Parallax 

I can’t remember a more controversial Apple keynote.[1]

While the original iPhone announcement or even the move to Intel were exciting, they weren’t as controversial as this year’s WWDC, it seems.

OS X Mavericks seems like a home run.[2] The now 13 year-old OS has received vastly-updated memory and power consumption subsystems that more closely reflect the needs of notebook users, while new Features like Maps and a revised Notification Center should make regular users happy.

The Mac Pro, while lacking in the internal upgradability of the old model, is poised to be the most powerful Mac again, and in a big way. Plus, it looks like the PC Darth Vader probably had under his desk, which is really just a bonus in my book.

iOS 7, however, has some people lighting their hair on fire. Most developers I’ve talked to are excited about things like background updating and Sprite Kit and are anxious to begin work on making their apps really shine with the new APIs.

Many are worried about how their apps will fit in iOS 7’s new UI paradigm. Apps that sport mostly custom UIs may be fine (albeit some may feel heavy at first), but those developers who use standard controls intermixed with their own have some real work to do in the coming months.

The look and feel of iOS 7 is polarizing, to be sure. I’ve talked to just as many people who genuinely dislike the new UI as those who love it. While I do believe iOS 7’s UI — as it stands today — has some problems, I think Apple will sort the real issues with legibility and accessibility out, but my gut says things like the neon colors, text-only buttons and transparency are here to stay. It’s polarizing, but most big, bold choices are when it comes to things like interface design.

The company has to jump forward with its products, and that inevitably means people are going to be sad or upset.

Developers and users may think they face a choice here: either move with the tide, or dig in and refuse to accept that something as fundamental as how iOS looks has changed. In reality, Apple’s rolling on is something that cannot be stopped. It’s time to evolve for many, no matter how hard it might be.

The word parallax really sums up this week’s news. It is defined as:

the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions, e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera

Tell me that doesn’t sum up the other 1.2 billion articles about WWDC in your RSS reader.


  1. The 1997 Macworld with Bill Gates on screen and the introduction of OS X in 2000 might be the two exceptions. (If you haven’t seen John Siracusa’s coverage of the betas, you really should.)  ↩
  2. The name is weird, though, right?  ↩