Tim Cook visited D10 while we examined skeuomorphs. We discussed the next iPhone, while some of our readers cried foul. What a week it was.

Closing The Book On Apple’s ‘Cheesy’ GUI Metaphors? What’s The Alternative?

Skeuomorphs

A.T. Faust III offered his opinion this week on Apple’s controversial use of “skeuomorphs.”

Here’s what he had to say:

Early last week, word came around about a recent Jony Ive interview wherein Apple’s design chief purportedly “winced” at the mention of his company’s reliance on digital skeuomorphs.

What’s a skeuomorph, you ask? Well, if you didn’t feel like wading through the complete history at the link above, here’s the short version as it applies to Apple and iOS (via Wikipedia):

[A skeuomorph] is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. …

[Examples include] pictures of buttons that appear to move up and down, files and folders that look like real world objects, added to operating systems that formerly had a command line input. … Functional input controls like knobs, buttons, switches and sliders are all careful duplicates of the ones on the original physical device being emulated. Even elements of the original that serve no function, like handles, screws and ventilation holes are graphically reproduced.

In the hours following Ive’s interpreted disapproval, every tech outlet on the Internet ran with the story, similarly (and summarily) bashing the concept. Fandroids and iSheep enjoyed a rare meeting of minds as the blogosphere jointly derided those real-life software carryovers, calling them trite, tacky, gimmicky, and fundamentally flawed in our fast-moving modern times.

Slow down, folks!

For those of you firmly embedded on the side of “against,” ask yourself this one important question: If skeuomorphs are out, what is a more appropriate — and more useful — alternative?

For Andy’s entire article, click here.

The next iPhone; what was I thinking?

Apple's Curtain

Most iPhone rumors in recent weeks have pretty much told the same story. Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone, so the rumors go, will be a little longer and thinner than the previous two models. Because of this, I posted an article explaining that we probably already knew what the next iPhone would look like. That was a bad idea on my part.

Many of our readers suggested these rumors could be wrong. Many said (and rightly so) that sites like AppAdvice got it wrong last year when the iPhone 4S was released and looked exactly like the iPhone 4.

Toyn, for example, called it, “very poor article,” stating:

Anyone who’s been reading these stories for a few years knows how unreliable the rumour mill really is in the run up to a new apple product and for this article to assume it ‘knows’ the truth is ridiculous.
As for all these ‘leaks’ apple is notorious for putting out false rumours and fake products, so why bother even trying to guess what the next iphone may or may not be?

Sellador2 concurred, saying:

Most of the rumors turn out true?! You guys have short memories. I suggest you go back and revisit your reported list of features for the iPhone 5… Oh wait, there wasn’t an iPhone 5, was there? It was the iPhone 4S and it was nothing like what your rumors assured us it would be. Your credibility with such rumors is in the toilet, so I’ll just wait and read about the next iPhone when it’s actually announced.

We can’t please everyone, huh.

The first prepaid iPhones to arrive this month

Cricket Communications

Speaking of iPhones, would-be buyers can soon purchase Apple’s handset without a contract. Beginning June 22, Cricket Communications will offer the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 prepaid along with a $55 unlimited voice, data, and text plan. Meanwhile, Boost Mobile looks to do the same in September.

For those keeping score, this means 11 U.S. carriers will now offer the iPhone by fall. Remember when AT&T was the only U.S. carrier?

D10 past and present

Tim Cook at D10

Tim Cook at D10

Brent Dirks highlighted Tim Cook’s visit at All Things Digital’s D10 Conference in California. Here the Apple CEO discussed Steve Jobs, Siri, patent wars, China manufacturing, and more.

For Cook’s first conversation at the conference, held this year in Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif., he discussed everything from the iPad to China manufacturing with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

Near the beginning of the interview, Cook discussed what he learned from the late Steve Jobs and how he is different as Apple’s CEO.

“I learned a lot from Steve. It was absolutely one of the saddest days of my life when he passed away. As much as you should see something like that coming, I couldn’t. Last year, someone shook me and said ‘It’s time to get on.’ So that’s where it’s at today. What did I learn from him? We could be here all month…. I learned that focus is key; not just in running a company, but in your personal life. You can only do so much great, and the rest you should cast aside.”

During the Q-and-A portion of the event, Cook also talked about how Jobs convinced him to join the company. Five minutes into a conversation with Jobs, Cook said he wanted to join Apple.

Apple promptly posted all six of Steve Jobs’ D Conference discussions on iTunes. Best of all, the videos are all absolutely free.

Recommended Reading

Facebook-Phone

Finally, this amazing video

With WWDC starting one week from tomorrow, here’s a look at when Steve Jobs introduced us all to the first iPhone in 2007. For just $599 we could have a cell phone without third-party apps, a crappy camera, and much more!

Week in Review is published each weekend by AppAdvice.

Photo: Gizmodo (Apple’s Johnny Ive and Scott Forstall)