icons Stories October 1, 2015

iostextfree2

Is Apple considering another round of major changes to iOS’s Home screen? If watchOS and tvOS are any indication, the answer could be “yes.” Earlier this year, Apple launched the Apple Watch with a purely text-free Home screen, requiring users to identify 20-some initial apps (and manually-added third-party apps) by icon designs alone. This month, it will release the fourth-generation Apple TV with a refreshed UI, again almost entirely eliminating below-app text in favor of redesigned icons with 3D depth.

While it would be easy to write off Apple’s changes to text labels as one-off decisions for “really small screen” and “really big screen” devices, they collectively raise an interesting question: if developers properly redesigned their iOS icons, would text labels — a staple of graphical user interfaces for decades — really be necessary any more? I’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons below…

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icons Stories June 11, 2015

Poll: What do you think of Apple’s new “Technicolor Yawn” iTunes + Music icon?

When Apple Music launches around the world on June 30th, the icon for Music on iOS and iTunes on OS X is set to change from the pinkish orange version we’ve had since iOS 7 and OS X 10.10 to one drenched in technicolor (yawn). Apple generally only changes the icon for Music and iTunes after a major feature addition or overall redesign, and the idea here is to attract attention and have more people look within the app to discover Apple Music. But are you a fan of the new icon design?

icons Stories November 8, 2013

Apple copies popular collage app’s icon for iPhoto Web Journals in iOS 7

Apple seems to have “been inspired” by popular collage app Pic Stitch  when redesigning iPhoto for iOS 7. Taking a look at the share sheet in iPhoto reveals the icon for Photo Journals as being almost identical to that of the Pic Stitch for iOS icon, save for a quick 90˚ rotation and a color swap. What’s more, both Pic Stitch and iPhoto Journals perform very similar functions, allowing you to build photo collages to share with your friends.

We’ve reached out to the developers of Pic Stitch for comment.

icons Stories June 18, 2013

Facebook iOS app updated with emotions for status updates, better control over sharing

Facebook updated its iPhone and iPad app today with a couple new features. Users can now attach a number of different emoticons to status updates organized into several categories based on emotion, content, and location. For example, the “Feeling” category will allow users to attach an emoticon next to a message like “Im feeling happy,” while the “Watching” and “Listening to” sections let users link to Facebook profiles associated with content they want to share.

You can also now start a conversation with photos you’ve received in messages and Facebook says the updated app includes the ability to “Easily change who can see something you’ve shared.”

What’s New in Version 6.2

• Add icons to status updates to show what you’re feeling, reading, watching and more (English only) • Easily change who can see something you’ve shared • Start a new conversation with photos you receive in messages • Bug fixes

icons Stories June 14, 2013

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UPDATE: Apple’s site has reverted to the current icons present in iOS 7 beta. 

Apple has quietly changed some of the icons on its official iOS 7 website, making notable changes to the Weather, Passbook, and Reminders apps. iOS 7’s icons, which have been subject to much scrutiny and disapproval from various designers, have been one of the largest complaints about iOS 7 so far.

The icons, which can currently only be viewed on Apple’s site using a mobile device, most notably show a completely redesigned weather app icon, ditching the clouds and sun found in the current iOS 7 beta, in favor of the live temperature, something users have been waiting for for years.

Phil Schiller previously noted on Twitter that showing live weather on the iOS home screen would “waste battery,” but this is an improvement Apple has been working on for some time.

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icons Stories June 13, 2013

Just a few days later, Android users already mimicking iOS 7 icons and Parallax

From 9to5Google:

Some iOS users might not be too happy about the big design changes in iOS 7, but Android users are already finding ways to get a few of the new features on their non-Apple phones. The image above shows a set of icons created by one Android user to mimic the new home screen icons on iOS 7 (via Cnet).

Android users can grab the icons through a download on Dropbox and use Nova Launcher or other home screen replacement apps to get Apple’s controversial new look on their Android device now.

That new 3D parallax effect Apple showed off for iOS 7? Android users have also found a way to get a similar 3D effect, as pointed out by AndroidCommunity in the video below:

The 3D Image Live Wallpaper seen in the video above has been on Google Play since November, but you’ll have to judge for yourself to see if it compares to the new parallax feature in iOS 7.

icons Stories February 1, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 10.51.38 AMThe Federal Trade Commission released a report today that recommends how owners of mobile platforms can better inform consumers about how their data is being handled. The FTC named a number of companies in its report, including: Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft, as well as “application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations.”

The recommendations follow the FTC updating its online child privacy law to require parental consent before collecting data from children under the age of 13. It also came as Path agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement to the FTC forviolations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protections Act. Path posted a response to the FTC settlement on its website.

In the report, titled “Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust Through Transparency,” the FTC issued a number of recommendations. The FTC recommended that all platform owners “Provide just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their affirmative express consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content like geolocation.” It recommended app developers take the same measures in addition to having “a privacy policy and make sure it is easily accessible through the app stores.” The report also suggested that companies implement a ” a one-stop “dashboard” into their operating systems so consumers can easily view how their data is being handled by specific apps.

Other recommendations the FTC asked Apple and others to implement include new icons that “depict the transmission of user data” and a “Do Not Track” option for users to easily opt out of their data being sent to third parties.

“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report.  Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment.  Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers,” the report states.

A full list of the recommendations made by the FTC for mobile platform owners, advertising agencies, and app developers is below: expand full story

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