Earlier this year, in march, I’ve released the iPhone version of Chord!. It was the result of about a year of development. When you’re in charge of all the aspects of the app like I am, you have to share your time between two majors areas: the “model”, which is the brain of the app where musical computations are done, and the “interface”, which depends on the device your targeting. To make a good app, both have to be realized with great care.
The iOS 6 icon, with realistic wood and fret.
The iOS 7 icon, with the new corner radius, detexturized and flattened to better fit in the new style...
Without the frets, this may be the next iOS 7 icon. It looks really good on the device's launcher.
In my case, the interface is longer to make: it’s very difficult to make something which is natural, intuitive and complete on a device with such a small area to display things. Put too much and you’ll render the app more complex to use, separate on several screens and you’ll lose the user in a labyrinth of transitions. Searching how to arrange things in the best way possible is taking me the most time, more than actually implementing this once decided. Since the app should behave as a whole, parts of the app are modified again and again to adapt to each other. At the end, the app is the result of a complex alchemy of independent parts which have been polished over and over to fit together. I don’t know if I’ve achieved this with the iPhone version, but I was quite satisfied with the look of the app at the end.
And here comes iOS 7…
As you surely knows, the style is very different. Thiner, flatter, clearer, it’s almost the exact opposite of the defining traits of earlier versions. Liking it or not is not the question: my beloved app won’t fit in it! It will feel old as soon as users will be accustomed to the new style. So I had to stop working on the iPad version and get back to places I’ve considered settled, ditch all, and redesign them again…
The home screen on iOS 6
The home screen on iOS 7
Standard input for a chord search on iOS 6
Standard input for a chord search on iOS 7
Chord fingerings on iOS 6
Chord fingerings on iOS 7
Scales on iOS 6
Scales on iOS 7
Scale detail on iOS 6
Scales detail on iOS 7
Scale fingering on iOS 6
Scales fingering on iOS 7
Scale harmonization on iOS 6
Scales harmonization on iOS 7
Tuning editing on iOS 6
Tuning editing on iOS 7
I like both styles. The old one looks more comfy, more “conventional”, and the new one looks more sharp, more cold. I prefer the old icon and I will use it when I need to communicate, but the new version fits better with its (expected) neighbours so it will be used to launch the app on iOS7+ devices. Nothing is definitive though and I can change or revert some details.
If you liked the old style of the app, be assured that I will put the same effort to keep the app nice with the new style. I can now go back to the iPad version.