For those of you who own Apple devices and computers, you most likely have iCloud. iCloud stores files you use on a regular basis like photos, music, calendars, books, apps, so that you can stay connected to your content across devices. Recently, Apple also included other services like iMovie Theater, located inside the iMovie app, which enables you to store video files in the cloud, and iWork for iCloud, which gives you access to Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.
During WWDC, Apple introduced iCloud Drive, a greatly expanded cloud service that now stores files from just about every application on your Mac or iOS device. The most notable addition to this service is the inclusion of video files. If you agree to subscribe to the new iCloud Drive service during the installation of iOS 8, you will notice in settings that this service is currently in Beta. Tech bloggers made note of this right away, quickly alerting Apple users to avoid switching to iCloud Drive. As a service currently in beta, the warnings were warranted, mainly because iCloud Drive is not an extension of your previously iCloud service but a replacement. As a result, you will encounter some consistencies regarding files you can access from you Mac as opposed to your iPhone or iPad. In some cases, you may notice inconsistencies between devices as well.
Yosemite and iOS 8
The significance of having the new iCloud Drive service is to improve synchronization across your Mac and iOS devices. Unfortunately, iCloud Drive was released in a beta version, largely because the service was ONLY available to iOS devices, not the Mac. If, for example, you chose to upgrade to iCloud Drive, you simultaneously initiated a process that disabled access to iCloud projects, like keynote presentations from your Mac. For example, upon launching Keynote on my Mac, I received the following pop-up: Sorry iCloud Drive is not compatible with OS X Mavericks. Of course, I received the same error message on my Mac when I tried to access iMovie Theater projects in the cloud.
Problems, but not really
I discovered some problems with the transition from iCloud to iCloud drive. For example, I began to notice that I could access Keynote presentations from my iPhone 5S, but I could not access them from my iPad 3. This did not seem to have anything to due with the devices, but more with a delay in the transmission or transfer process. I also experienced the same problem with iMovie. I saved several projects and videos to the new iCloud Drive service using my iPhone, but I could not access them from my iPad. It took a week before I would find parity across devices.
In summary, the transition to iCloud Drive will include some growing pains. The process of transitioning from iCloud to iCloud Drive will not be complete until users are able to download Yosemite for the Mac. If you are not a Mac user, the process will just require a little bit of patience. If you are still in a panic, you can alleviate your fears by going to www.icloud.com.
Pixelmator 3.2 comes with some nice improvements, including a repair tool, lock layers, converting selections to shapes, and 16 bits per channel support. Check out the following video to see a screen recording of the latest features.
"People's interest is in the product, not in its authorship." - Jonathan Ive
In the tech blogosphere there appears to be an assault on what is termed "skeuomorphic design." The critics of Apple are claiming that a change is needed, so that Apple's designs can closely mirror Microsoft's - namely, creating a flatter, "cleaner" design.
Skeumorphic design has been defined by some as a stage for beginners. For example, in order to transition from an actual notepad to a digital one, skeuomophism aids the newbie in making the transition. Once the newbie has become acclimated to the new world order of design, he/she is prepared to embrace the concept of digital media, without relying on the aid of visual corollaries or digital replicas.
It appears that the "Age of Enlightenment" is still upon us. The debates that have emerged from the expectations of Apple's new design for iOS 7 - with Johnny Ive now leading all aspects of design, including hardware and software - mirror the age-old debates of rationalism versus empiricism. Since design will inevitably become a visible product, the rationalists in today's debate on skeuomorphism are appealing to a design that does not occupy a purely conceptual world, but one that comes closest to it. By avoiding any reference to material things, the empirical world of notepads, calculators and turntables, we are most apt to represent concepts more effectively (In art terms Minimalism and Pop Art come to mind).
Sound familiar? Unfortunately this represents a bias in design conceptions and has little to do with the practicality of design (how people use or become engaged with a product) and does not consider design in all its aspects - both two dimensional and three dimensional. Instead, we are being asked to choose a superior model over an inferior one. It should not be a surprise to anyone that this debate is engendered by the PC world, tech specialists, and Microsoft enthusiasts.
Ironically, the argument for a flatter design is not coming exclusively from those who are "outside" the world of Apple, but from Apple's chief designer, Jonathan Ive. "People's interest is in the product, not in its authorship" is a quote by Ive that appears to support the rationalist argument. If people are interested in "authorship," they are not interested in pictorial details that reveal too much about the "author's" subjectivity. Design, in this sense, must be objective.
I support Apple's approach to creating a more balanced integration of skeuomorphism and flat design, but I do not favor a total elimination of the former, which seems to be the argument proposed today. If Apple chooses to follow this line of reasoning, bolstered by isolated quotes from Ive, I suspect that it may be to Apple's own detriment. Skeuomorphism, I argue, appeals more to the subjectivity of the person using Apple products, and thereby aids in establishing a personal connection. Otherwise, we risk becoming an anonymous mass of automatons embracing design for design's sake. The Kantian "I" is neither objective nor subjective. And while that is clever from an intellectual standpoint, it is deleterious to the user who wants to make a personal connection to Apple products. "My Apple Podcast" is a testament to that.
Steve Jobs was a genius who laid the foundation for Apple's success. Part of that success has been attributed to the successful integration of flat and sleek product designs and skeuomorphic, pictorial elegance. This integration is what has separated Apple from its competitors. If Apple departs from this approach, Apple will lose some of its originality.
The latest 4.3 update enables you to publish and curate the music you love on Facebook, including the ability to customize what you share. You can now tap on the album artwork to view additional details about the artist. By swiping to the left, you have easier access to sharing and saving music.
Host of My Apple Podcast.