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MacRumors
Dec 12, 2007, 02:28 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

This Apple Job description (http://jobview.monster.com/getjob.asp?JobID=66126384&JobTitle=SW+Prototype+Application+Design+Engineer+%2f+3107049&fn=6&q=cocoa&brd=1&cy=US&vw=b&AVSDM=2007-12-07+06%3a07%3a00&pg=1&seq=3) (as noted by Daringfireball (http://daringfireball.net/linked/2007/december#wed-12-multitouch)) invites qualified software engineers to apply for a job at Apple working on new technologies and user interface concepts.
HID SW is responsible for delivering the firmware and software for Apple’s Input Devices, such as Multi-touch for iPhone, cameras, and remote controls. The team is a key part in driving an integrated customer experience involving new HW and SW designs, working with creative, smart people, world-class products and cutting edge technologies.
Of course, the job description is understandably vague, but does seek out applicants specifically with "strong interest in human-computer interaction" and "a proven ability to bring new user interface concepts to life".

After the introduction of the multi-touch iPhone and a series (http://www.macrumors.com/site.php?mode=search&term=patent&submit=Search+Site) of patent applications exploring alternative input methods, it seems that Apple has been paying a lot of attention to the future of user interfaces. Many of the recent patent applications focus on advanced gesturing (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/22/advanced-multitouch-gesturing-patents/) and unique touch surfaces (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/01/apple-researching-touch-surface-keyboard/).

There's been some suggestion (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/09/21/slim-aluminum-macbooks-soon/) that the upcoming sub-notebooks might see some touchpad improvements, though this has been particularly vague.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/12/apple-seeking-software-engineer-for-future-user-interfaces/)



notjustjay
Dec 12, 2007, 02:33 PM
Cameras, eh?

Return of the QuickTake? :D

Multi-touch for iPhone, cameras, and remote controls

So, does this mean "multi-touch for iPhone" and cameras and remote controls, or is Apple possibly working on a whole new way to interact with cameras and remote controls?

TitoC
Dec 12, 2007, 02:35 PM
Quite important job position since UI is one of Apple's strongest assets.

sachamun
Dec 12, 2007, 02:41 PM
My vote goes to Jeff Han!

OS X Dude
Dec 12, 2007, 03:03 PM
If only I was 10 years older... unless they take 16 year olds lol :(

It'd sort out my green card application too and make my future move to the US a LOT easier lol

MLeepson
Dec 12, 2007, 03:15 PM
I'd found this a while ago:

http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExternal.showJob&RID=5238&CurrentPage=1
Pushing the envelope to design and ship innovative products (like the iPhone) with best-in-class technologies and user experiences is the main goal of the touch technology team at Apple.

twoodcc
Dec 12, 2007, 03:15 PM
well maybe eventually we'll see multi-touch on an apple notebook?

gotohamish
Dec 12, 2007, 03:19 PM
I think we'll see elements of multitouch, but on the pad not the screen. Imaging pinching the track like on the phone, and zooming iPhotos etc.

Schtumple
Dec 12, 2007, 03:40 PM
Didn't apple say they were toying with the idea of multi-touch in macs? surely this position could just be for research, lets not get our hope up too much people...

And surely cameras just means the built in iSight?

lazyrighteye
Dec 12, 2007, 03:47 PM
Cameras, eh?

Return of the QuickTake? :D

So, does this mean "multi-touch for iPhone" and cameras and remote controls, or is Apple possibly working on a whole new way to interact with cameras and remote controls?

I was just jokingly describing this in a post under the Tom Tom thread.
As many have described, one of the advantages of a (more or less) buttonless interface (like an iPhone or Touch) is that software basically (and I use that word lightly) determines the device's functionality.

I could easily see a new application on the Home screen that, once pressed, converts the iPhone (or Touch) into an :apple:TV remote.
That + a movie rental service might actually get me to make the plunge into :apple:TV land. Otherwise the incentive is pretty low, at present.

OS X Dude
Dec 12, 2007, 04:16 PM
Apple UMPC interface perhaps? MacBook Nano would be a good name (MacBook Mini for the upcoming smaller MB).

See here (http://stuff.tv/News/Ultra-thin-Mac-Nano-shows-up-at-Stuff/) It's a mock-up but if it were simply made to be the same as this it would rock.

olternaut
Dec 12, 2007, 04:30 PM
Apple UMPC interface perhaps? MacBook Nano would be a good name (MacBook Mini for the upcoming smaller MB).

See here (http://stuff.tv/News/Ultra-thin-Mac-Nano-shows-up-at-Stuff/) It's a mock-up but if it were simply made to be the same as this it would rock.

I could do without the cd (or blu-ray) drive. Removable flash would be awesome! And imagine if that thing had a flexible screen and that when its not in use you could fold the entire unit in half!! I would set the fastest record of placing a pre-order in history! :D

koobcamuk
Dec 12, 2007, 04:38 PM
I would set the fastest record of placing a pre-order in history! :D

Not if safari crashed!

Yeh, I do think that camera=isight. I reckon that we'll be able to move windows and stuff like that with mid-air gestures (camera mapping movements).

I also think a multi-touch trackpad would be excellent.

Abstract
Dec 12, 2007, 04:51 PM
I think Apple, and many other companies, are always looking for engineers for future UI work. I mean, they're not going to say, "Seeking a Software Engineer to work on a UI made 7 years ago." I think this engineer will be put to good use, but I don't think it's indicative of a brand new project or something.

Doctor Q
Dec 12, 2007, 05:20 PM
This is absolute proof that the iPhone will be completely scrapped and replaced with something completely new and different! Or else not.

MacJoe
Dec 12, 2007, 05:40 PM
With all the advances in computers, operating systems, and user interfaces, why do **I** still have to remember to tell the computer to save my documents? Give me an application or operating system that knows my document is important enough to save if it's important enough to create! This is what I love about the Palm platform. There's no need to manually save anything because the OS takes care of that. When will OS X catch up to that concept? Having to manually save documents and files is so...80s.

OrangeCuse44
Dec 12, 2007, 06:06 PM
Talk about a rumor...jebus

BiikeMike
Dec 12, 2007, 06:32 PM
With all the advances in computers, operating systems, and user interfaces, why do **I** still have to remember to tell the computer to save my documents? Give me an application or operating system that knows my document is important enough to save if it's important enough to create! This is what I love about the Palm platform. There's no need to manually save anything because the OS takes care of that. When will OS X catch up to that concept? Having to manually save documents and files is so...80s.

Have you never heard of auto save?

ChrisA
Dec 12, 2007, 07:02 PM
Give me an application or operating system that knows my document is important enough to save if

That part is VERY easy. The hard part is building an application smart enough to know that the reason you are quitting is because you just messed up and want to quit and NOT save the document so that it will revert to it's un edited state. Or maybe the number yo entered into the spread sheet was just to see "what if?" but you did not want to change the "real" value in the cell.

Time Machine kind of helps but we'd need a more fine grained version control system to allow for blindly auto-saving. With some kind of "undo" feature that work back across edit session then we'd have what you want

swingerofbirch
Dec 12, 2007, 07:22 PM
If only I was 10 years older... unless they take 16 year olds lol :(

It'd sort out my green card application too and make my future move to the US a LOT easier lol

I wish I were 10 years younger and OUT of the US : ) (And I'm only 25!)

Avatar74
Dec 12, 2007, 08:25 PM
Hmmm... Cameras... for motion tracking? Controls that are remote...

Like this? (or this (http://youtube.com/watch?v=0awjPUkBXOU&feature=related))

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/minority-report-ui.jpg

TitoC
Dec 12, 2007, 08:35 PM
I think Apple, and many other companies, are always looking for engineers for future UI work. I mean, they're not going to say, "Seeking a Software Engineer to work on a UI made 7 years ago." I think this engineer will be put to good use, but I don't think it's indicative of a brand new project or something.

Actually, most of Apple's UI specialist are not engineers at all, but rather "Information" experts who have a variety of expertise such as design, human interactions, interactive programmers and more.

I had a friend who applied for a UI position at Apple a few years back and went through 2 interviews. Most of the people he met in these departments came from a variety of backgrounds but according to him, engineers were not the ones making any of the initial layouts or blueprints for interfaces. Engineers were brought in later to projects once functionality, flow, design, graphics, and so forth were nailed down. He said other firms he interviewed with seemed to work backwards from this method. They would have engineers "design" (he used that term loosely) their interfaces first, then bring in other people to "make it look and function right." He couldn't understand this thinking and frankly, neither do it. Apple apparently seems to put more effort into a UI than most companies in their fields and it shows.

Decrepit
Dec 12, 2007, 09:37 PM
Not if safari crashed!

Yeh, I do think that camera=isight. I reckon that we'll be able to move windows and stuff like that with mid-air gestures (camera mapping movements).

I also think a multi-touch trackpad would be excellent.

If a camera could track hand motions to identify windows and move them, I would be in awe.

And, I would get some exercise! :-)

AND, I'd need a 60" display with stupid high resolution so that I could just do it all on the wall. Mate it with a projector, and your machine could hide in a box unseen.

Airforce
Dec 12, 2007, 09:43 PM
If a camera could track hand motions to identify windows and move them, I would be in awe.

That's pretty much what Microsoft's Surface is all about ;)

matthewHUB
Dec 12, 2007, 10:58 PM
sounds like it could be for the LCD remote for the Apple TV that the other rumor today was about.

ezekielrage_99
Dec 13, 2007, 12:06 AM
Hmmm... Cameras... for motion tracking? Controls that are remote...

Like this? (or this (http://youtube.com/watch?v=0awjPUkBXOU&feature=related))

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/minority-report-ui.jpg

I was waiting for someone to post that...

MacJoe
Dec 13, 2007, 08:33 AM
Have you never heard of auto save?

Yep, but not every application (e.g. TeXShop) provides that functionality.

MacJoe
Dec 13, 2007, 08:34 AM
That part is VERY easy. The hard part is building an application smart enough to know that the reason you are quitting is because you just messed up and want to quit and NOT save the document so that it will revert to it's un edited state. Or maybe the number yo entered into the spread sheet was just to see "what if?" but you did not want to change the "real" value in the cell.

Time Machine kind of helps but we'd need a more fine grained version control system to allow for blindly auto-saving. With some kind of "undo" feature that work back across edit session then we'd have what you want

The app doesn't need to try to guess my intention, it only needs to know that whatever I type needs to be saved. Deleting the document is up to the user; preserving the content should be up to the operating system.

tribulation
Dec 13, 2007, 01:00 PM
i hope these jobs are to look for some actually talented ui designers to fill the shoes of the so-hopefully-recently-departed apple ui idiots that did the leopard 'improvements'

just about every new leopard ui change from tiger that i can think of off the top of my head right now iSucks. bad
hopefully this is a call to some people that can come in and clean up the mess they call leopard user unfriendliness

jettredmont
Dec 13, 2007, 01:14 PM
The app doesn't need to try to guess my intention, it only needs to know that whatever I type needs to be saved. Deleting the document is up to the user; preserving the content should be up to the operating system.

The model may be advised by the OS, but it's not the OS's job to ensure that an application saves its data in a timely manner. It's the application's job.

Currently, there are two models which are prevalent: the "document" model, which hasn't changed much since the original Mac in 1984, and the "database" model, in which every action is immediately written to disk. Most apps choose one or the other; some apps (eg, DevonThink) choose to implement a little of both (in DevonThink, all "database" operations like organizing entries, etc, are in a database model; all "text" operations like adding something new to a note are in a document model).

A few "database model" apps you likely know and use:

iTunes
iPhoto
iChat
Address Book


A few "mixed model" apps you likely know and use:

iMovie
Mail


The "document" model is the one most users expect from a computer, especially when entering text, and so it is the one which is used by default in the vast majority of apps. Apps which use the "database" model have to explain this to their users, and field complaints about it, and mitigate confusion over the missing "save" actions et al. A user-level change in expectations could come about either by more of these database-model apps becoming prevalent or by the OS vendor with a respected HIG spec (aka, Apple) making such a model more advised. Of course, that's only if it really is a better model for most applications, and I'm still not convinced it is right for "most" text entry.

IMHO, things like TaskPaper should operate on a database model. As soon as I finish typing in a task, it should get written out to disk. However, longer-form text entry doesn't have a reasonable "break" point at which it should save. We end up there with timed auto-saves, which are the worst of both worlds (the save happens mid-sentence or at least mid-thought, and overwrites what had been on disk with what I might not have wanted to write out), or temporary-timed-auto-saves (which auto-save to a "recovery" area instead of just overwriting what is on disk).

In any case, it's not necessarily the OS's "job" to do this (and Palm doesn't do this either, although the combination of non-volatile memory and well-behaved apps gives that illusion; I've lost typed notes on a Palm before due to the application crashing). The OS vendor can make it a "best practice", but they can't force applications to write every state change out to disk the second it happens.

jbcaro
Dec 13, 2007, 01:32 PM
Well, while I'm not a Software Engineer by any stretch of the imagination, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so where do I sign up for this? :D

John Musbach
Dec 15, 2007, 04:13 PM
The camera bit is interesting indeed, it'd be very neat to see Apple release their version of a digital camera. I'm sure such a device would be very straightforward and easy to use as have all their devices. Keep it coming Apple! :)