Pull to Refresh
Version 0.0.2 - Pinch to Zoom is back!
Wow! I can't believe it's been over... checks calendar… 11 months since you last heard from me!!! 😮😱😬
I promise I had every intention of writing this second issue of Pinch to Zoom much, much sooner than now, but, well, as you might expect, having a kid is hard work. With the late nights, early mornings, and the overall unpredictability that comes with each day, finding spare time to write has proven to be much more difficult than I had ever imagined. It’s been quite the adventure into fatherhood, but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing!
With all that being said, I'm back, and ready to “pull to refresh” Pinch to Zoom again. While this won’t come with a promise of a new issue every week, I am hoping to have something land in your inbox at least once a month.
As a refresher (or if you missed the first issue), Pinch to Zoom is all about exploring the design, experience, interactions, and details of your favorite apps. To help give myself a little more focus, I’ll primarily be covering iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps, as that’s what I know best. However, if there’s a web app or something else you’d like to see here, just let me know.
Each issue has three sections:
1. Quick Look
A not so super deep dive into the design details of a specific app
A space to highlight an indie app and its creator(s)
3. The Clipboard
A handful of links that I think are interesting and worth sharing
So… without further adieu, let’s jump into the second issue of Pinch to Zoom!
iOS 17 has been out for a couple of months now, and since its release, I've been trying to explore all that it has to offer. I've long been a loyal fan and user of Apple's native apps such as Safari, Notes, Mail, Maps, etc. However, there's a whole world of little details hidden behind the apps that have never made it to my Home Screen.
As I've been doing all of this, I've started to notice a few areas where Apple is pushing the boundaries a bit when it comes to the design and interaction of what I think of as the "default" iOS experience. These experiences feel fresh (almost in a strange way), especially when compared to the standard list views, action sheets, and toggles sprinkled throughout the rest of the OS. However, they still feel very Apple to me, and maybe even nod at what the future of iOS could look and feel like.
For example, I’m sure most have already seen the wonderful animation that occurs when you share your contact with someone via NameDrop.1
I mean, come on! 😍
Or the new Action button settings that was introduced with the new iPhone 15 Pro.2
Or even the new, and slightly controversial, update to Messages with the new insert menu that replaced the app drawer above the keyboard.
To me all of these examples show that Apple is experimenting and having fun along the way! And honestly, I'm here for all of it.
Another example I came across is found in the Health app. I have to admit, outside of setting my details and occasionally looking at my sleep or activity data, the Health app goes mostly untouched. In the latest update though, there’s a new section around mental health and logging your emotions, that caught my eye.
If you head to your Health app, tap on Browse, and then on Mental Wellbeing, you’ll see a new section called State of Mind. From here you get a pretty standard screen with a card view, followed by a list of some helpful articles all around caring for your mental health. However, even with the card view, Apple introduces a nice animation as you scroll through the carousel.
In the video above, you can see how the cards scale down as the next card comes into view. Overall, this creates a nice depth effect, giving the feeling that the cards are placed on an ellipse rather than just a flat line. I don't think this exists in any other Apple app, but let me know in the comments if I'm wrong.
Moving on, once you tap on Log and then choose Emotion or Mood this is where Apple introduces something beautiful and quite delightful.
Here your attention is instantly drawn to the center of the screen via this colorful, translucent, pulsing, orb shape thing. Below it there's a label, a large slider, and a Next button. As you drag the slider the shape changes from a circle in the middle, to a pentagram/star on the far right, and an octagon/flower on the far left. Simultaneously, the color of the shape along with the background, and the button all adjust too.
One thing that makes this experience extra delightful is how the shape morphs in sync with the speed at which you drag the slider. The video doesn't really capture this but it all feels super fluid, almost like when you move your hand underwater and how that affects the waves on the surface.
Speaking of waves, another detail to highlight here is how the waves that pulse from the center of the shape all have some variability to them. This is really noticeable when the slider is set all the way to the left on Very Unpleasant. You can see how they rotate slightly in a sort of random pattern.
I found this whole experience to not only be beautiful to look at, but also a true joy to use. I mean, it actually got me using the feature, and I'm now logging my mood on a semi-regular basis!
Overall, I'm still exploring all the ins-and-outs of iOS, but I hope to see more designed experiences like this from Apple in the future. Also, would love to hear from you on what your favorite details are in iOS. Let me know below!
This past month, my wife and I have been trying to get a better hold of our finances. Part of this process has included downloading and trying all of the different budgeting and financial health apps out there. One that stood out to me on iOS was Dime.
Dime is a budget and expense tracker created by Rafael Soh. It feels right at home with the rest of Apple's native apps and it's full of great copy, helpful haptics, nice interactions, and thoughtful details.
For example after you set up your categories you're guided to add you first expense via a subtle effect on the plus button.
Even erasing your data comes with a great experience.
There's a bunch more I could highlight here, but to keep this short I'll just end with a recommendation to download Dime and check it out for yourself!
Download Dime on the App Store here.
How To Make Videos Like a PRO! I've never really dabbled with video, but wow did this make me want to start!
In case you missed it, Inter (all of our favorite typeface) got a nice update. Awesome work Rasmus!
Even though Small Business Saturday has passed, this list that Jeff from Ugmonk put together has a ton of great gift ideas.
Thanks for reading! Again I promise you’ll be hearing from me before the end of the year and not 11 months from now. 😜