I am unexcited about the direction in Smartphone design. The key design idea that less is more in a phone is becoming Less is a Bore. Perhaps that’s why this design of a Blackberry got me thinking about it. While it still has a gorgeous screen, the phone itself is worthy of looking at and touching. It strikes the right balance. The phone as a design object is worthwhile.
It would have been good if Apple had struck out in a new design direction with the iPhone X. Instead they went with Less is More. Instead we have a phone with the Notch and a camera on the back that sticks out. It’s as if Apple would have preferred not to have these cameras and sensors, so rather than design the phone to incorporate them into the design, they stick out, figuratively and literally. In a few years from now when Apple has gone in a different direction, Apple fans will look back and exclaim how poor that aspect of the phone design is.
As for now, we live in an age where the screen dominates design, from TVs to smartphones. In the future that may change and the technology that we interact with will be contained in objects that have noteworthy design in them.
For more on this beautifully designed phone, see If BlackBerry Ditched the Keyboard | Yanko Design.
Great review of the latest iPhone*, here: The iPhone 8 is a look into the augmented future of photography | TechCrunch. I had heard that the iPhone 8 had a great new camera, but this article really drives that home.
If you are thinking of getting an “8”, this could be the reason you need. On the other hand, if you rarely take photos or don’t care too much about the quality, I think the case for an upgrade gets weaker.
* I don’t consider the iPhone X the latest phone so much as a promise of where the iPhone is going. To be honest, I think the iPhone X is as much an attempt to celebrate the 10 years of the iPhone and Steve Jobs’s legacy, not unlike the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
The juicero is toast. Not surprising to me: it was a terrible idea.
While the juicero was terrible, this analysis of the engineering behind the juicero is fantastic: Here’s Why Juicero’s Press is So Expensive – Bolt Blog.
Even if you aren’t interested in this device, read this analysis. You will come away with a much better appreciation of all the devices currently in your own life and some of the thinking that goes into making them.
Happy Monday! Are you affected by code at work? Of course you are! Do you code at work yourself? Very likely, even if it is to use formulae in a spreadsheet program like Excel (which, years ago, would have required been considered coding). However code affects you, I highly recommend you read this:
Code. It’s a very rich piece on code (i.e. software) and what it means to you (and everyone else).
Among other things, it is brilliantly designed. Lots of hard work went into this piece. If you can’t get started yet this week at work, read this as a research project.
Then you need to check out the Wirecutter. It has experts in every area of technology — from headphones to TVs to much more — stating what they think is thebest thing to buy right now. They explain their reasoning, offer alternatives, and best of all, the site is kept up to date. Also, they have links to sites like Amazon and others to let you take the next step and purchase the tech you want.
Nick Bilton tries to explain the failure of the Surface with one cause, here: Why the Surface RT Failed and the iPad Did Not – NYTimes.com. While I think this is one potential reason, I also think there are many reasons why it failed. Here are some more:
- Too expensive: comparatively to other tablet devices. Even if it was alot better, customers would be more likely to go with the equally impressive and less costly iPad or Android devices.
- No need for the product: if the other tablets lacked in some capacity, perhaps the Surface would have taken off. But the needs of tablet users was more than met by what was in the market.
- Network externalities: what used to work for Microsoft now worked against them. It’s not enough to develop a tablet: you have to develop all the things tablet users expect and support that as well. Otherwise you have to go to the commodity market.
Invalid reasons would be:
- Microsoft can’t do hardware: Microsoft can do hardware. Their XBOX line in particular is nowhere near the weakling of the Surface or Microsoft’s earlier hardware failure, the Zune.
- No one can compete with Apple: Google in conjunction with Samsung and others are doing a good job of competing with Apple.
- There is no room for more hardware in the market: again, Google and others have shown it is possible to compete in this space.
I don’t think Microsoft is done in this space. But I think they may approach it differently. We’ll see in the next two years.
Posted in new!
Tagged nytimes, tech