It’s our own fault. We all asked Apple to dramatically change the look and feel of the iOS operating system, which, until yesterday, remained largely unchanged since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. And we all complained when it didn’t do that with iOS 6 this time last year.
But I can’t help but feel the Cupertino company is now punishing us for all those requests, and all that complaining we did before about its skeuomorphic designs.
When it comes to design, iOS 7 is vastly different to its predecessors. It still functions in much the same way — though there are some new features you’ll need to get used to — but it looks completely different. As soon as you power it up for the first time the minimalistic feel is staring back at you, but it isn’t until you’ve completed the setup process and arrived at your home screen that you want to vomit in your own lap.
iOS is a fantastic platform, but as it approaches its sixth birthday, it’s in desperate need of a lick of paint. If you jailbreak your devices, then you don’t need to sit and wait for Apple to administer that, because you can take the design refresh into your own hands by theming.
The only issue with that is finding a theme that’s as beautiful as the hardware it’s running on. There aren’t many out there that fit this description, but iMIUI from Xiaomi is one of them.
A very long three years ago, one of the very first appcessories we ever saw was this crazy-looking hardware clock that mimicked a virtual clock on the face of the iPhone. Whee! Yeah, we weren’t too impressed either. But these guys have the right idea about how to make the iPhone a better clock: add a massive snooze button.
While most of Apple’s stock iOS apps are pretty handy, there are a few that the large majority of us probably never open. I’m talking about apps like Stocks, Voice Memos, and Weather (which always seems to be inaccurate in the U.K.). Unfortunately, the Cupertino company doesn’t allow us to remove these, so the only way to do it was to jailbreak. Until now.
Thanks to a nifty new web app, you can temporarily remove stock iOS icons from your device without jailbreaking. Here’s how.
Mondaine should have exclusive access to this design.
Apple struck a deal with Swiss railway operator SBB earlier this month that allows the Cupertino company to continue using its iconic railway clock design for the clock app on the iPad. It seems, however, that SBB may not have had the right to license its design to Apple after all.
You see, a clock and watch manufacturer called Mondaine has an exclusive license with SBB that means it should be the only company with the rights to the design. Mondaine says it was “surprised” to hear that SBB had been granted Apple a license, too.
What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. Apple gives other companies a lot of flack for ripping off their intellectual property, but in iOS 6, they ripped off the design of a classic clock designed by Hans Hilfiker which has been both trademarked and copyrighted by the Swiss Federal Railway Service.
It seems unlikely that the transgression was willful, but it was still sloppy of Apple to not do their due dilligence when it came to researching the clock, or seeing if its design was trademarked.
Luckily, Apple has now chosen to do the right thing, having reached out to to the Swiss Federal Railway Service, who today announced that the companies have signed a licensing deal for the famous clock. It’s unknown what the terms are, but it’s good to see Cupertino do the right thing here.
Just retooled for the iPhone 5, Vlock is a free app that displays a bold Android-ish clock, with date, on your iPhone. It’ll also let you play videos through the clock in a kind of video version of the iPad’s Picture Frame mode, complete with loop and transitions. Combine this with the app’s lockscreen feature, and you’ve got a faux animated Android-y lockscreen. All without a jailbreak.
Do you find yourself getting lost in activities on your computer, forgetting to check the time, missing appointments, even? If you get lost in a video game or Facebook surfing session often, you might consider having your Mac announce the time out loud, like a town crier in the days of old.
All it takes is a quick trip into the System Preferences. That, and the ability to have the sound up on your Mac while you’re working at it. Otherwise, if a Mac speaks the time in a speaker-off situation, does it really exist? Wait. Scratch that.