Curvature Continuity

Mark Stanton writes on Apple's corner design: might look at Apple’s icons and think that they’re just a rounded square or a ‘roundrect’. If you’ve been designing icons, you know that they’re something different and may have heard the word squircle used (mathematical intermediate of a square and a circle). And if you’re an Industrial Designer, you recognize this as a core signature of their hardware products.Ever since iOS 7, app icons went from being rounded squares to something more complex and refined. While everyone gets that Apple pays attention to the most minute details, not everyone sees the obvious logic behind this seemingly small change.


I’ve now spent 24 hours with the iPad. Everyone keeps asking what I think of it, so I’m formalizing my thoughts and posting them here:

The device:

It’s pretty. This is no shock, coming from Apple, though I do find myself impressed with the quality of the display every time I fire it up.

The battery is good. Pogue said 12 hours of straight video play. Haven’t tried that myself but at the rate things are going, I’d believe it.

Downside: it does not charge when plugged into my mac (older machine) and the cord isn’t really long enough to plug into wall and continue playing with it, so you do have to take a break when you want to charge it. Fortunately the battery seems good enough that that shouldn’t be a problem.

The thing is heavier than a kindle and holding it for a while, while not painful, can get awkward. I got a case. I’d recommend it.

The content:

The Apple apps (mail, calendar, etc) are top notch. They feel like they are the full incarnation of what the iPhone version wanted to be. Disappointingly, Apple does not provide a native chat application (still) which feels like a missed opportunity for the device – perhaps that will come in the next OS.

The third party apps I’ve tried so far are also quite impressive. There does seem to be a thinness around the offerings at the moment though, particularly among the free ones. Also, there is no Facebook app, which seems weird to me. I’ve been much less active on Facebook because of that.

File handling is an annoyance. I can’t download a PDF from the web to view later (I can bookmark it and view it in safari – but there is no way to get the file in an offline state – and no way to mark up the PDF unless it’s imported into Pages – which I can only do if I email myself). Access to Mobile Me iDisk (available on the iPhone) is also noticeably absent.

One would presume the apps will catch up as they begin approving in the iTunes Store again this week.

The experience:

The thing moves fast. I imagine that the next iPhone will also process this quickly and finally we will have a powerful smartphone instead of just a smartphone. The apps all load quickly, video runs beautifully, the speaker is good enough quality to watch tv shows with.

Most importantly though, is the lack of multitasking. This will upset power users, but I found myself consistently more relaxed as I was doing only one thing at a time instead of the usual 4 or 5. I wonder if this will help combat ADD overall – I doubt it.

(I should also add, that while typing is obviously not as good as with a keyboard, it is lightyears better than with the iPhone. I can type at near keyboard pace on the iPad screen.)

So what?

Ya, I agree with the sentiment that this device is more about consuming than creating. But I’m okay with that. It’s been a pleasure to consume with it so far and I do now understand the middle zone between the phone and the laptop that this device will serve – I was skeptical about it before.

The verdict: if you like toys and consume a lot of media, it’s worth the add. But yes, there will likely be a slightly cheaper, better one in 12 months. (That said, this does not seem to suffer from the bugginess or rough first outing effects that iPhone 1 did – so don’t make that the excuse.) I like mine, and it’s been an excellent couch companion for the past day.

This post was written from the iPad.