UI Stories July 1, 2015

Like many other people, I signed up for Apple Music yesterday because it was intriguing and free. Having skipped earlier subscription music services, I didn’t have Spotify playlists to worry about losing or importing, and I hadn’t experienced truly unlimited access to a giant music selection before. Apple Music’s sign-up process turned out to be great: attractive, simple, and just personal enough to learn my tastes without feeling creepy. It’s also likely to win long-term customers: sign up your family, and after 3 months, someone’s going to insist on keeping Apple Music (or just forget to cancel it).

But once the sign-up process is over, Apple Music repeats a mistake that Apple made earlier this year with the Apple Watch: throwing users into the deep end of a big new pool without adequate guidance. Despite all the talk of importantly human-curated content, Apple Music is oddly and robotically silent when it should be actively guiding new customers through a brand new service. In prior years, Apple held back products until they were polished enough that anyone could use them immediately. These days, Apple releases major products with enough rough software edges that customers and reviewers are (rightfully) complaining about learning curves and unintuitive interfaces.

As of today, Apple has a new VP of User Interface Design, Alan Dye, who is taking over software-side responsibilities from Apple’s vaunted design chief Jony Ive. In light of the Apple Watch and Apple Music launches, both of which were criticized for unnecessarily complex user interfaces, I’d respectfully suggest to Mr. Dye that fixing this problem should be a top priority…

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UI Stories April 2, 2015

WIRED has posted a new story on the Apple Watch, which revolves around interviews with Apple human interface designer Alan Dye and Apple’s VP Technology Kevin Lynch, who heads Apple Watch software. The piece shines new light on the foundation of the smartwatch project at Apple as well as some new details about the product — which ships later this month.

Amusingly, Lynch did not know what he would be working on when he accepted the Apple job. He walked into the role with the project already underway; early ‘experiments’ from the iPod team with click-wheels and such. Dye says that the idea for a watch blossomed during design meetings for iOS 7, Apple’s major software overhaul.

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UI Stories October 21, 2014

Vine iPhone update adds iPhone 6/Plus enhancements, iOS 8 share extension, & more

The Vine iPhone app today received an updated to version 3.0.0 and with it comes UI enhancements and full support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users. Also included in today’s update is a new share extension for iOS 8, allowing users to take advantage of the new feature for quickly sharing videos from camera roll or other apps to Vine.

Other improvements include a new “+” button for quickly following channels and having featured posts appear in your home feed. The company said it also “updated the app to look great on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus,” which allows the app to display more content on the larger displays of the new iPhones. 

The updated Vine app for iPhone is available on the App Store. A full list of what’s new in version 3.0.0 is below:

What’s New in Version 3.0.0

This release is packed with updates that help you find great Vines to watch, take advantage of iOS 8 extensions, and improve Vine for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. – Follow channels: Tap the new “+” button at the top of any Vine channel to get select featured posts from that channel right in your home feed! – Share extension: With the new iOS 8 share extension, it’s easier than ever to share videos directly from your camera roll or other video apps with Vine. – Easy on the eyes: We’ve also updated the app to look great on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

UI Stories April 7, 2014

Amazon updates Instant Video iOS app with iOS 7 inspired redesign

Amazon has just updated its Amazon Instant Video app, which provides access to its catalogue of over 40k movies and TV shows, with a redesign of the entire UI inspired by iOS 7.

Amazon isn’t listing any new features in the iTunes release notes other than bug fixes and stability improvements, but you’ll also find a new icon and some UI tweaks that come as part of the new redesign. The overall navigation of the app remains the same but buttons and icons within have been flattened along with streamlining of other UI elements to make the app fit in with Apple’s iOS 7 redesign.

The redesign isn’t just for iPhone users, as the iPad version has been given a similar facelift:

The updated Amazon Instant Video app version 2.4 is available now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.

UI Stories October 11, 2013

Yelp iOS app replaces Home tab w/ new toolbar for quick access to reviews, photos, and check-ins

Yelp updated its iOS app today with a slightly tweaked UI that makes it easier for users to quickly post reviews, photos and check-in at locations. The app is getting rid of its old Home tab and now by default loads up the “Nearby” tab. In addition, the the tab in the middle along the bottom of the app now launches quick access to Check In, Review, and Photo buttons (as pictured above).

The updated app also includes “larger notification photos, better scrolling performance, updated icons and animations.”

What’s New in Version 7.2.0

New in v7.2 – We said goodbye to our homepage and hello to a beautiful new navigation that makes it even easier for you to discover great places nearby, add photos and reviews, and check in to your favorite businesses. – We also added tons of polish to our app, including larger notification photos, better scrolling performance, updated icons and animations, and a whole lot more!

UI Stories October 8, 2013

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