Save the iOS: An open letter to Apple, Inc. & Sir Jonathan Ive

2013-06-13 · medium.com · 分享

Unite to save Steve Jobs’ legacy and “develop a whole new world” in direction we all used to know and love.Tweet it, re-post it, pass it on to sign yourself under this letter.

Edit: First of all, I do love Apple. I have used their products for many years and always was proud of them and happy because of them. I do respect, and love all the efforts and work that great persons like Sir Jonathan Ive do. This is no vilification, nor criticism. Just thoughts about consistency from the developers’ point of view, written publicly to give other developers ability to gather their thoughts in one, living document. As iOS Developers, we hope that someone will take these ideas to Mr Tim Cook.We want to develop and make great apps, to continously enrich user experience and remain part of thriving ecosystem. As we write this, our care is for the ship that we are on together. We do understand this is the first beta so this is the best time to write these thoughts as there is still time for Apple to make improvements.


Here’s from the crazy ones.The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. We’re not fond of rules. And we have no respect for the status quo. You can quote us, disagree with us, glorify or vilify us. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore us . Because we change things. We push the human race forward. And while some may see us as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. But if we run out one day, not the world will change, but the geniuses, the crazy ones.

We are Apple developers. We create apps for iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. We innovate. We surprise. We amaze. We fail and we prevail. We sell and give away our souls for free. Our hours of work. Our hours of thoughts. Hours of sketching our ideas on a piece of paper. Tons of trees torn and thrown to trash. Tons of liters of coffee drunk, tons of hours of sleepless nights.

But the truth is, we will never stop thinking. Being a developer, a good developer means constantly questioning yourself: will my approach work, why am I doing it this way instead of another way, why it is not like that, how about this approach?

Being a good developer means downloading tons of apps from the App Store, just to see how others face a problem. It could be a problem with interaction, color, or usability. Or a problem of innovation and stability. It means hours spent digging into our iDevice’s screen during holiday vacation, during afternoon rest. It means hours of our lives spent on Dribbble, etc. to see the new designs. Just to keep the ship sailing, and not boring. It is the same job for us to innovate, as yours, Apple.

Hours of failed designs, failed approaches to solve the problem. Tons of designs to delight, designs behind how the things work. Because we are part of the ecosystem.

Ecosystem created by our leader of innovation, Steven Paul Jobs. We will never forget him, never regret him, no matter what you do , Apple. We are the tailors of new suits for you. We are the sailors on the ship with the pirate flag. We are the ones who raise it every day. We make the market. We extend human’s lives every day, we surprise, we innovate, we teach and we learn. We are the ones who painted the colors in AppStore’s canvas. We are the ones who also sold iPhones, iPods and iPads.

We read Human Interface Guidelines, learn them word by word like Ten Commandments. Wake us at midnight and ask about iOS icon radius. Ask us about minimal tappable zone or default gestures. About consistency. We read Developers Library References. We dig through Stack Overflow, GitHub, Cocoa Controls, Dribbble. We constantly ask each one of us and ourselves how to face the problem, and learn to call it a challenge. And never give up.

We work for ourselves and do work for big companies. We are the ones who make a boulder to the top for financial succeeds.We are the freelancers who work for living with our next “one more thing”. We innovate and amaze. By constantly being consistent and innovative, at the same time.

Let me be expressive and strong on this one; with all respect and remembrance: Yesterday was the day Steve Jobs probably rolled over in his grave.

After seeing iOS 7 we all were confused and amazed at the same time; after seeding iOS 7 on our beta devices, we are all asking:

What happened to iOS ?

We do understand the skeumorphism problem. We do understand flat trends. We do our best to head into the new direction. We innovate, invent new gestures, new interfaces. Clear, Solar, Mailbox. We draw new icons, choose colors more carefully.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Albert Einstein

But at the same time we expect the same from you, Apple. We do extend, try to be as flexible as we can. We also start over. Day by day. But we all do stay consistent. Each of our work states, that we can innovate by giving people what they are used to and already know how to use it, in a brand new, simpler form.

But when form meets simplicity, it cannot lose its soul.

We do understand, that after the leader passes, people do need to see things different. They do have to see that this was made by the rest of the team. It is hard to work for legacy of somebody who’s not with us anymore. I think it is biggest challenge to overcome for you, Sir Jonathan Ive. For you, Mr. Craig Federighi. And for all of you, great innovators at Apple.

I think that the only one company in the world that do really understand legacy and consistency by constantly improving their products, without changing everything by 180 degrees is Porsche.

Take a look at 2013' model of 911, and at 1963' model of 911.

Porsche engineers and designers took innovation to perfection when it comes to keeping legacy.

Learn how to innovate, without losing consistency in form and soul.

Apple, please learn from Porsche.People CAN love the products which are consistent, without changing the main form. Just by updating it, improving it, but not losing the soul.

We are Apple developers.

Consider this as a living document for things we do expect to see back in the iOS 7. You still have at least 5 betas to do the following. We all do believe in you, and hope not to switch in future. Because now, the future is questionable. That’s not how Apple does. We believe we could rely on you, Apple.

Dear Apple,

1.Please give us back shadows underneath icons. It is too hard on eyes. While considering philosophy behind great Apple EarPods, there are no two human beings with the same ears; the same applies to eyes and sense of perception.

2.Please give us back subtle shadows across the interface, under Action Sheets, under Navigation Bars, under Alert Views.While blurred translucency can give context, and create sense of dimension, shadows are natural and extend sense of seeing the depth between modal, navigation and other views.

Credits to Bill Labus http://drbl.in/hUqC

3. Please give us back State-of-the-Art icons. Through those six years, so many designers became artists in painting beautiful icons. iOS icons became like another separate branch of art; don’t take it away from us!

Simplify, but give it back the artistic feel. We love Star Wars, Star Trek and other Sci-Fi movies. But what makes iOS feel so special, it is not only its simplicity of future but attention to detail. Simple gradients can do the job, but some shadows and more subtle colors were something what separated iOS from Android and Windows Phone systems with a bold red line, not the thin one.

Those really could do the job without losing legacy and consistency. Still could survive the test of time. - Credits Surenix

4. Please be consistent. While updating OS X to Mavericks we still see beautiful dock and interface. While biggest sucess of iOS is its ecosystem it makes with Mac OS X, it should cooperate not only through AirDrop. But through interface. Some glossy icons and some flat icons should just unite into one, new, brand-new Apple “almost flat” style.

5. Please give us a more subtle version of the original dock. Does stepping back to the first shape really do make the job? Taking so much space from the home screen? Please give us back normal signal strenght bars. We are accustomed to, we are human beings and understand this with a glimpse. Just like traffic lights, road signs or even toilet signs. Don’t try to change the world’s standards in this matter.

6. Please give us back typography that was easy to read from distance. Do we really have to look more closely at the phone in order to read notifications, or check the time, because the font weight is too thin? We’re emphasizing the weight of the font - not the size.

7.Please make blur effects less intense. They are nice, but so hard on eyes it sometimes hurts.

8.Tappable buttons. While people do learn, and get accustomed to touch interfaces, they still do need at least a little guidance. Even those who was raised with iPad in their hands while drinking mother’s milk. Color as new Human Interface Guidelines states can be such one, but not separating the buttons from the rest of interface does make look UI like a plain webpage. Do we all really want our phones to look like webpages? Why we are all native? Learn from Twitterific, learn from Flipboard, learn from Developers.


Developers can add more points here, but please consider being as focused as possible.