Fade To Grey

(An imaginary interview with Sir J.I. on iOS 7)

S:  Hi, J. How are you?

J:   Hi Steve, thanks, but not too good today. My stomach feels awful.

S:  Oh, what’s wrong?

J:  What’s wrong? I’ve lost my sunglasses.

S:  Your sunglasses? Why do you complain? We have November now and it’s mostly cloudy? Was it an expensive one or a beloved heirloom?

J:  No, none of this. But let’s leave at this.

S:  C’mon, say what’s on your heart …

J:  Sure?

S:  Sure!

J:  I hardly dare to say, but it’s iOS 7!

S:  Oh, honestly? I’m totally surprised. Why? What’s the matter?

J:  It’s a long story.

S:  Go ahead!

J:  Ok. Do you know my office?

S:  How should I?

J:  From my videos of course.

S:  Ah, the white one? This is your office?

J:  Yeah. White’s my all-time favorite. Everything in this room is white. White desk, white chair, white bin with white paper in it, white door …

S:  White windows, too?

J:  Windows? This is Apple not Microsoft!

S:  What?

J:  Forgive me, I’m just kidding.

S:  Ha ha.

J:  No, my room has no windows. It’s a whiter white with the indirect lighting we’ve installed. It’s perfect white and I love it. As you know, I’ve designed white computers …

S:  … and the silver ones …

J:  Yes, the silver ones look white in my room, too.

S:  A whiter white, I know.

J:  What? Ok, where had I got to?

S:  White!

J:  Yes, white computers, white power supplies, white earpods, and …

S:  And ?

J:  You’re having me on! Right?

S:  A little revenche … .

J:  Ok, ha ha.

S:  Of course you mean the white iPhone.

J:  Yes, and the white iPads and iPods and some others.

S:  All white now.

J:  Steve used to say:  One day you’re going to become snow-blind. And then he and Scott took me out to a park with a big green lawn, it was like a carpet.

S:  Where did you go?

J:  Don’t remember. But it looked like the gras covered hills from the XP wallpaper.

S:  Windows?

J:  Yes, this time it was windows.

S:  Understand.

J:  Scott was overwhelmed by this impression of pure green and I think this was his main influence and the origin of the green felt in some of our Apps.

S:  Ah, ok, and since then you love green, too?

J:  No, for heaven’s sake not! I was lucky to reach my office again. But this was a lesson for me.

S:  You learned what?

J:  To wear sunglasses. I bought them the same day. And now, when I leave my office, I immediately put these sunglasses on.

S:  But that shouldn’t be a reason for bellyache, shouldn’t it.

J:  Surely not!

S:  But what is it then?

J:  At the beginning of last year I got deeply depressed or, one might say, even lost. Even in my white room I felt dark deep in my heart. So, one day, Tim took me for a ride to visit a local kindergarten. There, together with the children, we drafted some new fresh icons with watercolor. We really enjoyed ourselves for hours. As we left, the children gifted us with some watercolor paint-boxes and back in my office I experimented with the colors and just then I had the initial idea for iOS 7.

S:  I still do not understand. Come to the point now.

J:  The sunglasses. Understand?

S:  No.

J:  I’ve done the whole iOS7 design with my sunglasses on. I was so enthusiastic that I forgot to put them off after returning from the kindergarten.

S:  And now?

J:  This morning – as I came to my office – I was dumbfounded about the color of the iOS 7 icons. I asked my assistant if there was something wrong with my devices. But then, like a bolt out of the blue, I realized that my sunglasses were away and
that the icons were, no, that the icons ARE ugly as hell. But that’s not all: The whiteness in iOS 7 is so dazzling, it really hurts my eyes without my sunglasses on.

S:  And how will you react on this belated insight? Change iOS 7?

J:  Oh no, we cannot do that, we cannot admit such a fault. But maybe we will introduce a new sun-protective touch screen with our next devices. So you can automatically fade everything to grey.

S:  No white anymore?

J:  We are all getting older. And tomorrow I’m going to buy new sunglasses.

S:  J., thank you very much for this interview. Bye!

J:  Thank you, bye.

CEO’s courage (or cowardice)

Only one brave decision:

Before WWDC in June I was curious and anticipating the new forthcoming iPad and iPhone and some moderate improvements in the next iOS.

Now I am glad and relieved that I have our iPhones 5 and 4s and our iPad 3 and Mini still running on iOS6.

iOS7 completely destroys the magic touch of Apple. It’s much worse than any Android Version. So, now there is not the slightest reason to buy any new iPhone or iPad, although there are some excellent technical improvements with iPhone 5s like the better camera or the faster CPU.

Tim Cook and Apple need to reach only one brave and absolutely unavoidable decision:
Dispose and forget iOS7, bring back iOS6 or launch a better designed iOS8 which cannot deny the similarity to iOS6.

Only this would bring back the magic and the Apple touch and feel which we all love.

Think about it, Tim.

iOS7 vs iOS6 – what is better, what’s worse?

What is better in iOS7?
– ?

What’s worse in iOS7?

  • Bugs, bugs, bugs … and … some more bugs.
  • Control Center is much overloaded, so you switch things on and off unintentionally.
  • Control Center has very low contrast. Depending on the background it is sometimes impossible to recognize a symbol.
  • Control Center is nearly not accessible if you have your device in a casing with a frame around the screen.
  • You often open Control Center accidentally while scrolling upwards.
  • Many Icons have strange colors which are either too blurry or too flashy.
  • Many Icons have a strange design which has nothing to do with its function, e.g. Game-Center, Reminders, Photos, etc.
  • The Flat icon design looks old fashioned.
  • Transparency or translucency destroys contrast.
  • 3D- or moving-effects have no benefit, but they can cause dizziness.
  • The new picker looks like a newbie draft.
  • Folders can only hold 9 icons in one screen (16 in iOS6 on the iPhone, 20 on the iPad). So, if you do not need more than 16 (20) icons in a group – and that is most common – it’s easier with iOS6.
  • Missing buttons make it difficult to find the functions. Often you do not know if something hides a function or if it’s just a name, title or description.
  • Several functions are only usable if you KNOW exactly where to find them. There is no chance for an unfamiliar user.
  • Calculator has no memory buttons in normal mode.
  • Calculator buttons are not enough separated.
  • The Notes-app has a very dazzling background color and is not as eye-friendly as the “old paper”-like look of iOS6.
  • The Calendar is confusing and not well-arranged.
  • Fonts are much too thin and therefore often difficult to read.
  • The new “whole-screen-unlock-function” bears the risk of unlocking the phone unintentionally in ones pocket.
  • You have to swipe down to find the Spotlight-search. Often you open an App or scroll down a list or open the Notification Center unintentionally instead of opening the Spotlight-search.
  • The preview in the task list is mostly useless. If you only want to change an App, and that is what you do most with the task list – you have less Apps in view and more to scroll between.
  • Media-controls are often more difficult to access.
  • Figuring out the “New-App” indicator is much harder.
  • It’s more difficult to switch to contact details from a text message.
  • The Spotlight-search is less powerful than before. In iOS6 you can search the Web.
    Update: Thanks to 7.0.3 you can now search the Web and Wikipedia again.
    But sadly there’s enough left to be improved and some wishes leave unfulfilled ;)

… to be updated and continued



Fact is, 99.9 percent of the current owners of iOS devices have chosen and bought their products with iOS-versions BELOW 7. All these versions were quite similar in usability and design.

These users have chosen and bought their devices BECAUSE of the approved and well known iPhone look and feel BELOW Version 7.

Up to now, these users are used to frequent improvements to the iOS which formerly extended the functionality, usability and the security of iOS. These users did not at any time expect any major changes in design nor in usability.

But what did Apple do now?

If users do not like the new design – and users have the right to chose because they paid a lot of money for the devices –  these users are cut off from all future improvements and from all future security updates.

So, for me it’s like a kick in the ass of the customers who made Apple what it is now. The nearly biggest player in the Mobile Phone Market.

Please, please, you all in the Board of Directors at Apple: Think about it! Take care of your customers! 

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important” Steve Jobs

Today, marketing pros often lose sight of eminent design principles.
The times of “customer is king” are long gone.

It’s difficult to transfer one’s opinion back to the responsible managers.
It’s more difficult to bring this opinion unaltered and unfiltered close to the person in charge.

Leading and well-known companies sometimes make so extremely stupid mistakes, sometimes driven by stock prices, sometimes driven by competition, but mostly driven by pure vanity.

With my blog, I hope to reach some of these Captains, Steersmen and Pilots, I hope to show them some of customers’ wishes but mainly basic customers’ needs. To respect these is extremely eminent for a sustainable product and company success.

So, let’s start.