The number of times we’ve heard the words ‘retina display’ over the last two years is, well, huge. And now Apple has decided to spice up its operating system with fancy new vivid colours and more modern looking apps to take advantage of it. Lots of apps have had an overhaul, including the Game Center, where, according to senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, ‘we just completely ran out of green felt and wood – this has got to be good for the environment’.
If you’re in the dark on why that comment is funny, it’s because the trend among software designers had been to make textures in software look semi-real (i.e. felt and wood). But the new iOS bucks this trend with unnaturally vivid colours and funky textures – trying to give the phone a more space age look.
If you’re not a tech obsessive and don’t really care, there are still a couple of cool things that might catch your attention. One new gimmick changes the angle of your background picture as you tilt the phone using a sensor, so that the apps look like they are printed on the glass and the photo behind is like the view through a window. OK that was pretty hard to explain – but here’s a link to Apple’s keynote speech where you can see the thing in action.
The new software will also incorporate Apple’s new iRadio, which is set to take on Last.fm and Spotify by allowing users to listen to music on demand by paying a monthly subscription. It is thought among the tech geek community that the service could be as disruptive to the music industry as iTunes was back in the day. Apple might be copying the other music-on-demand services, but seeing as it hosts 575 million iTunes accounts, the ability to push the product out and make it popular is certainly there. The record companies need to watch their backs again.
The phone also gets a new ‘control centre’ which puts all the main functions in one place including music, brightness, texting, notifications and a bunch of other stuff. MT will be sure to review the new system when it ships in the autumn…