Just read this article on Business Insider: Apple Is Following Microsoft's Path In Alarming Ways I have been thinking many of the same things as in this article. I have been impressed with Apple products for a long time now, and have been a customer several times as well. My user interface design thought process has been heavily influenced by iPhones since 2007. Simple, clean, intuitive, and responsive. Without a bunch of unnecessary cruft. But I've noticed a dramatic turn for the worse as of late, ever since they started doing what the blogosphere likes to call "skeuomorphism" in some of their offerings. It's this thing where they try to design the user interface for some new digital thing based on an old familiar metaphor, like a tape player or a leather folio or a jukebox. Apple's podcasts app is, in my view, one of the most hideous examples You can argue that bringing an old interface into the new provides some familiarity, an anchor point. I'll buy that. But making the entire now playing UI look like a giant old reel to reel? Who in this day and age that listens to podcasts even had one? I'll bet not many. And it doesn't add anything to the experience. Spinning wheels tell you it's playing...well, you could've figured that out by whether you were hearing any sound. The thickness of the tape on either reel hints at how much of the episode has played, meanwhile the venerable progress indicator shows the exact amount of time, making the whole tape metaphor completely useless. There's a bunch of crap that I don't find necessary or cool in Apple's latest software, and I think it's taking them a lot of time to dress it up that could be better spent making a good, usable app. I don't know who got put in charge of software design at Apple, but they need to be pulled off of it pronto. Another example...the App Store on iOS 6 seems to be fairly shoddy. I'm sitting there trying to update a few apps (I don't want to update all of them at once) and it locks up and becomes unresponsive after a few button presses. Where has Apple's amazing attention to detail gone? Something like that never would have slipped through the cracks before Steve Jobs left the world. I've been using an app called Podcaster 5 on my iPhone for a while now, and while it isn't perfect by any means, it's the best I've found so far. It's a digital interface, unencumbered by throwbacks to tape players or radios. I can mix video and audio podcasts together in a playlist, play everything at increased speed to pack even more information into my stuffed brain, and even get show notes and information about the show's hosts. It's a modern app designed for people who use a modern computer. Maybe Windows Phone 8 will be the next UI from which I take my cues. Apple's starting to go down a path I can't in good conscience follow.