Josh Benton from Harvard's Nieman Lab has discovered something interesting in Apple's descriptions of its new unified desktop and mobile push notifications system. He writes:
There’s one other piece that sounds really interesting that I don’t remember being mentioned in the keynote [...] check out this language from Apple’s website:
Now when you choose to receive updates from a website, your breaking news, sports scores, auction alerts, and more appear as notifications — even when Safari isn’t running.
That language has a footnote: "Requires adoption by third-party websites."
If what Benton found is what it sounds like—an API for web developers to push notifications to iOS and Mac devices—then this is a major step towards the appification of the web. That's especially good for news and content sites which have mixed luck as standalone apps, since App Store distribution doesn't get much of a boost out of social network sharing—and social sharing accounts for so much of the attention drive to news and content sites.
By Chris Dannen
Facing intense competition to the iPhone and iPad, this WWDC is particularly make-or-break for Apple. The company needs to hit a home run with iOS 7. Here, we’ll track all the news about what the OS will look like, how it will work, and all the new SDK and API goodies open to developers. Be sure to check back often for all your pre and post-WWDC coverage and discover what the future of iOS development means for you.
The event that is the equivalent to Christmas for an iOS developer is less than one week away now. I’m of course talking about Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC. And because this WWDC will see the unveiling of a Jony Ive-designed iOS 7 and OS X 10.9, it’s probably safe to say it’s the most anticipated developers conference since Apple announced it would allows third-party apps on the iPhone back in 2008. So what do we know about WWDC 2013 so far—and, more importantly, about iOS 7?
At last month’s AllThingsD conference, Tim Cook confirmed that this WWDC will show off iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 and admitted that the rumors of a Jony Ive-inspired iOS were true and that this next iOS to be shown at WWDC was all his work. "Jony is really key," Cook told AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg when asked about Ive’s involvement.
From a company as tight-lipped as Apple, such an acknowledgement was a rare revelation. What Cook didn’t elaborate on was if the rumored "black, white, and flat all over" revamp to iOS 7’s design were true. That tidbit comes to us from Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac:
Apple Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jony Ive has been leading a thorough overhaul for iOS 7 that focuses on the look and feel of the iOS device software rather than on several new features.
Sources have described iOS 7 as "black, white, and flat all over." This refers to the dropping of heavy textures and the addition of several new black and white user interface elements.
The app features simple black text over a white background and nary a gradient or texture in sight. The app icon is perhaps the biggest change from Apple’s current mobile app lineup. It’s far more simply designed than Apple app icons like Keynote or the Apple Store app.
If I were a betting man, I’d say Christina’s contention is correct. Ever since OS X 10.0, the keen-eyed could always spot future design trends in the OS by looking at small updates to OS X apps. For example, iTunes will often get a tweaked UI element—like a scroll bar—before it’s rolled out to the rest of OS X in the next major update. I think it's safe to say the same could be true for the UI element changes found in the WWDC app.
But as cool as a new look to iOS might be for users, it could cause potential headaches for developers. Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch explains why:
That means a new look for app developers trying to achieve a "native" look on the platform, which could actually result in a lot of work for some to bring their apps up to spec. Lately, it seems like a lot of app developers have deviated from strictly copying Apple’s iOS design principles, however, and offered their own take, which seems to involve more and more flattening of visual components. But even slight changes can result in big headaches for designers trying to achieve a certain effect.
This is an ongoing story, so we're adding to it as news rolls in. Read on to learn why we're tracking WWDC. Or skip below to read previous updates.
[Photo by Flickr user Hamid Najafi]