You know whether you’re going to read this or not. Each time Apple releases a new operating system, John Siracusa reviews it at length. Specifically, at novella length. Typically he takes 40,000 words to say what Apple’s heavily illustrated web page does.
But Siracusa is not Apple and Siracusa is also serious. This time out, he practically leads with a complaint:
For the most part, a new look for an operating system doesn’t need to justify itself. It’s fashion. We all want something new every once in a while. It just needs to look good. But things start to get complicated when fashion butts heads with usability—then we want reasons.
Do read the full piece. As ever, it is very interesting and really well done. I would rather that it didn’t come on 25 pages as it feels like that’s done just to get 25 clicks out of you, but as an article and as a read, it is excellent.
Or near enough. There are reasons why the earliest days of the phone software will never been told and – this is the bit that interested me – there are reasons why the history has to be written now because soon so much of it will be lost.
Nonetheless, you do have to like Android. I managed about 10,000 words of this 40,000 and it is interesting, I just had little reference: I can’t remember which Android versions I’ve tried, I just have this vague memory of surprised how slow and unfinished they all seemed. Plus the article is very in favour of Google’s apparently very fast development cycles where it sounds to me like a cacophony of trying everything, then trying to fix everything, and just possibly noticing something that happened in 2007.
But the site Ars Technica has been promming ahead about this article and it is the big deal they say: they’ve done a good job and I’m fascinated by the top where they explain why it had to be done right now. Have a read, would you?