The Skeuomorphic-User-Interface Edition Friday, August 25, 2017

Why Are There So Many Knobs In Garage Band?, by John Lagomarsino, The Outline

Skeuomorphic design, where user interfaces emulate the appearance of physical objects, has been popular for pretty much the history of personal computing. The ideas of “files,” “folders,” and the “recycle bin” in Windows could be considered skeuomorphs, intended to help transition early computer users from analog to digital, as could the idea of an “inbox” and “outbox” in email and the paperclip that symbolizes attachments. More recently, a lot of early iOS apps were famous for their heavy-handed skeuomorphic elements, with felt textures and chunky drop shadows.

But no area of computing has so thoroughly gone for it more than audio software. The first Billboard #1 single that was recorded to a hard drive instead of tape was “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in 1999; 18 years later, in 2017, most audio software still looks like the designers attempted to replicate physical equipment piece for piece on a computer screen. Faders, switches, knobs, needles twitching between numbers on a volume meter — they’re all there. Except you have to control them with a mouse.

Stop Forcing Photographers To Use Your App And Start Designing Better, by Wasim Ahmad, Fstoppers

Panasonic’s Lumix Link app is a prime example. It’s an app that provides wireless functionality to many of Panasonic’s cameras. If someone bought Panasonic’s flagship camera four years ago, the GH3, they’d find themselves limping along with a buggy app that hasn’t been updated since 2013 on their iPhone. And with the next iOS update, it’s practically guaranteed to stop working entirely.

Apple, Citing U.S. Sanctions, Removes Popular Apps In Iran, by Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times

Officially, Apple has no presence in Iran. Because of American sanctions against the country, the company’s iPhones are not legally available for sale here, and Apple does not offer a version of its App Store in the country.


Now, Apple is moving aggressively to shut down Iranian apps. The crackdown here follows the company’s recent removal of apps in China that allowed residents to evade censors and gain access to the global internet, and were deemed illegal by the Chinese government.


Apple Stores To Host Star Wars: The Last Jedi Toys And AR Experience, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Beginning on Force Friday II, Apple Stores, along with other popular retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, will begin selling Star Wars: The Last Jedi merchandise and play host to Find the Force, which lasts through September 3. During that time, shoppers can use the Star Wars iOS app to scan in-store displays as part of an AR treasure hunt.

How To Generate One-time Passwords In 1Password To Increase Security, by Jeffrey Abbott, The Sweet Setup

Setting up two-factor authentication on your favorite cloud services is highly recommended. This step gives you another layer of protection against your password being stolen. Even if your password is compromised, two-factor authentication will keep them from gaining access to your accounts.

TimeCache For macOS Is On Your Side, by Aaron Lee, Apple World Today

With TimeCache -- now updated to version 9.0 and designed for professionals who bill clients for their time and expenses -- you can keep track of estimates, timed or manual entries, retainer billing, customizable invoices and reports, printing options, and flexible data entry options. It also offers tracking of all a user's computer activity and the ability to save fine-grained details with time and expense entries.


Apple Is Planning A 4K Upgrade For Its TV Box, by Mark Gurman and Anousha Sakoui, Bloomberg

Apple is planning to unveil a renewed focus on the living room with an upgraded Apple TV set-top box that can stream 4K video and highlight live television content such as news and sports, according to people familiar with the matter.

The updated box, to be revealed alongside new iPhone and Apple Watch models at an event in September, will run a faster processor capable of streaming the higher-resolution 4K content, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t yet public.

Apple To Build Iowa Data Center, Get $207.8 Million In Incentives, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple Inc will build a $1.375 billion data center in Waukee near Des Moines, Apple and Iowa officials said on Thursday, with $207.8 million in incentives approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Apple will purchase 2,000 acres (8.09 square km) of land in Waukee to build two data centers. The company will receive a $19.65 million investment tax credit for creating 50 jobs. There will be other jobs created during construction, but no numbers have been given yet.