Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Feb 2013 09:04 UTC
Apple John Gruber illustrates the dangers of not having a clue about history: "The utter simplicity of the iOS home screen is Apple's innovation. It's the simplest, most obvious 'system' ever designed." Thanks for playing.
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BallmerKnowsBest
Member since:
2008-06-02

I'm seriously starting to think that Poe's Law should be renamed Gruber's Law.

Initial reaction before reading TFA: bullshit, that's not an Apple innovation even in the loosest sense of the term. Take the text-based menu from DOS-based Novell networks (or welcome menu from any old BBS), replace the text labels with icons & use touch instead of the arrow key to activate options, and you have the iOS home screen. Hell, I've got an old PC kicking around somewhere with GEOS/GeoWorks installed on it, which boots to a screen showing... a simple grid of icons that represent "apps" - and that thing's so old that it has a 286 CPU & the CMOS uses a AA battery pack.

Reaction after reading TFA: yep, about what I expected. Also, the Grube' makes the common mistake of treating "less is more" as an absolute - the mere lack of features is not a compelling feature in and of itself (if it were, people would still be using AOL).

Quoth the Grube':

"It’s the simplest, most obvious 'system' ever designed."

I might take that seriously, if it weren't for the dozens of times that friends/relatives/etc have brought me their iProduct in a panic, because they somehow made all of their icons start jumping around like caffeinated Chihuahuas and can't figure out how to make it stop.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Do you remember AOL? Its problem wasn't a lack of features.

Even though I'm not a fan of Windows phone, It seems like its a great deal simpler and more obvious how to get and use information than the static icons of ios.

Reply Parent Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Do you remember AOL?


Despite my best efforts, yes. And now that I think about it, the iOS home screen is very reminiscent of the welcome screen from old versions of AOL, E.g.

http://codinghorror.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a85dcdae970b012877705ba497...

Its problem wasn't a lack of features.


Do you remember AOL? To pick one random example, it's mail client couldn't even display the "From" name for incoming messages, and just showed the address instead - and it wasn't capable of setting a "From" name for outgoing messages either. Even Pegasus Mail for DOS had that functionality.

Lack of features may not have been the problem that ultimately killed AOL as an ISP, but it certainly was a problem. Hell, even AOL themselves released released standalone applications that had more features than the equivalent functionality in the AOL client (E.g. AIM).

Reply Parent Score: 4