BBC reporter Joel Moors gets to meet with Jonathan Ive, but not do an interview. I hope that Apple might say more when they are ready, but history indicates probably not.
Finally, accepting that a sit-down interview wouldn’t happen, I asked if I could have a photo with him.
The proper photographer offered to use my camera, but after a brief effort, I suggested he use my iPhone instead.
“Oh, you’ve got the new one,” said the man who designed it, “how are you finding it?”
“I like it. The battery life is good. The screen’s great. But I am having a bit of an issue with the signal.”
He asked for more. I carried on, “If I hold it in my left hand, the signal drops.”
“But you’ve not had a dropped call?” “No, I haven’t.”
“I could talk about this all day,” he told me, “but I can’t”.
“iPhone man Jonathan Ive returns to Staffordshire roots” at news.bbc.co.uk
It really feels like there’s more to the antenna issue that meets the eye. Anandtech’s iPhone 4 review finds that even though the signal drops precipitously, the iPhone 4 was still able to keep calls alive. Engadget also reported that they had fewer dropped calls. And yet, I think it is likely that there is also a physical issue with the antenna being exposed, making it more likely to attenuate the signal. There are all kinds of analysis out there, more than I can assimilate. I know that I have been able to reproduce the signal drop, but it hasn’t seemed to affect my usage much. I have trouble with data when the signal is at 1 bar, but those were often areas that I had trouble before, so I’m not sure if the phone can be blamed. On my train commute, there are sections where I can’t get data to go through even when I have 5 bars, so who knows.
Maybe there are improvements that can be made in the software that will alleviate some of the issues caused by the hardware. I hope so. There’s speculation that it has something to do with how fast the phone switches to a stronger signal. I had a strange signal experience this morning. I was reading Instapaper on the subway, with no signal. This is normal, but when I left the subway station, it did not seem to pick up the signal again. I got all the way to my office and still no signal. Flipped to airplane mode and back and got my usual 5 bars.
The icon for the newly named Twitter for iPhone app has been generating a lot of strong feelings, it seems. Alternative mock ups have popped up by Gerardo Diaz and Josh Helmsley, with many comments from other users chiming in. Some of these comments express a distaste that rises to a level I would not have expected, saying they went back to Tweetie, are looking for a new Twitter client, or won’t display the icon on their first app screen anymore. I appreciate a good iPhone app icon as much as the next one and have been known to pass up some software due to an atrocious icon. But I just can’t see what’s so horrible about this icon. For that matter, I liked the original Tweetie icon over the silver Tweetie 2 icon.
Some Twitter reps have commented on the above mock ups. It’s nice to see a reasonable discourse about it, and I’m glad they are responding to their user base. There’s some back and forth on Josh Helmsley’s post between Mark Otto (a Twitter UI designer) and Matt Gist (a designer, but not for Twitter) about how the new icon was meant to fit in with the basic iPhone apps, with the white icon on a brightly colored background. Matt says, essentially, “it is not the concept that is at fault, it is the execution.” I’m no designer, but I agree. The idea of the icon is fine, but there is something off putting about the gradients and shading, which I could never have described. As Matt puts it, “the execution is down-right terrible when it comes to lighting, the heavy upper glare and the bland shadow emanating from the bird have no place in the crisp, candied example given by the iPod, MMS and phone utilities.” Mark said they will try to improve the icon, so hopefully it will turn into a better version of itself along the way.
Several people, including John Gruber, have said that it reminds them of uninformed or spam Twitter users, since it is similar to the icon Twitter now displays for users who haven’t set their own. I can see the logic there, but I guess I don’t see as many of those accounts, because it doesn’t provoke such a negative reaction to me.
I liked what Tim Van Damme had to say, which also aligns with my thoughts. Basically, yeah, the icon’s kind of off, but it’s not that bad, people!