The Apple Maps fiasco paved the way for Jony Ive’s iOS 7

“The most interesting tidbit from Reuters‘ new profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook is about his response to the infamous iOS Maps fiasco and how it paved the way for a major review of Apple’s mobile operating system,” Brad Reed reports for BGR.

“According to Reuters‘ sources, Cook bypassed the advice of former iOS boss Scott Forstall when he issued a formal apology for the app and then decided that iOS as a whole needed to go in a new direction,” Reed reports. “Forstall was ousted from his post shortly afterwards and was replaced by Jony Ive, Apple’s longtime hardware design guru who would spend the next several months working to put his own unique stamp on Apple’s mobile platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

“People overwhelmingly prefer iOS 7 design to iOS 6,” Zach Epstein reported for BGR earlier this month. “A new series of polls created using Input Factory’s ‘Polar’ app presented users with design elements from iOS 6 alongside their iOS 7 counterparts and asked them to vote for their preference. Thankfully for Apple, users overwhelmingly chose graphics from iOS 7 over the older look of iOS.”

Epstein reports, “A similar poll conducted with the Polar app found that users prefer Apple’s iOS 7 icons to the old iOS 6 icons nearly 2 to 1.”

Read more in the full article here.

39 Comments

  1. If Maps was a fiasco that resulted in something worthwhile I am fully supportive of Apple continued forays into the realm of corporate mismanagement. If nothing else, the public embarrassment will keep Apple on the straight and narrow if internal integrity and professionalism can’t.

    1. And the “fiasco” of Maps was Apple’s bold and timely ditching of dependency on Google Maps. That was similar in value to Apple’s termination of licenses to Mac clone builders in the 90’s. Historians will later acknowledge Tim Cook’s wisdom and craftiness.

    2. Yeah, such a fiasco that Google finally made their iOS maps app feature-comparable to the Android version after getting booted from the default. Bottomline is that even if you don’t like Apple Maps (which I find preferable in many ways over Google), the mapping capability on iOS is markedly better now than it was a year ago.

      1. Yeah, such a fiasco Tim Cook made a public , confession, er, apology for releasing such a buggy and poorly written app.

        Of course, Maps is better now than when it was first unleashed, er, released, it couldn’t have been much worse and had no other direction but to improve.

  2. I don’t know who did these polls, but most people I’ve talked to are either ‘meh’ on iOS7’s icons, or dislike them compared to iOS6. Some think they’re great, but certainly not the majority. “Kiddie OS” is what most people think of … including kids! … when they see the icons, in my experience.

    The usability & performance are different matters … just ’cause no one I know has used it … but they changed the one thing I thought would affect usability the most – the skinny font. So maybe they’ll make the icons look less like Hello Kitty stickers too 😉

      1. I think the point for Jony Ive’s “flat” iOS 7 look is his “safe way” to create a distinctive iOS appearance and nothing more. It is good for the present time at Apple, it may be an easier load on the hardware but it is not a formula of success every time.

        And “obviously” from your reasoning you think the market trend is the “right way” to go. It may be or it may not be right but it is not an argument of brute force perse.

        Second: An sculptor, architect, 3D modeler, or industrial designer is never a warranty on 2D graphic design subjects. It is more about them not being efficient or great graphic designers and this worries me on Apple future graphic design decisions.

        Maybe Scott Forstall was wrong on iOS Maps and Steve Jobs liked to much the skeuomorphism but it will never be great or ideal not to have a skilled, experienced and dedicated graphic artist as a head of the iOS appearance.

        1. Whether you prefer iOS 7 or iOS 6, the fact is iOS 6 was showing real signs of disjointed graphical UI — skeuomorphism in some apps but not others, design pieces which had no function, etc. The end benefit is that Apple apparently put iOS through a thorough review and determined that it needed to unify the graphical UI, add some additional control elements, and basically refresh the entire UI. That’s a good thing that will keep iOS running smoothly with consistency and keep it ahead of Android.

          1. “iOS 6 was showing real signs of disjointed graphical UI”

            I agree with you on that – the bit that stood out to me most was – ironically – the phone app. When you call someone from Contacts it has the dark, see-through look with the red button to end the call, but when you go right to the number pad to dial directly, it has this flat white ‘SlimLine’ look to it. The latter looks like crap to me, but I always wondered what was the point of making it look so different in the first place. Especially in light of the fact that the number pad that came up when you dialed from contacts (like when you had to press one for english etc …) had the original dark see-through look! Crazy.

            Flat just doesn’t do it for me. When I showed the above disjointed UI to people, they generally didn’t like the flat white look when compared directly to the original Phone app look that would come up when dialing contacts either. Direct side-by-side comparison, that.

            Either way, I think finally eliminating these weird digressions to something more unified will in itself be an improvement. I just wonder why they didn’t unify things under the original 3-Dish design. Nobody hated it, and a lot of people love it when compared to Android & Windows phones.

            Just my 2cents.

      1. Lot’s of people. It is the first thing you see when running the phone (or iPod or iPad) and as such has a lot to do with how the device first ‘feels’ to you as the user. User interface designers have known this forever.

        It’s like your parents should have told you – you always want to make a good first impression 😉

    1. Jony Ive obviously has better than 20/20 vision eyes! The vision he needs to add NOW is fact-based. Many loyal Mac & iOS users go back to 1984! JONY, we’re getting OLD. Our baby blue or baby brown “blinkers” aren’t what they used to be!!!! Just Give US an OPTION under settings to an easier-to-read thicker font. And while you’re at it, DON’T DITCH MARKER FELT in the Notes, for the same reason!!!

  3. Count me in as one who much prefers iOS 7. Several people I know have it on their phones, and absolutely love it. No one prefers iOS 6, particularly after using 7 for awhile. The look is cleaner and makes the device come alive. It brings fun back to phones that other (non Apple and Apple) OSs have not been able to do, though iOS 6 was the best of the lot.

    1. What are you – some marketing guy working out of Cupertino?

      Since when did iOS ever become ‘unfun’? Whatever else these changes have going for them, or not, lets keep the hyperbole to a minimum.

      As you sort-of admit yourself, iOS was already enjoyable to use & light years better than the Google or Microsoft alternatives. To state or imply otherwise in defense of iOS7 are tactics only employees of Apple or Kool-Aid drinkers would make.

      I think people critical of some aspects of iOS7 make good points. I’ll hold off final judgement till I see it first hand, but I don’t think Apple is served by ignoring what a lot of people are saying they don’t like now.

      1. Where was the hyperbole? Exactly WHAT did sound as marketing?

        He said that he loves iOS 7. He also said his friends prefer it. The look is cleaner (not quite a hyperbole). He also says iOS6 was the best before iOS 7. About the closest statement that came to hyperbole (and even that one not by much) was that “the device comes alive” with iOS 7.

        If you don’t like it, it doesn’t meant that others shouldn’t, and especially not that those who say they do are somehow Kool-Aid drinkers and sheeple.

        1. The hyperbole was/are the statements that “… no one prefers iOS6…” and that iOS7 “… brings fun back to phones …”

          Both are clearly hyperbolic in light of the fact that a] some do prefer iOS6 (at least the look of it), and b] there was no fun lacking in previous versions of the iPhone OS.

          From OSX’s own Dictionary app:

          “hyperbole | noun
          … exaggeration, overstatement, magnification, embroidery, embellishment, excess, overkill, rhetoric; informal purple prose, puffery…”

          Seems pretty clear to me.

          1. I understood from ‘no one’ that it was in the context of the previous sentence about his group of friends. So not hyperbole.
            And his opinion that it makes the OS come alive isn’t hyperbole either.

            1. Actually, “no one” means … no one. If he had said something about the context being his group of friends, then you can give some leeway, but he didn’t do that.

              Therefore, it’s logical for anyone to conclude that he meant “no one’ out of the general population. And since there’s ample evidence just in these forums to disprove that, he WAS engaging in hyperbole.

              Just because you agree with him doesn’t make the other guy wrong to call him out on that.

    1. Maybe, but your SJ distortion field is in full bloom. Stop with the Cook bashing already. Forstall was a SJ pick, not Cook. And I’m fairly comfortable Maps was on the docket before Steve passed.

      1. Cook leads – right – Cook should have over seen Maps for approvals — at LEAST covered Apples ass with a BETA title – something JOBS insisted with SIRI.

        Sorry – Cook made a huge mistake on Maps and a bigger mistake pushing Scott out.

        IOS7 ‘graphic flattening’ does nothing to IMPROVE iOS functionality – nor – ease of use – or even make the learning curve shorter. Its a lot of improvements seen on Android already. I am sure these improvements are a better experience then the Android way – nevertheless – the over all picture of iOS7 does not seem to truly BETTER the system or the users point of view. It brings welcoming features.

        Still, the basic function and idea of apps on a smartphone are Apples ownership not Googles. Android should be eradicated off the planet by legal means and patent infringements galore. Apple needs global nuclear bomb win here… And Microsoft can pick up the Bummer piece with its Metro for competition sakes… while Samsung moves also away from Android – last will be Google who is keeper of Android and it should be dead by then. Naturally.

    2. Jobs never would have allowed the Maps mess to happen in the say way he would not have allowed antenna gate and the cube to happen.

      Come on. Jobs was GREAT, but he did make mistakes and learned from them. IN the say way you have “forgotten” these mistakes of the Great One, allow this same for TC.

  4. After using the new beta of iCloud (a bit of a preview of where iOS is headed) my initial impressions have been confirmed. A flatter UI for the apps is a nice refresh – clean and pleasant. But primary app icons should have been left alone.

    Flat design looks terrible on the home screen icons and will give app developers trouble in differentiating their primary app icons from one another. I predict most developers will keep their realistic home screen icons but flatten their app UI.

    Overboard either direction is the problem. For instance the skeuomorphism on the Calendar and Address Book Apps of OS X was superfluous and interfered with natural use (form over function). But the old design of the primary app icon is vastly superior to the new flat design. Using the right design esthetic for the right situation was always the key – knowing when to use flat and when to use skeuomorphic and seamlessly blending the two.

  5. I remain in the third that prefers the look of iOS 6, but that’s based only on what I’ve seen of it so far, and that isn’t much. The WWDC images weren’t terribly convincing, but that may have had as much to do with the background images they chose.

    It wouldn’t have offended me if Apple had added the new functionalities while retaining the same overall appearance.

    That said, people who claim to have used it say they like it better, so I’m trying to keep an open mind, and I’ll definitely check it out on other people’s iPhones when it comes out.

  6. Ives already made his stamp on iOS… the design of the freaking iPhone. Hello. From researching iOS, Jony has not done much other then to orchestrate and art direct iOS7, by let the marketing team design the icons and features still to come into the hands of the consumers. From what I have seen an dread, the features seem to be taken from the Jailbreak community rather than from Android… where inspiration was conceived really doesn’t matter. As Apple closes the gaps on software (iOS) it doesn’t do much for its handset other then offer speed and efficiency with a new A7.

    Heres hoping iPad mini eventually becomes retina and a (capable phone) – letting Apple sneak in to the “Phablet” market with a bigger offering and a better all-round machine powered by A7 and the best mobile software applications on the planet. True Portability with Power for both WORK and COMMUNICATIONS – iPad mini.

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