May 26, 2015 Last Updated 8:05 am

Design team changes at Apple; iBooks Author and the iPhone

Apple announces that Jony Ive gets new title of Chief Design Officer, while day-to-day management of software goes to Apple veterans Richard Howarth and Alan Dye

Within the world of tech journalism there are some opinions tht are set in stone and those that dare to disagree are looked at with scorn. One of those is that Jony Ive is a design genius and the driving force behind much that is good at Apple. As both a Mac and iOS device user, all I know is that software has become buggier and less reliable in the past few years, and the direction of Apple away from “the computer for the rest of us” and “Think Different” to luxury device maker for the One Percent has left me a bit cold.


Cook & Ive looking awkward, in Telegraph photo

So the announcement on Memorial Day that Jony Ive has been named Chief Design Officer comes as good news to me. The promotion means that the day-to-day management of software will now be led by Richard Howarth and Alan Dye.

“As Chief Design Officer, Jony will remain responsible for all of our design, focusing entirely on current design projects, new ideas and future initiatives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a memo. “On July 1, he will hand off his day-to-day managerial responsibilities of ID and UI to Richard Howarth, our new vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, our new vice president of User Interface Design.”

The move will lead to more speculation about Ive spending more time in England, etc. etc. Who know, I certainly don’t. But my gut tells me this is a good move for users of Apple devices.

The Telegraph, coming off being accused of being merely a mouthpiece for the Tories during the latest elections, today published a piece written by Stephen Fry about Apple, interviewing Tim Cook and Jony Ive.

The comments are a mix for love for Fry and contempt for what many see as PR for Apple. It’s hard to argue with the conclusion. As mush as I admire Fry, he does tend to slubber all over Apple and its executives. The piece really should have been labeled as advertising.


Today the team at Pipedream Media tweeted about their excellent eBook, The Mozart Project, coming to the iPhone on June 8.

June 8 is the first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and one assumes the folks at Pipedream Media may simply be assuming that Apple will drop iOS 8.4 on users on that day, and it will include support for iBooks Author created eBooks for the iPhone.

This news has been around for a month now, but the one thing I have not been able to confirm is if an update to iBA itself would be coming, or just that existing eBooks would not be readable on the iPhone. If the latter, the good news would be that your eBook, created using iBA, would be available immediately to readers without the publisher having to make changes. The bad news is that not all iBA books currently produced really are appropriate for the iPhone.

For instance, TNM’s own Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms was designed in landscape only, and contains quite a bit of material that I would deem too small to read on an iPhone.

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