"Jony Ive, how do you feel about Google?"
First, let me get to my point. Google is catching up in design. Quickly. After reading the article "Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution" it's difficult to deny that. Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, they all look fantastic on iOS. A major Apple fan like myself has no problem admitting that Google is doing very well. And I have a lot of respect for Google, there are some of the brightest minds of our generation working there. They're working on amazing things like the self-driving car, Google Glass, and Google Now. In my personal opinion however, Apple's hardware team are still above all others. But Apple's interfaces have stayed consistently the same for the past few years or so. Jony has been doing a stellar job on his part. Scott Forstall though on the other hand...not so much.
I'm sure many of us have read about how Jony Ive isn't particularly a fan of skeumorphism. My question for him though is, what is your honest opinion of Google's new design aesthetics? Jony loves minimalism. Google loves simplicity. That's been they're goal in design from Google's inception. Now here's my question to you. What's the difference between simplicity and minimalism? Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest (heyyo) and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. And simplicity is, in its basic form, freedom from complexity. Can someone tell me that there is a big difference between them?
Now I'm not saying all minimalist fans will get along every time, sit down for a cup of tea, and collectively make jokes about Scott Forstall and the horror of skeumorphism. Everybody has different tastes and there is no possible way to satisfy everyones. However, I'm sure all can agree on when something is minimalist or not. Maybe not the exact best form of it, but all should be able to agree on whether something is simple. Jony Ive must have an opinion on Google's take.
Look at Apple's hardware. Everything about it is minimalist. There is nothing there to distract, and nothing there that doesn't need to be there. Just aluminum and glass, carved into a way that shows almost no separate parts. Google's hardware isn't terrible, but it doesn't necessarily stand out either. I read an article the other day, that I can't seem to find, but it brought out an interesting point. When you buy an iPhone, and you pull it out of the box, you marvel at the craftsmanship. The svelte curves, the chamfered edges, the glossy reflection from the glass, they all add to the beauty of the device. But when you turn it on, and you use iOS for a bit, sometimes it feels like the phone was made by two different companies. (Apparently this was nearly the case.)
Google has been doing a great job lately in all fields. But I am very interested to see how Jony Ive will change iOS in the coming years. Can Jony Ive keep Apple innovating in both software and hardware, as it once did? Or will the iPhone become the next Blackberry? Only time will tell. But I do know that with Jony Ive arguably being the new head honcho at Apple, my faith in their ability to deliver hasn't faded away completely. Not yet anyway.