31 comments

  • Louis BLouis B, almost 2 years ago

    Clickbait title? Hmm go on then...

    "The 'notch' on the new iPhone..."

    Ugh, close tab.

    I don't care.

    20 points
  • Hamish TaplinHamish Taplin, almost 2 years ago

    Not a fan of the notch but asserting Apple is "really bad at design" due to a few missteps is ridiculous to say the least. However, they do seem to be heading in the wrong direction, having lost their obsession with simplicity since Jobs died.

    19 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 2 years ago

      I don't think 'really bad at design' is an accurate description either, but 'a few missteps' is quite the understatement also. I think the overall quality and attention to detail of both their software and hardware has been slowly declining for a few years now, all while the competition has been improving.

      Apple still has the better ecosystem (although at this point, it's mostly just higher quality apps because I can't say iTunes which can't even ask your iPhone to install an app anymore after first downloading a copy to your computer, or the handover features which do not work half the time are all that great), the better support and none of the selling your data part, but in terms of pure design, I'd say devices like the S8 have surpassed the iPhone.

      8 points
      • Ryan Hicks, almost 2 years ago

        I agreed with everything you said until I got to the second paragraph. Apple pioneered a lot of things in the mobile industry but that's all it has done. It moved everyone forward at the right time; now everyone else is driving the ship, mainly android and samsung.

        1 point
        • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 2 years ago

          Yes, the Apple of 10/15 years ago had the vision to essentially create the smartphone industry we know today and was a pioneer in the PC industry.

          But that was then.

          What I am objecting to is them sitting on their laurels and barely putting up the effort to compete with the companies whom they inspired 10 years ago, yet still asking for increasingly higher prices.

          2 points
          • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 2 years ago

            Apple is still trying to innovate, but their perspective has shifted. They've stopped focusing on the user experience and instead are driven by their bottom line. That's how they end up with useless—but shiny and new—features like Touch Bar and FaceID.

            4 points
            • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 2 years ago

              Certainly. I'd like to see how they manage to keep their massive profit margins when some new company comes up with a better product for half the price.

              0 points
            • Nikola DurkanNikola Durkan, almost 2 years ago

              Yeah this has become really clear in the last couple of years. I mean the iPhone is almost 50% of Apple's total sales so if they want to increase profits then mobile is their best segment. Their "courageous" move to remove the headphone jack was a really quick way for Apple to drive up the average spend per unit. Likewise the new MacBook Pro has been a really bitter pill to swallow: I payed more to get less of what I need (no SD reader, smaller battery) and I still have to buy all new adapters for it. Oh, and they don't include the extension cord for the charger anymore, that's another $19 extra.

              Yeah I'm a little bitter about this

              0 points
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, almost 2 years ago

    Is the title click-bait? Yes. Does the article make a reasoned argument and some valid points? Yes.

    Only the blindest of the Apple loyal (I'm an Apple fan FYI), could deny that most of the points raised by Topolsky are on the money. This isn't just clickbait, it's something worth discussing, surrounding the most influential design company of our lifetimes.

    10 points
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, almost 2 years ago

    What i am missing on this post is why Apple is doing something like that? Its just an article where somebody is simply whining about that apple design is no more.

    Why the notch??? This is really simple if you think about it. Everybody is doing this frameless screendesigns of apps in a "futuristic phone" and is showing them around different platforms. You all know them, they are all frameless.

    Yeah, thats what we want! - Apple Marketing

    So there we are in the marketing department of Apple, they sitting there and thinking about how the iPhone 10 will look like. So they say: "Hey our research department find that on dribbble/behance this "futuristic smartphone" with a frameless screen. We should do that.

    Couple of months later, at the hardware development department of Apple. Jony Ive shows how the design should look like. No Notch, totally frameless, a piece of art.

    The hardware developers work hard to integrate all the camera sensors behind the "Super Retina Display". They can't do it. Fingerprint sensor behind the screen, they can't do it.

    The Idea of the Notch is born.

    The question is, would it be better to wait and finish the product, no everybody knows that every year there will be a new innovative smartphone.

    "Apple Design" is not driven to find the best solution or to create the best and fitting design of something, anymore. No, Apple is now, again, Marketing driven...

    You see it in different versions of there main products, Small Phone, Big Phone, Small Tablet, Big Tablet. iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Macbook Pro, Macbook.

    Thats why we find more and more flaws in design. They do not focus on that one product, they focus on what people wants...

    10 points
    • Thomas PalumboThomas Palumbo, almost 2 years ago

      So they say: "Hey our research department find that on dribbble/behance this "futuristic smartphone" with a frameless screen. We should do that.

      You think Apple go on dribbble and behance to get ideas for what form factor their next product should be?

      12 points
      • Jan SemlerJan Semler, almost 2 years ago

        No i don't think that, but everybody needs to get inspired somehow, right? But why do we need a frameless smartphone? This is not really something that makes the phone better, right? All i want to say is: that everything regarding some of the apple productions are not driven by innovation anymore, but more on competition. Every "new feature" is not an innovation anymore it is more an attempt to create an distinction from the competition. Thats why some Apple products are more driven by marketing than by innovation. It will always result in different formfactors, prices and so on. Apple was always the company with just one product in a segment and not one with many...

        0 points
  • Daniel MarquesDaniel Marques, almost 2 years ago

    I recently bought an iPad and after many years of just using Android I have to say that that back button on the status bar really bugged my mind. It still does...

    EDIT: Just wondering, how does that status bar back button looks on the iPhone X?

    7 points
    • perfume lperfume l, almost 2 years ago

      Coming from Android that have dedicate back button, I always hate that back button solution too. I do a quick search and found one shot in Engadget video here

      The notch made it even WORSE. Because now whenever they want to display the back button, they have to move the position of time indicator up and make space for the back button. So bad it seems comical. haha.

      1 point
  • Chris Howard, almost 2 years ago

    Articles like this annoy me. They make it sound like bad design is new to Apple, that's Apple has lost it's way lately. And worse, they make it sound like bad design at Apple is a post-Steve Jobs things.

    It's not.

    Antennagate was a major hardware design flaw championed by Steve "It's the way you're holding it" Jobs.

    The removal of colour - one of the major design elements - from the OS X interface was well under way under Jobs' watch.

    That's just but two. I'm sure plenty of other people will have their own design peeves from the Steve Jobs era.

    Bad design is not new to Apple. It began at least 10 years ago.

    3 points
  • Jrtorrents Dorman , almost 2 years ago

    nice article! I was literally thinking of it when just before I came to Designernews. Theres an article on Theverge about their new dongle that allows you to charge and use a headphone jack at the same time; it's a messy solution!

    https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/10/1/16393078/apple-belkin-rockstar-iphone-adapter-headphone-lightning

    I wouldn’t say that Apple is bad at Design but they appear to be losing whatever is left of their design chops.

    The new iOS, is a clusterfuck of inconsistency! Example toggling "wifi-off" in the control center (?) doesn't actually turn it off. This is supposedly a feature!

    https://hackernoon.com/dive-into-the-details-of-ios-11-is-apple-still-detail-oriented-fe70af065a7d

    3 points
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, almost 2 years ago

    I find arguments like this fall apart when I'm walking around seeing thousands of people happily using all this "badly designed" stuff without much issue.

    Sure the iPhone X isn't out yet, but do you really think THIS time will be the one where the predictions of Apple's design and innovation failures come true? I doubt it.

    I mean is it really that big of a difference to have the notch versus having a black bar fully across the top? REALLY? Sure the white bars on websites are ugly, but I bet before the year is over the vast majority have added the background color attribute that makes it look better.

    I'm getting tired of this outrage at Apple that never seems to manifest functionally.

    3 points
    • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 2 years ago

      If you take a step back and look at the average user and basic expectations of a smartphone, then yes that notch or Apple's other screw ups don't make much of a difference, you can still use the device just fine right? And if that is the lens through which you analyse things, you will go and buy a OnePlus for half the price or a Motorola for 1/3 of the price. They do the job just fine also right?

      This argument is about demanding more out of premium, outrageously expensive devices.

      2 points
    • John PJohn P, almost 2 years ago

      I find arguments like this fall apart when I'm walking around seeing thousands of people happily using all this "badly designed" stuff without much issue.

      I for one sure love carrying two pairs of headphones around every day because the same pair no longer functions in my Apple Laptop and my Apple Phone. But hey! at least the industrial design team at Apple can gush over the symmetry of the bottom of the device with it's fake speaker holes on one side.

      0 points
  • Account deleted almost 2 years ago

    Off topic but, The Outline is really bad at design. It’s like they took all of the trend lists posted here from past few years and mushed them together with the tone/voice of an annoying millennial. They really did try to create something that constantly shouts at you visually about how hip they are. It’s distracting.

    2 points
  • Andrew C, almost 2 years ago

    AirPods, ApplePay, and the poor ecosystem support of the S8 are why Apple is actually still pretty much the leader. They know how to release features that make a splash, and have an opinion that you discuss them.

    That's a pretty hard thing to design in to a product launch, yet they do it every year.

    I tried a Samsung phone 2 years ago, and a Windows Surface Studio last year when the new Macbooks failed to impress — both machines were nice until you tried to power use them across the ecosystem. Forced upgrades (with driver issues), clunky beta technology, and poor performing 3rd party services.

    I don't hate that notch as much as everyone seems to. But the amount of Notch chatter on this very board shows how Apple and the launch of these new phones were a resounding success.

    2 points
  • Marcel van Werkhoven, almost 2 years ago

    Apple design isn't perfect and you could even argue that they've lost their edge in some fields but this writer simplifies the issue a bit too much. Apple is still a business and needs to meet its sales targets and goals and may ship a 'lesser' product to do so. Apple is also limited by the hardware available on the market and with battery technology still not improving there's not much phone makers can do outside of adding better camera's and screens. In that scenario adding a different sensor (at some sacrifice) makes a ton of sense.

    Also innovative products aren't the most complicated. Take the most innovative piece of hardware of the past 2 years (IMO) the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is basically a tablet with attached controllers. Literally anyone could've made it, but only Nintendo was crazy enough to do so and succeed. But in order for the Switch to be created they needed to fail and learn lessons from the Wii U. You could also argue that if the Wii U hadn't failed we would've seen more Switch-like 'gaming tablets' a lot sooner.

    The same will happen with Apple. If the iPhone X is not as successful as they expect than the iPhone XI will improve on those issues. But who knows, maybe there's more to its product design than an 'ugly' black notch at the top and they've actually done some research that showed that people don't care about these things as much as we think they do.

    1 point
  • Razvan from EpicCodersRazvan from EpicCoders, almost 2 years ago

    Man that was harsh but it's kind of on point. I have the same feeling about the notch when looking at it and it's weird that they try to keep it visible as much as possible in software. They probably don't want to get people to hide it so it's becoming an iconic thing for Apple.

    1 point
  • Ryan Slama, over 1 year ago

    Well reasoned article, but the animated quote border squiggles are way too distracting.

    1 point
  • Joe BlauJoe Blau, almost 2 years ago

    AirPods are amazing though...

    0 points
  • Michael CioMichael Cio, almost 2 years ago

    Edgy.

    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, almost 2 years ago

    I am not surprised at all. All the elves have left middle-earth. The legendary UI/UX designers at Apple are now part of more modern, looking foward companies like Facebook, Tesla, Google. Apple started to die when Jobs kicked out people on iOS 6 launch. It all started there.

    0 points