Tag Archives: Apple

Our Favorite Hidden Features in iOS 7

The long-awaited iOS 7 update has come. And gone. It’s been a week, and the new design has been the talk of the town: thin type, blurred overlays, and a home screen with depth. But what about the function? The details? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite aspects of the latest and greatest Apple update.

Swipe to Close Safari Tabs


Safari has a new 3D interface to scroll through your tabs, as you’ve probably noticed, with “X”s on the upper left for closing a tab. It’s straightforward, but if you’re deep in the internet rabbit hole and have lots of tabs to close, save some time by swiping that tab away to the left.

See Timestamps!


No more vague idea of what time a message was sent or received. Touch a speech bubble in any conversation and swipe to the left, revealing those handy little timestamps.

Fix that Shortened Battery Life


An added convenience in iOS 7 is that by default, apps can download new content in the background using WiFi or cellular. It’s nice, but if you’re stretching your batter life as-is, you might want to dive into the Background Refresh section of your general settings.

Customize Your Vibration


Inside Ringtone options, Create New Vibration allows you to set your own buzzin’. Not necessary or particularly useful? Also it isn’t new, but we didn’t know about it until now.

Train Siri


You have to appreciate her attempts, but how often has Siri majorly missed the mark when it comes to pronouncing any words that aren’t in the dictionary? Just say “that’s not how you pronounce that,” and run through a quick exercise with her. Problem solved.

Any hidden features you’ve found useful? Let us know in the comments below.

image credits: Tech Crunch and The Verge

Falling Flat or Flat Out Awesome? – What iOS 7 Will Mean for Designers…

“Technology will continue to disrupt and mutate our lives. Our job is not to resist the mutation, but embrace it and figure out how the differences can work together.” – UX Magazine

ios 7

Case in point to the above was last week’s iOS 7 unveiling at WWDC.  “iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone,” proclaimed CEO Tim Cook to attendees. “It’s packed with tons of new features, and a stunning new user interface.”

Technology analysts are loving the new features, but others are calling it a threat to existing apps and services.

With the radical redesign that’s heavily influenced by flat design, there’s a lot of buzz about what this will mean for designers and how Apple’s new announcement can have a significant effect on iOS app interface design which may be a concern for designers.

We’ve scoured the commentary on the web to share a few articles we thought you’d find interesting:

  • iOS 7 Changes Everything – In an insightful article by @Dan_Rowinski he summarizes how iOS 7 changes everything for app designers.  Read Dan’s full article here:   How Apple’s iOS 7 Changes Everything For App Designers
  • 10 Things Designers Need to Know – A recent CreativeBloq piece outlines what designers need to know including the introduction of transparency and translucency for interface designers.
  • Apple’s Guide – In addition, Apple has produced an extensive guide to designing for iOS 7, as mentioned in TechCrunch last week

What do you think? Are you ready for iOS 7?

When Branding Takes the Wrong Turn – The Ad That Didn’t Win Gold…

Creating your brand.   Whether it’s your personal brand as a creative – or the brand you contribute to creating while on the job – a brand can be the expression of a product or service that will set you and your company apart.  Pretty important and powerful stuff…wouldn’t you agree?

So I was very perplexed recently when I saw a particular act of branding during the Summer Olympic Games, and it grabbed my attention – but not in a good way.

You probably know what I’m referring to…the new Apple ads.

There was just something about these ads that I couldn’t put my finger on.  My first reaction was…”Oh, that’s an Apple ad?  Hmmm.”  As I saw them a few times more, my inner voice started sounding even more perplexed, scratching its head and saying, “Huh?  What IS this?”

And I wasn’t alone.

The essence of Apple technology and the way their branding appealed to the consumer gave us confidence in our user experience and the ease of use of our Apple products – from creating in the workplace, to depending on our iPhones to jogging with our iPod.

So why is Apple now alluding to the fact that we’re dumb, their products are difficult to use, and this Genius guy is getting annoying, (and we usually love Geniuses!)

Many are saying that Steve Jobs wouldn’t have approved of this ad, and it’s undermining the tone and essence of the Apple brand he created.

What do you think?  Is this “thinking differently?”