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Old Sep 30, 2007, 08:41 PM   #1
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iPhone Human Interface Guidelines



Apple published an iPhone Human Interface Guideline document.
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This document introduces you to the iPhone environment and how it shapes the user experience of iPhone content. Then, it explains how to design a superlative user interface for your web content so it displays and works well on iPhone. It does this by first examining different types of iPhone content and exploring how you can decide which type to create. It then discusses how to apply user interface design principles to iPhone content, and finally provides numerous metrics and guidelines to help you handle specific design issues. For the implementation details and guidance you need to write the code for your iPhone product, see the “See Also” section below.
Ars notes the suggestive wording that "Currently, developers create web applications for iPhone, not native applications." Regardless, it seems unlikely that this simple wording necessarily reflects any future corporate policy.

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Old Sep 30, 2007, 09:31 PM   #2
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i assume an SDK will be released for iPhone eventually... perhaps after the OS has matured enough to support a good one... until then, it's developers = webdesigners...
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 09:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Macrumors View Post
Ars notes the suggestive wording that "Currently, developers create web applications for iPhone, not native applications." Regardless, it seems unlikely that this simple wording necessarily reflects any future corporate policy.
Wonder what Jobs means by "more intimate apps" when he answered this question at the London event?
Quote:
10:37 - Q: Have you thought about opening the iPhone to 3rd parties?

Steve: "Yes, we've already done that with Web 2.0. We're looking at more intimate apps. But people hold their phones to a higher standard than their PC. The more open you are, the less predictable." Again, same ol' same ol'.
http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/18/l...ent-in-london/
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 10:32 PM   #4
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There are a few good examples of sites actually implementing the stuff Apple is talking about in this HIG. That is not to say they read it, they may just known how to design a good website, but it would be nice to see some others follow their lead.

i.wund.com and iphone.facebook.com are both fantastic. i would really like to see one for netflix and for either blogger or wordpress. that will be enough to hold me over until these "more intimate" applications come along.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 12:11 AM   #5
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I think eventually Apple will allow 3rd party apps, possibly as soon as MacWorld. I really think they just want to get a lot of iPhones out there and get the majority of the minor problems worked out before they allow these apps. It is also likely that if Apple does this, they have some cool apps up their sleeves. I say give it another 3-6 months before we rule out any chances of ever having Apple support 3rd party apps.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 02:18 AM   #6
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Apple IS going to allow 3rd party apps

To me it seems very very obvious Apple is going to allow 3rd party apps. The release of these guidelines for web apps is just another step in that direction. However, they are going to want to have a firm grip on what is being released, so phone functionality, security and overall usability will not be jeopardized by bad, malicious, unexperienced or lazy developers. Therefore, I am convinced they will, in time, release an iTunes only install tool, with applications for sale (or for free in some cases) through iTunes. They are going to want to sign each and every app that becomes available for compliance with iPhone usability guidelines and security guidelines. AND they are going to want a piece of the pie of software development, taking in a profit for each app being sold.

And this is probably a very smart move. For phones, more so than for computers as Jobs said, interface usability and phone security is trickier than for computers.

Usability
Computers have a fairly well know interface architecture (which is actually not that great, but at least it's known), so app interfaces developed for computers automatically fit in reasonably well with what people expect and have come to know. Not so for the iPhone interface, which is completely new. So extra thought has to go into making applications usable, as Apple has meticulously done for the applications already available. Even experienced software developers (read: the biggest one ) have perpetually shown to be really bad at designing usable interfaces. So they are going to want a whip to beat developers with to focus on usability.

Security and functionality
Imagine people secretly installing backdoors in apps allowing them to e-mail off the contact lists of iPhone owners to spammers. Imagine a sprawling of unusable apps developed by 16 year old pimple faces, crashing iPhones all over the place. This would REALLY be bad for the iPhone.

So don't count on an SDK for the general public. IMO it is all going to be tightly controlled by apple, and this is going to bring really great apps. We just need a little patience. And for those who do not have patience, they can simply stick with 1.0.2
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 02:24 AM   #7
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My biggest complaint with web apps is the lack of sound. It's like watching a movie with a missing soundtrack. It sucks. I don't care how smooth you can get your web apps to work online or how wonderful and user friendly they are, but if you can't get physical feedback (no buttons) and no audio feedback (no sound), what's the point.

It's a ********* iPod that makes phone calls, I would think that sound would be slightly important when developing something for it.

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Old Oct 1, 2007, 02:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
Wonder what Jobs means by "more intimate apps" when he answered this question at the London event?
You really don't have to "wonder". As expressions go, this one was hardly veiled or cryptic. He meant "native applications" that you could run without reaching out to the Internet to get them.

I'm very happy they've released these new guidelines. I'm going to be pouring over them before the iPhone Talk here in Boston next week. I can't wait. :-)

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Old Oct 1, 2007, 04:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Macrumors View Post
Ars notes the suggestive wording that "Currently, developers create web applications for iPhone, not native applications." Regardless, it seems unlikely that this simple wording necessarily reflects any future corporate policy.
I couldn't disagree more and I think Ars have it spot on. It not just the currently part, it's the fact the statement is there at all and the way it is worded.

If Apple had no intention of releasing a 3rd party SDK, I doubt they would publicly go to the trouble of releasing HIGs. They already have developer guidelines.

This is the exact quote (in a special box on the document).

Quote:
"Note: Currently, developers create web applications for iPhone, not native applications. Therefore, this document focuses solely on the presentation of web applications and other web content on iPhone."
Reading between the lines that says:

- No SDK yet
- But in the future this document will be updated to so it is applicable to native apps.

I also think it is funny how Apple have released HIGs for iPhone, but seem to have almost abandoned them for the Mac.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 04:30 AM   #10
BillyShears
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"Intimate"

"Intimate" may not mean Cocoa apps. It may just mean widgets, which would still be an improvement over what we have. I'm not sure if I'd call widgets "native", which would explain the discrepancy in his language.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 05:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by elppa View Post
I also think it is funny how Apple have released HIGs for iPhone, but seem to have almost abandoned them for the Mac.
i think we'll see an update to the mac developer's HIG with the release of 10.5... and if not, whatever... they are simply guidelines, and in some cases (like "use textured windows only for apps that require hardware") they're kinda silly...
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darkroom View Post
i assume an SDK will be released for iPhone eventually... perhaps after the OS has matured enough to support a good one... until then, it's developers = webdesigners...
As a native iPhone developer (I did web design for iPhone originally, but I realized that the platform sucked for creating anything polished--there's no way to use the items you'd need to create an app that behaved like the native iPhone ones, just a poor ugly imitation), I'm at least a little offended by your comment.

The native development community is alive and well, and growing daily. Still hoping Apple will release an SDK, but for now, the SDK the iPhone Dev Team has put together is good enough to create some pretty impressive apps.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chr1s60 View Post
I think eventually Apple will allow 3rd party apps, possibly as soon as MacWorld. I really think they just want to get a lot of iPhones out there and get the majority of the minor problems worked out before they allow these apps. It is also likely that if Apple does this, they have some cool apps up their sleeves. I say give it another 3-6 months before we rule out any chances of ever having Apple support 3rd party apps.
I agree, give them some time to let the platform simmer and be widley distributed. These guys know what they are doing. After all they developed the iPhone.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverboy View Post
You really don't have to "wonder". As expressions go, this one was hardly veiled or cryptic. He meant "native applications" that you could run without reaching out to the Internet to get them.

I'm very happy they've released these new guidelines. I'm going to be pouring over them before the iPhone Talk here in Boston next week. I can't wait. :-)

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Old Oct 1, 2007, 05:53 PM   #15
rstansby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrenchMouth View Post
i.wund.com ... fantastic.
That site is horrible.

They should read this from the apple article:
Quote:
set the viewport width and height properties to ensure your content fits the screen precisely. In addition, you’ve turned off user-scaling so your application looks right in both portrait and landscape orientation.
Even Google is better, at least it fits properly on the screen, and the buttons don't overlap the fields.

Last edited by rstansby; Oct 1, 2007 at 05:59 PM.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 06:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tgildred View Post
Poring.
Huh. Learned something new. ::: Deftly puts away disingenuous face-saving explanations involving personal affectations and the gratuitous and often inappropriate use of metaphor. :::

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Old Oct 12, 2007, 05:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstansby View Post
That site is horrible. They should read this from the apple article:
That site was made before that apple article. It uses the iUI library, which had a problem with the 1.1.1 update. However, i.wund.com has been updated with the fix since then.
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