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November 08, 2010


Why is this so complicated for some people to digest. Imagine being on your iPad and having a single tool icon on your nice full-screen app. You touch it and it automatically fans out in a circle. Your finger glides around the circle until you have the tool you want and when you lift your finger, the tool-circle springs back to being a simple single icon and you have the tool you want. That's so Apple and that's so cool.

@ Mike

Thanks for your comment Mike because others may hold this view as well.

First off, the report clearly states you'll be able to use text or icons depending on the applications: "The menu items may be displayed as standard text items in some embodiments (e.g., "File", "Save", "Print", etc.) or may be displayed as icons (e.g., icons representing various tools, such as drawing tools, video editing tools, etc.)."

Secondly, the patent is using "generic tool" icons to make the point that icons could be used. So I wouldn't try to read too much into this Mike as it's just for illustrative purposes. In fact, you should have a sense of humor about this - as the engineers are having fun using "application tools" in the form of "work tools" to get their point across.

Ooooooh, this is dreadful - it's the "pictures make things easy" monster.

Yes, if you're about four years old, a picture makes things much easier. But if you're a bit older, pictures are more confusing than helpful. There's only so much you can do with a tiny square of space, so most pictures end up vague, ambiguous, and confusing.

I know. I work with it. It's one of the things I hate about Windows 7 and the latest version of Office for Windows. And unlike the current Mac toolbar, Office doesn't have a text plus image or text-only option, only pictures. It confirms my belief that the Windows UI is developed by 4-year-olds in a Redmond preschool hidden on the corporate campus.

Is this 'pictures make things easy' nonsense finally coming to OS X? Ugh! Let's hope not, or at least let's hope the graphics above are wrong and there's a text-only option like the current toolbar.

Why? Because I can read far faster than I can guess what a childish picture of a hard hat, a bicycle or a saw means. Does anyone know what they mean in the above illustrations?

I rest my case.

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