Illustration in the App Store

We don’t see this particular flavor of artistic ambition from many companies today, especially tech companies. The predominant mode of product design almost exclusively favors templates and automation, what can be done without human intervention. The very idea of asking living, breathing art directors who need to be paid real salaries to hire living, breathing illustrators who also need to be paid a living wage in order to create so-called works of art that have no demonstrably reproducible effect on actual profits is outlandish, absurd even. The mere suggestion would get you laughed off of most design teams in Silicon Valley. Design in this century has little use for anything that can’t be quantified.

The App Store in a post iOS 11 world is pretty great. Over the last few updates we can even update apps from other accounts without having to login, which is a great thing for people like me because I use another account to try out games that aren’t available worldwide yet. One underrated aspect is the curation bit and while it is pretty terrible in India on the App Store, what I see on the UK and US store fronts is almost always great.

The images and iconography created for the editorial content are really nice. This post highlights that aspect of the App Store curation and I’m blown away by some of the details. This is one of those “only Apple” things and I mean that in the best possible way.



Google Looks Back at the Evolution of the Android Homescreen and Navigation

For Android’s 10th anniversary, we thought it’d be cool to look back and see how it’s evolved. As you can imagine, the operating system has had quite a transformation since 2008 — the year that Twilight hit theaters and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies was topping the charts.

You’ve probably noticed that over the last few weeks, there has been more Google coverage than usual. I’m a big fan of Google’s design philosophy and ever since I/O 2018, they’ve been releasing various design related tidbits that are worth highlighting.

Today, they have published a detailed look at how Android has evolved from when it had no chance of being featured here to where we are today. The Medium post has some nice GIFs showcasing the evolution of navigation on the platform.




Apple’s Inconsistencies in its Own iOS Apps

Benjamin Mayo takes a look at how inconsistent Apple is with its own design guidelines through iconography of the share sheet icon:

My gripe is there is no consistency, no structure or logic to this. Apps introduced later sometimes use rounded icons, sometimes not, sometimes create all-new custom glyphs of their own. Incredulously, you could open flagship apps like Messages, Mail and Safari1 and have no idea Apple was even playing with bold icons as a conceptual change. These apps adopted the iOS 11 large bold navigation bar title formats, but their icons and glyphs have stagnated for more than four years at this point.

This isn’t really new. I was just discussing with Preshit how few of Apple’s own apps I end up using on my iOS devices and how inconsistent their designs have been over the last few years. A lot of the subtle changes are good but inconsistencies like this are not good.


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