This year (and late last year) have been really exciting on the technology front, especially in my career field of design. (Note: this is not a rant thread, we're here to have a discussion). Microsoft detailed last fall a new design language known as "Fluent Design" - it takes the approach of having slightly glassy effects while also heavily relying on depth and motion to give apps and the OS a unique feel and interface hierarchy. This past week, Microsoft took the next step in this language's evolution by detailing several updates at its Build conference. Meanwhile, down near Mountain View, Big G has been working on Material Design 2 (a refresh, less blocky, less Roboto version of their design language). It has a lighter and more playful look to it. Google also took steps to redesign things like the Volume HUD, enhance notifications, and adopt iPhone X-esque gestures across the OS. Both of these updates are incredibly nice looking. Microsoft has finally shrugged off its Metro language (that is really only partially adopted) and Google is on a redesign spree with Android, Gmail, GDrive, etc. Apple, on the other hand, seems to have lost focus. Apple's design language since iOS 7 really hasn't evolved to overcome some of the most basic frustrations (I'm looking at you, Volume HUD that blocks everything I view). Sure, there have been tweaks to fonts (San Francisco and the new BOLD text), but I haven't seen that iterative improvement like Microsoft and Google have detailed. We've got this mix of boldly flat and bright colors that somehow cross with a frosted glass effect. There's part of the OS that wants to be taken super seriously (like the Camera, Compass, and Stocks) and then there's other apps (like Notes and Reminders) that are content being faux-realistic with bright white background and poorly contrasted interface elements. Beyond that, we've seen a slight shift to a more bubbly interface language (lock screen notifications are a prime example), but this hasn't ventured much further than the lock screen and widget area. Apple doesn't feel like it has a direction, it doesn't seem to understand where it wants to go. There's not a discernible refinement that's been occurring - sure there have been changes, but you can't (at least I can't) see how they were much beyond personal preferences rather than true improvements. Again, this isn't a rant thread (there are plenty of problems with iOS and its design but this isn't the place for them). Do you think Apple has fallen behind in interface/UX design?