There seems to have been a reasonable amount of discussion about Apple’s recent event expressing concern over the direction and message the company is trying to convey. After re-tweeting Jolie O’Dell’s article it was suggested by a number of people that I was subscribing to what was essentially flame baiting?! While I explicitly stated I didn’t agree fully with tone of the article I do think there are some things that we should be rightly concerned about as avid Apple users.

My first thought was, have I been sucked in by the controversy of this article or has it rightly resonated with something deeper that has concerned me about Apple’s direction? So I went back through and looked at O’Dell’s article and considered comments made by Matt Thomas.

Thomas focuses on, new iMac and new iPad, thinnovation and revolutionary, and the various abominations of the apple logo that have gone on over the years to make the point that this is not an unravelling but merely more of the same. Does this make it acceptable? In my mind it does not, now I understand that it makes a convent argument in the Jobs vs Cook debate however, my concern comes with the fact that Cook has repeated what I see are mistakes. Good leaders should learn from the mistakes of others as well as those they make on their own.

I think it would be safe to say I hated the tie dye logo. It is clear that it has been designed to hark back to the earlier rainbow Apple Computer icon, playing to the feeling of the “same old Apple” which I can completely understand. However, I would have like to see a complete focus on a new and improved Apple to help Tim Cook move out of the shadow of Steve Jobs however, in my mind it works to do the very opposite.

Most like O’Dell have jumped on these presentation issues and written Tim Cook off (far too early in my opinion) but what seems to be a real cause for concern for me is what was actually presented. First the new Apple TV interface is horrendous.

It wastes screen real estate (only five buttons are visible on a giant screen TV), it has garish colour combinations, irregular and inconsistent UI elements/fonts.

The next abomination is iPhoto! I would quite honestly say it is one of the worst apps I have used! The settings tab that is actually context aware so depending on which tab you are on before tapping the settings tab will result in a different set of settings being provided. Scrolling is unbelievably jerky (on iPhone 4) and when you scroll quickly you see huge glitches when the interface has to catch up with your interaction. In general iPhotos inconstancy in design, its complete disregard for Apples own human interface guidelines and the amount of bugs make it a terrible all round user expereince.

With disappointment in 2 out of the 3 major announcements (and the iPad was a little underwhelming most people expected what we got) I can see why questions are being asked.

Is Apple unravelling?
I am not of the opinion that Apple is in fact unravelling, instead I think this is the understandable recalibration of a ship under new guidance. I do think Tim Cook has to move out of the shadow of Steve Jobs, he is not the charismatic innovator that Steve Job’s was. Instead he is the reliable, shrewd businessman upon which a solid business can prosper. He should continue to play to his strengths, after all he has held one of the most important positions at Apple for almost a decade under Job’s.