Apple’s recently announced iOS7 has taken an, ahem, interesting turn in terms of its visual design. As the innovation tide has turned inexorably in favour of their arch rivals Android and Windows Phone, Apple have needed to do something to freshen up their 6-year-old iOS interface to keep abreast of modern mobile design trends. Out of fashion are the realistic lighting and skeuomorphic textures of 2007 and — following in the footsteps of Microsoft’s Metro and Google’s Holo — in are flat colour and modern, vector-based UIs. The recent efforts of Apple’s much-lauded head designer Jonathan “Jony” Ive have come in for some criticism, however — ranging from ‘simply confusing‘ to ‘very Marmite‘. Despite the obvious design cues and features borrowed from other mobile OSes, however, there is a definite motif that shines through in the iOS7 design — gradients, gradients and more gradients. Oh my, the gradients.
Predictably, a certain facet of the internet populace has pounced on this fact almost to the point that it has become a meme. One of the results is Jony Ive Redesigns Things. The Great Designer turns his hand to all manner of items, from motorway signage to bananas, and the results are hilarious.
If you’ve glanced your eye across the technology pages of any big news website over the past year or so you might have heard of the Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer designed for low-cost computer science education. The increase in availability of powerful but compact computer hardware brought about by the smartphone revolution means that the creators of the Pi have managed to keep the cost down to an incredible £32, which gets you a barebones PC capable of running a complete Linux distribution. A few more pounds for a USB adaptor, SD card and peripherals and you’ve got a complete PC for around the £50 mark (there are also starter kits available for about £50 which take much of the geekery out of setting up the Pi, making it a bit more accessible for the less technically-inclined).
This is obviously great for teaching kids how to programme (it even runs BBC BASIC — 80s flashback, anyone?) but the Pi’s uses extend far beyond education. Because of its diminutive price tag and incredible flexibility, people have used the Pi to automate a coffee machine by text message, build a supercomputer with Lego, create a ‘BeetBox’, monitor tits and build a fully-featured home theatre setup.
This latter use is my recommendation — a Raspberry Pi running XBMC (with iPlayer, 4OD, Youtube, Vimeo etc built in), connected via HDMI to my TV, using an original Xbox DVD remote and running the web-based Transmission torrent client and Samba for downloading and network storage, respectively. Geek heaven.
Silent, tiny, powerful and accessible from anywhere in the world. Fantastic!
If, like Emma, you enjoy making your own clothes or fancy starting out, then Tilly’s blog is a fantastic resource. Tilly, a contestant on The Great British Sewing Bee, provides some really easy to follow tutorials on many aspects of sewing which appeal to both beginners and more experienced sewers. She’s even designed a couple of her own patterns, which are available to buy and download on her blog. Emma had a go at making her ‘Miette’ skirt, and was delighted with the result – she’s even worn it out!
Heard these guys on the radio while driving and couldn’t help doing a cheeky wee steering-wheel-tap. These guys are guaranteed to make you smile even in a traffic jam – funny lyrics and catchy melodies. Some tasty morsels include ‘The Beer Olympics’ and ‘Chippy Tea’. You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m talking about a greasy spoon, but no, get some hotpot on t’stereo!
Creativity – we all like to think we have a streak of it, but it needs cultivation. Motivation. And stimulation (ooer…!). This cute wee infographic dropped into our inboxes at Steps HQ and we thought it was worth a share, in case your creative juices are in need of a wee bit pulping! (Should’ve been 39 ways hehe, will think of another 10 while singing in the shower…)
Courtesy of © Lindsey Lawrence for Daily Infographic 2013.