More mistakes than usual

I have a shameful secret to confess. I have a hard time reading analog clocks and watches. It’s not that I can’t read them, it’s that it takes me significantly longer to visually parse and comprehend the meaning of analog clocks than it does for me to do the same with a digital clock. I’m not talking minutes here, just fractions of a second. But when I just want to know what time it is, the difference is frustrating to me as a clock user.

iOS 6 is like a wonderful digital clock, and now with iOS 7 I feel like I’m looking at an analog clock (even after a few months of prerelease testing). Many people argue that analog clocks are more beautiful than digital clocks, but that’s not the point. The point is that it takes me just a fraction of a second longer to parse and comprehend what I see than it needs to. The difference is frustrating.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a simple case of decrepit old man resists change, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what this is. In the past 20 years I’ve used every operating system Apple has released, usually upgrading every compatible machine as quickly as I possibly could. Each new OS version comes with an updated look and feel, and a slew of technical improvements under the hood.

The technical improvements are always, always for the better. This is the reason I upgrade.

The changes to the look and feel are mostly better, but there are a few exceptions. I can proudly say I hated the brushed metal appearance in Mac OS X long before it was cool to hate. When Apple does make a mistake in this area, their response has always been the same:

  • Tone it down slightly in the following release. Don’t fix it completely because that would be admitting it’s a mistake. And Apple doesn’t make mistakes.

  • Tone it down significantly in the following release. Stick to your guns. This was not a mistake.

  • Fix it properly in the following release. After three major releases people have forgotten when it was even introduced.

Back to iOS 7. As always, iOS 7 has improvements under the hood that are too spectacular to be ignored. This is the reason I will upgrade. But as far as the look and feel changes, Apple has made far more mistakes than usual in this update.

It’s because I like you, I don’t want to be with you. It’s a
complicated emotion.

Marlin (Finding Nemo)