Design is the reason why I fell in love with Apple, and it is Apple that led me to fall in love with design. When I watched Steve Jobs present the first iPhone back in 2007, I saw in his eyes a true passion for the arts and technology. That something as complex as electronics, circuitry and programming could be brought to life with art, and design that brings out emotion.
The reason why it worked, the reason why that such a combination could be married together as one, was not only because of his visionary talent, but of his devotion to the aesthetically pleasing. For all we know, if Steve never had that devotion, Apple, and probably even the rest of the tech industry, could still be selling boxes laced with wire. His obsession for beauty was what gave Apple its name; Jobs drove Apple to build things that looked great.
When I watched the last half-hour of this year’s WWDC, I couldn’t believe what I saw. I saw the very company that likened its reputation with aesthetics, unveil the total opposite. I saw what wasn’t Apple; I failed to see the legacy Steve Jobs had left. I couldn’t see an artistry; there was no elegance, no emotion. I couldn’t see the beauty. I saw neither passion, nor delight. All I saw was a cold, hard, computer operating system.
It was dull. It was lifeless. It was flat.
Ever since Jobs passed away, I always doubted if they could keep his spirit alive. What I saw was just a terrible reminder of the truth. Apple is now truly dead. Or much rather, the Apple I used to know.
Even though the last few minutes of the keynote were dedicated to an ad similar to the Think Different campaigns of the bygone Jobs era, I felt no cheer nor excitement, because I was too blinded by what I didn’t see.