Apple Pay Cash proves Apple hasn’t lost its attention to detail


Apple Pay Cash
Apple Pay has been a key service for Apple.
Photo: Apple

After several years of boring iPhone upgrades, buggy software updates, and design travesties like the Mac Pro and Magic Mouse, some might say Apple lost its attention to detail. But the mesmerizing design of Apple Pay Cash proves it is still alive and well in Cupertino.

Following its introduction at WWDC back in June, Apple Pay Cash finally popped up for the first time Tuesday in the iOS 11.2 public beta 2. It gives iOS users the ability to send cash to friends over iMessage, using the payment details they registered with Apple Pay.

The service competes with the likes of PayPal and Venmo, and for those who use iOS, it’s a much simpler solution. But it’s not the simplicity that users are in awe of; it’s the incredible attention to detail Apple put into designing the feature.

Apple Pay Cash cards are beautiful

When you receive cash, it automatically loads onto a virtual Apple Pay Cash card. You can use this to make payments, or withdraw it to your bank account. The virtual card is black, with shiny bubbles that radiate from its bottom edge.

When you tilt your iPhone, these bubbles change color to mimic iridescence. That’s the effect you see on certain shiny surfaces, like soap bubbles or seashells, which change color depending on the angle of view or illumination.

It makes your Apple Pay Cash card look like a real credit card. The same effect can be seen on the Apple Pay Cash vouchers that appear inside the Messages app when you send or receive money. This video posted by a former Apple designer showcases its beauty.

Some might say this is a return of skeuomorphism — the very thing Apple design chief Jony Ive and his team tried to eliminate with iOS 7. But when it’s this beautiful, I think it’s perfectly OK for virtual objects to mimic the look of their real-world counterparts.


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