New Apple stuff: the good, the bad and the ugly.

  • The good: iTunes Radio.

I checked it out yesterday morning after I downloaded iTunes 11.1 on my MacBook Pro. I don’t know how it compares to Pandora or the like, but for what it is, it’s pretty damn good. I was listening to a couple of stations this morning and both of them were great. The first one I tried was the Progressive Metal Radio station, and I was rewarded with Dream Theater, Hammerfall, Rhapsody of Fire, Symphony X, Fates Warning, and Kamelot. A bit later it was the Classic Country Radio station, which served up Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride, the Oak Ridge Boys, Lefty Frizzell and Porter Wagoner.

The free version is subsidized with ads; you get one 20- or 30-second ad about every six songs or so. IF you subscribe to iTunes Match, the service that allows you to upload your personal music to iCloud and stream it from there, iTunes Radio is ad-free. For my money I’ll take the version with ads. You’ll need iTunes 11.1 as well as Mac OS X 10.7 or later; Windows users need at least Windows XP Service Pack 2.

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  • The bad: Fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5C/5S.

Why? Securitah, natch. Some dude made a joke to me about how people would be hacking off thumbs to gain access to victims’ phones, and while that may be a bit farfetched, it’s probably not far off the mark to say that the tech itself could be hacked and used for all sorts of nefarious purposes, including but not limited to ID theft and facilitation of increased government surveillance.

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  • The ugly: The new iOS 7 GUI.

Oh my dear sweet Lord in heaven is it ever ugly. Childish and amateur, it looks like it was designed in MS Paint by a bored 5th-grader. Like a kid’s Fisher-Price toy phone as opposed to the real thing.  Like Jony Ive just googled clip art images and decided to incorporate them as icons, and the thematic similarities of those clip art images into the design in general. It looks like…like…the Microsoft Metro design as adopted by Apple. Horrid. I remember seeing Windows 8 and being utterly horrified at just how visually unappealing it was. It is just extremely discouraging to see Apple going down this path. Seriously, what was so wrong with the elegant skeuomorphic design they had been going with since the introduction of the iPhone?

Apparently this was Ive’s first go-round with software design; he had previously been in charge of hardware design. Among other things, he designed the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. So it’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing; just the same, though, I hope and pray that his bosses don’t let him anywhere near Mac OS X if he has any of the same ideas for it that he did for iOS 7, because he quite obviously does not have an eye for software user interface design.

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One Response to “New Apple stuff: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

  1. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:

    Among other things, he designed the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the iPod Touch, and the iPad.

    So, the dude behind the sharp edges I’m always complaining about, and the ridiculously-easy-to-break iTouch fucked up something else and you’re surprised?

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