Software = Hardware
Johnny Ive becoming head of software design is a fascinating inflection point for software design. The lines between hardware and software are blurring as hardware innovation flattens into a purgatory between smartphones and wearables. As we wait for the smartphone to die and the next wave of devices to emerge, the race for brilliant software will hasten.
I have a Galaxy S4, and if you’ve been around me you know that I’ve been a snob about it—that it’s so much coo-ler than the iPhone. And then iOS 7 came out. The impact it had completely changed not just software, but businesses and advertising as well. Flat design has completely taken over, with companies re-branding their logos and mascots to match that of Apple.
Open Source to the Rescue
When I had all but lost hope of Android ever finding beauty like iOS, I discovered three apps that changed my mind. Any.do is a simple to-do list app, but beyond getting alerts in the notification center, reminders emerge from the bottom of the home screen. I didn’t know apps could permeate into different parts of the phone but I thought it was cool nonetheless. Then I downloaded Cover.
My seemingly boring lock screen is now “smart” and contextually knows what apps I want to use based on my location and the time of day. Cover also provides a much improved ability to switch between apps—a huge upgrade from the current hold and scroll option. Along with Google’s acquisition of Timely (a fairly simple, but elegant alarm clock app) we are witnessing a renewed focus on software aesthetics, and most importantly, making the little things matter again.
Until Google releases their own phone, I’m looking for more apps to come out and bridge the end-to-end software gap that Android suffers.
*Cover was acquired by Twitter last week