Inner-vation: Design goes beyond the shell


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The Macalope is all for job mobility, he just wishes it would stop being used as a cudgel against Apple any time some former employee says something about the company.

“Former Apple Executive Says Company Stalling in Design Innovations Following Death of Steve Jobs.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Chris Adamson.)

Former Apple and Samsung executive. Might be relevant information.

A recent report by The Wall Street Journal has taken a look into the smartphone design war happening between Apple and Samsung, suggesting that the latter company has begun edging out the former with the design of the Galaxy S8.

Oh, for sure. If you have any doubts that Samsung is super-duper and number one at the whole design thing, just check out this series of tweets from The Verge’s Dan Seifert in which he tries out the Samsung S8’s ability to unlock a Windows PC and goes from “Wow! This is great!” to “nvm this is crap” in about 35 minutes.

If that doesn’t convince you, then maybe the fact that Samsung installs crapware like Peel Remote on some of its phones by default.

Clicking the advertisement unlocked my phone without pin, a major security breach. Now my phone sometimes doesn’t request pin to unlock.

This is design. It’s crap design, design that cedes your experience (and data) to some third party that paid Samsung to get on their phones, but it’s design nonetheless.

Also, wasn’t there something else related to how their phones were designed that Samsung screwed up recently? What was that?

Huh. Just not coming to the Macalope. And a web search of news reports about it turns up nothing. Oh, well.

It couldn’t have been a big deal, anyway, since everyone seems so eager to shove it down the memory hole like a rabid beaver trying home invasion via the loo.

Even if you thought Samsung’s phones look nicer, hardware alone doesn’t determine design. You can’t lay one company’s phone down against another’s and, without unlocking them, decided which is better designed. That’s not how design works. That’s not how things work. It’s not even how soup works.

Also, surprise, Apple makes more than just smartphones. AirPods may look a little odd in your ears, but the user experience is terrific. And the attention to detail in the design of the HomePod appears to be pretty nice as well.

And what’s the purported solution to Samsung’s fictional design lead? Cramming in features.

For Apple to outdo Samsung on design, analysts said, it would need a new distinguishing feature, like a fingerprint sensor beneath the display rather than a physical home button.

Adding features does nothing if it doesn’t make the user experience better. Apple has shown it understands this. Samsung and analysts have shown they don’t.

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