The Design-Language Edition Thursday, October 5, 2017

From Phones To Tablets: 26 Apple Designs That Never Came To Be, by Hartmut Esslinger, Fast Company

In 1982, Apple was in its sixth year of existence, and Steve Jobs, Apple’s cofounder and Chairman, was twenty-eight years old. Steve, intuitive and fanatical about great design, realized that the company was in crisis. With the exception of the aging Apple IIe, the company’s products were failing against IBM’s PCs. And they all were ugly, especially the Apple III and soon-to-be-released Apple Lisa. The company’s previous CEO, Michael Scott, had created different “business divisions” for each product line, including accessories such as monitors and memory drives. Each division had its own head of design and developed its product line any way it wanted to. As a result, Apple’s products shared little in the way of a common design language or overall synthesis. In essence, bad design was both the symptom and a contributing cause of Apple’s corporate disease. Steve’s desire to end this disjointed approach gave birth to a strategic design project that would revolutionize Apple’s brand and product lines, change the trajectory of the company’s future, and eventually redefine the way the world thinks about and uses consumer electronics and communication technologies.

The idea for the project was inspired by the work of the Richardson Smith Design Agency (later acquired by Fitch) for Xerox in which the designers collaborated with multiple divisions within Xerox to create a single high-level “design language” that the company could implement throughout its organization. Jerry Manock, the designer of the Apple II and head of design in Apple’s Macintosh division, and Rob Gemmell, head of design in the Apple II division, created a plan in which they would invite global designers to Apple headquarters and, after interviewing all of them, stage a competition between the two top candidates. Apple would choose a final winner and then use that design as the framework for its new design language. No one knew at that time, however, that we were in the process of transforming Apple into a company whose design-based strategy and innovation-over-money approach would make it a global success.

Excerpt from Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change, by Hartmut Esslinger.

Apple Releases watchOS 4.0.1 Update For Series 3 Models With Fix For Cellular Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

watchOS 4.0.1 addresses a serious Wi-Fi bug impacting the performance of the new LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 models.

More Incidents Surface Of iPhone 8 Plus Devices Burst Open Due To Possible Battery Failure, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

There are now at least five cases of possible iPhone 8 Plus battery failure, following reports in Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong last week.

The Ohio State University Working With Apple On Digital Learning Initiative, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Ohio State University today announced that it has worked with Apple to create a comprehensive, university-wide digital learning experience that includes an iOS design laboratory and opportunities for students to learn coding skills.

Called the Digital Flagship University, the initiative will include an effort to integrate learning technology into the entire university experience. Along with the aforementioned iOS design lab, which will be available to faculty, staff, students, and members of the broader community, the university will aim to help students "enhance their career-readiness in the app economy."

Apple ‘Acqui-hired’ The Team From Messaging Assistant To Work On Siri, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Earlier this week, a small startup called announced that it soon would be discontinuing its service — a smart assistant for customer representatives to parse and get better insights from their interactions with users, as well as automate some of the interactions — because the team was (according to a notice on the site) “joining a project that touches the lives of countless people across the world.” TechCrunch has now learned what that project is: the team is joining Apple.

They are becoming a part of the group working on Siri, Apple’s own personal assistant that uses voice-based commands and natural language to answer questions, control your phone and more.


Kidsburgh: High School Senior Develops Fun Grammar App, by Kristine Sorensen, CBS

“My English grammar teacher asked, ‘Why isn’t there an app to create automatically-generated sentences and test you for it?'” he said.

Friedlander took that to heart and created one, learning coding mostly on his own. He started with a basic prototype and fine-tuned it into the app he named Grammatica Academy.

Microsoft Edge Browser Comes To iPhone Today, by Daniel Rubino, iMore

Microsoft's main goal with the Edge browser for iPhone and Android users is to make sharing documents easier and help you pick up where you left off when using Windows 10.


Apple Removes Dice Games And Catalogs Categories From App Store, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apps currently listed under the Dice subcategory of Games will simply be found under the generic Games category, unless developers choose an alternate subcategory.


For apps currently listed under the ‘Catalog’ category, Apple will automatically migrate affected apps to the Shopping category on November 6, 2017. Developers are free to choose a more relevant alternative at will.

UI Design For iPhone X: Top Elements And The Notch, by Max Rudberg

Don’t use the status bar area to animate rainbow colors shooting out of the notch.

Delete Your Cod, by Ruairidh Wynne-McHardy, Hacker Noon

We are all attached to the things that we create. From our relationships, to our work, to trivial things like the way we decorate our home — we don’t like to destroy things that we have put effort into.

That’s why it’s even more important to delete your code.

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I want my iPhone-X-style swipe-up-to-go-home gesture on my iPhone 6. Please?


Thanks for reading.