and/or] GPS or remote control.

The patent covers:

Touch Screen, Touch Sensitive Housing, Display Actuator, Multi-Functionality, Form Factor, One-Handed vs. Two-Handed Operation, Footprint/Size, Full Screen Display, Limited Number of Mechanical Actuators, Adaptability, GUI Based on Functionality, Switching Between Devices (GUI), Operating at Least Two Functionalities Simultaneously, Configurable GUI (User Preferences), Input Devices, Pressure or Force Sensing Devices, Force Sensitive Housing, Motion Actuated Input Device, Mechanical Actuators, Microphone, Image Sensor, Touch Gestures, 3-D Spatial Gestures, Perform Action Based on Multiple Inputs, Differentiating Between Light and Hard Touches, Example of a New Touch Vocabulary, Speaker, Audio/Tactile Feedback Devices, Communication Devices (wired & wireless) and Change UI Based on Received Communication Signals.

…all that’s missing is a biological signal sensor and a recreational pharmaceutical dispensing device, to make this the functional equivalent of the “Joymaker” Frederik Pohl wrote about in his 1965 book The Age of the Pussyfoot. I wonder if that counts as “prior art”…?

So, I’m just back from getting my WWDC badge. I’ve seen the famous banner and all icons on it are known – the only one I had doubts on (above the SpotLight icon) is supposedly from a Mac OS X Server utility. Even the 64-Bit icon was previously used when the G5 came out. Ah right, we now know what the Leopard “Big X” looks like – black with a white border. Drat, I need to change the XRay II icon to reflect that…

The relative sizes and positions give no hints. There are a few hardware icons. One iPod Nano. 3 iMacs, 2 laptops and one desktop – the latter one from the side, so the front may be different. Or the banner might just be there as a misdirection and may be changed on Thursday… the Xcode icon is very large – so large that one can read the small print on it, but then it’s a developer’s conference. On the other hand, people “in the know” did tell me to make sure not to miss the developer tools sessions.

Certainly a major release of Xcode is in the works. 2.5 or 3.0, it doesn’t matter, but my personal hunch is that the superannuated Interface Builder application will be phased out and integrated into Xcode. Let’s hope that connections like outlets and bindings will be easier to visualize and debug, and that the IBPalette interface is finally officialized so that we can write non-trivial palettes.

I’ll be under NDA for details – things announced at the keynote excepted – so these will be my final pre-WWDC speculations. On the hardware front, 64-Bits is of course guaranteed, with one of the new “Core 2 Duo” chips. A Mac Pro will certainly be out, although the name may not be exact, and the casing will probably be a minor variation on the current one. There’s a good Ars Technica writeup about the new Intel CPUs, and expectations are that the whole new range will fit nicely into the spectrum from MacBook Pros to the Mac Pros – possibly with a dual-core, dual-CPU at the top, although it might also be that Intel has been reserving their quad-core chip for Apple to announce. Intel Xserves might also appear.

I don’t expect a new iPod to be announced in a big way, except as a footnote to the usual summing-up of past sales; at a developer’s conference, it’ll be big news only if it had an official API for developers to extend its functionality, which might actually be a neat way for Apple start a new iPod generation in a privileged position; stranger things have happened.

I’m reasonably certain that we’ll each get a Leopard preview DVD. I’ve seen rumors of changes to applications, which I consider less interesting as they’re not really a part of the OS itself, at least from my developer’s standpoint. I use relatively few of the iApps every day – Safari and iChat are the ones I leave open, and my wishlist for those is small.

Real Leopard features I expect to see:

RBSplitView adopted! Well, not likely, but it’d be nice… I’ve told Apple I’d gladly give them the code, anyway.

– A new UI theme, or at least a migration of the default windows theme to the new “cool gradient/smooth metal” look.

– Some new Cocoa widgets, especially the more successful ones from the Tiger iApps. I hope to see them do Brent Simmon’s “big time tabs control”; I need it badly for XRay II.

– A new Finder. I’ve mostly gotten used to the old one, but still…

– Resolution independence. We need to get away from the pre-rendered bitmap widgets. People are already starting to use object-based PDF files for that, but they’re a pain to make and don’t look good at all resolutions. My ideal solution here would be a new NSImageRep and corresponding file format that would do for images what the TrueType format did for fonts: resolution-independence with special hinting for small sizes.

– More extensions to Objective-C. Garbage collection should be a given. Unloading NSBundles is supposed to be in the works. Frameworks included inside applications can’t be easily updated and versioning is pretty much useless for practical purposes.

– Hopefully we’ll see expanded metadata capabilities and a more useable SpotLight. I hardly use it in Tiger because it’s so slow and limited. The ability to have additional named forks should go hand-in-hand with full NTFS support. Other file systems would also be nice (ZFS, anyone?).

– Virtualization. I’ve written about this several times. My personal opinion is that Apple should write a fully trusted hypervisor into the EFI (using the TPM) and run everything inside virtual machines, including Mac OS X for Intel itself. Booting some version of Windows into a second VM would be easy, then, and there wouldn’t be a full version of Mac OS X for Intel for people to run on standard PCs either. I don’t think dual-booting is a good solution, I believe Apple was just testing the waters with BootCamp. No idea what would happen to Parallels in this scenario; they might be bought out by Apple, or by Microsoft, I suppose. Here are more thoughts on virtualization from Daniel Jalkut and Paul Kafasis.

– 64-bit “cleanness”. Meaning, Carbon and Cocoa and everything else running in 64-bit apps. And very probably, also, on the G5s. However, I’m not sure (and no time to research at this moment) how mixing 32 and 64 bits works on the Intel CPUs. I remember reading somewhere that it’s not as easy as it is on the G5, where you can have 32-bit processes co-existing with 64-bit processes.

Unlikely or even impossible:

– A new kernel.

– iPhone, iPDA, iGame, iTablet. iAnything in fact. There are rumors about VoIP support and there might be some sort of hardware for that, but I can’t see Apple doing a me-too cellphone.

– Some goodie under the seat (like when the iSight was introduced, which I missed out on, argh!).

In the meantime, I’d better get back to my coding… more after the keynote!

nPod, hm

No comments

The phone thingy leaves me completely cold; I don’t own a cellphone, and don’t intend to buy one in the near future. Still, I suppose I should be glad that the market appeared to like it; AAPL even went over the magic $50 mark today for a few minutes.

The iPod nano looks great, even if it’s a little expensive per gigabyte. If I find a suckerbuyer for my 40GB (3G) iPod, I might even switch… given that I use it mostly as a glorified shuffle in the car and in the gym, and I have larger drives elsewhere to keep my main music database, it would make sense. And the “no moving parts” aspect is of course ideal.

(I was puzzled by repeated references to “nano” being a dumb name… until someone told me it refers to a 70s(?) TV show, which I’d never heard of. I wonder if all future “nano” products – and there will be zillions – will be affected by this?)

The third aspect is the new iTunes 5 interface. Dan Wood dislikes it, as do most others who’ve commented. It took me a moment to look beyond the Mail-style splitter control to notice that metal had gone, replaced by Yet Another Different Interface Style.

Personally, I thought the margin-less aspect is positive, and the new gradients aren’t too bad. I never use Mail, so I found the divider-less splitter very strange; although I like to experiment with new UI, this is one thing I won’t try out in my products. (However, users of RBSplitView should note that this is easy to do with it.)

Overall, this reinforces my opinion that Apple is now moving away from a intelligent design approach to UI, towards a more survival of the fittest sort of thing. Each application’s group tries out new UI elements and the ones that survive get incorporated into Interface Builder’s palettes one or two releases down the road. It’s certainly more exciting but also, at times, disconcerting…

Photos licensed by Creative Commons license. Unless otherwise noted, content © 2002-2020 by Rainer Brockerhoff. Iravan child theme by Rainer Brockerhoff, based on Arjuna-X, a WordPress Theme by SRS Solutions. jQuery UI based on Aristo.