Dennis Hwang spent the day before the launch coming up with ideas for a logo and trying to make it work in conjunction with the clown-colored Google brand.
The logo was designed literally the night before the product launched. We were up very late and Sergey and I went down to his cube to watch him make it.
Apple also places an unusual emphasis on interface design. It sweats the cosmetic details that don’t seem very important until you really sweat them. “I actually have a photographer’s loupe that I use to make sure every pixel is right,” says Scott Forstall, Apple’s vice president of Platform Experience. “We will argue over literally a single pixel.”
I think the current behavior of the iPhone mute switch is correct. You can’t design around every single edge case, and a new iPhone user who makes the reasonable but mistaken assumption that the mute switch silences everything, with an alarm set that he wasn’t aware of, and who is sitting in the front row of the New York Philharmonic when the accidental alarm goes off, is a pretty good example of an edge case.
Whereas if the mute switch silenced everything, there’d be thousands of people oversleeping every single day because they went to bed the night before unaware that the phone was still in silent mode.
I’ve been in the same situation as “Patron X” at the concert: I put my phone in “mute” mode believing that “mute” means the same thing it means in the dictionary, in normal everyday discourse and in every other use: not making noise; silent. I totally sympathize and blame Apple for the mistake. He is not the edge case. This has happened to tons of people: iPhone makes noise in a quiet space, like a movie or a meeting, followed by someone sheepishly muttering, “I thought I silenced it!”
I recognize that some people refuse to buy an alarm clock and insist on using their iPhones to wake them up in the morning AND habitually fail to turn their ringers back on at night. But they are the real edge case – most people who use a phone for an alarm surely are able to make sure the phone is not “mute” first.
The iPhone mute switch fiasco is a clear example of a mistake that Apple makes, or a failure to evolve in the correct direction, that they later stubbornly insist was intentional all along, and that they really wanted not to work (kind of like a mouse with only one button… until they made a mouse with five buttons). The worst part of this is that the iPhone has no option in the settings to let the user decide how he wants the alarm to behave and whether it should be subject to being muted or not. I predict that we can expect to see this feature quietly added in iOS 6.0.
I can tolerate when a rock band wants to switch out one member for someone else, or when they replace a drummer who dies in a freak accident involving alcohol. But a band must retire when they’ve got more former members than current members.
Here’s my tech prediction for 2012: Apple will not release a product called “iPhone 5.” Why not? Look at the names of the previous iPhones: iPhone (2007) iPhone 3G (2008) iPhone 3GS (2009) iPhone 4 (2010) iPhone 4S (2011) Notice anything? How about that only a single time has the new iPhone’s name reflected its [...]
New York Times: “We are making less money because the company is forcing us to slash prices,” Mr. Lall said, standing amid rows of flickering television sets. Mr. Lall says the days of making big money from televisions are in the past. The days of making big money from crap televisions are in the past. [...]
Lines Writing Lines is the personal blog of Natan Gesher, whom you might know from DC, Maryland, New York, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or San Francisco. If you met him before 2004, you'd know him as Nathan Gessner.