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Jony Ive introduces Apple's latest

John Herrman is brilliant.

New Apple iTunes 11 interface revealed

Vintage ad scanned and Flickr'd by James Vaughan.

Wouldn't it be nifty if the newest iteration of iTunes, which in my opinion is one of a great company's poorest products, looked like this? The Ping-less iTunes 11 is set to launch this month, likely today, according to hints dropped in this Wall Street Journal profile of Apple exec Eddy Cue. It's not that big a secret, anyways; the Apple.com iTunes splash page says it's "coming in November," and there aren't many days left in November.

Below, *actual* screenshots of the new interface. Come to think of it, the new UI resembles the vintage ad more than iTunes 10 does! But I don't like it. I wish iTunes were a skinnable, interpret-able service with an API, like Twitter is (for now, anyway)—imagine if you could use any third-party client you wanted to access the service, as cleanly and free of cruft as you please.

Read the rest

Apple's Siri vs. Japanese-accented English

In this video, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)

Remembering the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][


Bob Knetzger is a toy and game designer and the Toy Inventor's Notebook columnist for MAKE. He says:

Saw your cool post on clunky 80's Apple ][ software interfaces -- wow, that really takes me back.

That kind of horrible interface is what inspired me to develop the EasyKey keyboard overlay for the Apple ][ and other home computers.

This EasyKey brand was created by me and my two partners at the time, fellow industrial designer Rick Gurolnick and programming and hardware whiz EE Dan Schoff. Together we started a small company called Neosoft that created some of the most highly regarded educational software of the 1908s. We created products for CBS Software, Simon and Schuster, and others, that combined the clever 6502 assembly language programming techniques (who remembers page flipping, pixel patterns to create extra pseudo colors, and sound waveform zero-crossing for A to D sound tricks?) with solid educational values together with state of the zippy bit-map art work.

The titles were award-winning, museum-level quality, and just plain FUN! Baby dinosaurs hatched out of their eggs to show your scores, human body cut-away layers dissolved to show internal organs, maps and timelines came to life...and more. And this at a time when most Apple ][ software offered space invader sprites.

With our EasyKey titles you could change programs and just swap the keyboard cover. Here, play US Presidents games without any typing or spelling--just press for your choice:


Kids around the world had fun and learned with our programs--here's an Aboriginal student in AUS tries out some looking-and-counting games with Number Farm -- as depicted in National Geographic:

Apple ordered to pay Samsung's legal fees in UK after 'false and misleading' notice

After losing a patent lawsuit with Samsung in the UK, Apple was required to post information about the ruling on its website and in media advertising. After seeing Apple interweave the details into an amusing editorial and later tuck it out of sight with a clever web design trick, the court appears not to be amused. As quoted by Chris Foreman at Ars Technica:
"The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying," Sir Robin Jacob noted in the final order, which was published online on Sunday. "There is a further false innuendo that the UK court's decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true. Apple's additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it."
Rob

Apple: three million iPads sold since Friday's launch

Three million iPads have been sold in the the three days since Apple launched a new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad. Xeni

Slippery web designers at Apple hide court ordered apology perpetually below the fold

Apple was recently ordered by a UK court to publicly display a notice that Samsung did not copy the iPad with their Galaxy tablet to undo the damage they've done by making that accusation. And like a scolded child, they're scuffling their feet and mumbling "sorry" to the ground.

It's no surprise that their apology is at the bottom of the page, or that you need to scroll to see it. What's sneaky about it is that the large image of the iPad on their homepage resizes automatically to force that text to always appear below the fold when you load the page. Apple's webmasters have written in code to figure out how tall your browser window is, then make the site's design just big enough to push the apology out of your view and make you scroll to see it.

apple.co.uk [via Reddit] Thanks, Majd!

Siri vs. Google Voice Search for iPhone

The guys at Gizmodo did a side-by-side comparison of voice search on iPhone, using Siri vs. using Google Voice Search for iOS. (Thanks, Joe Sabia!)

Gruber on iPad Mini

“Wow, it feels like a Kindle,” and “Ew, the screen is terrible,” were Mrs. Daring Fireball’s initial reactions when Gruber handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, "an avid daily user of an iPad 3," thought. "Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience," Gruber writes. But his prediction: "This is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model." [daringfireball.net] Xeni

What Apple's Game of Executive Thrones means for you

iOS chief Scott Forstall is out, SVP Jonny Ive moves to head of Interface design—lots of changes at One Infinite Loop. Dan Moren at Macworld writes about the executive shuffle Apple announced late Monday. "It's the kind of drama we in the tech press usually only get from watching Game of Thrones," says Dan. "Consider what Monday’s maneuvers mean for the hardware, software, and services coming out of Cupertino. Xeni

Parody iPad Mini promo video

This parody promo for the iPad Mini is funny and factual.

iOS Maps debacle reimagined as surrealist art project

If Apple's iOS Maps disaster was actually avant-garde art… (Thanks, Dustin Hostetler!)

Tech journalism

Dan Gillmor sez, "This is a story about a story about a rumor of an invitation to an announcement of a product launch. Needless to say, the company involved is Apple." Cory

Steve Jobs, Romantic

At O'Reilly Radar, Doug Hill with a worthy read on the late Apple CEO: "I’d like to talk here about a spirit that Jobs carried within himself. It’s a spirit he relied on for inspiration, although he seemed at times to have lost track of its whisper. In any event, what it says can tell us a lot about our relationship to machines. I refer to the spirit of Romanticism. I spent much of this past summer reading about the Romantics — the original Romantics, that is, of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries — and it’s remarkable how closely their most cherished beliefs correspond to principles that Jobs considered crucial to his success at Apple." Xeni

Unique issues in Japan for Apple iOS6 maps

Inconsistencies and funny goofs with Apple's new iOS6 maps feature have been widely reported. But in Japan, a country-specific set of technical issues contribute to the feature's lack of reliability there. The biggest problem, according to a NYT article by Hiroko Tabuchi, is that "much of its data appears to be drawn from OpenStreetMap Japan, a Wikipedia-like service that contains a lot of incorrect and outdated information," and Japan "uses a system of longitude and latitude that differs slightly from the global standard." Apple may have mixed up conflicting data sources that use both systems. (NYTimes.com) Xeni