Snippet: Vision Pro and iOS 7 ☇

Shared on June 7, 2023

Andy Matuschak (via Benjamin Mayo) has an interesting bit of iOS history and how some of it made its way to visionOS):

You might remember the “parallax effect” from iOS 7’s home screen, the Safari tabs view, alerts, and a few other places. We artificially created a depth effect using the device’s motion sensors. Internally, even two months before we revealed the new interface, this effect was system-wide, on every window and control. Knobs on switches and scrubbers floated slightly above the surface. Application windows floated slightly above the wallpaper. Every app had depth-y design specialization: the numbers in the Calculator app floated way above the plane, as if they were a hologram; in Maps, pins, points of interest, and labels floated at different heights by hierarchy; etc. It was eventually deemed too much (“a bit… carnival, don’t you think?”) and too battery-intensive. So it’s charming to see this concept finally get shipped in visionOS, where UIKit elements seem to get the same depth-y treatments we’d tried in 2012/2013. It’s much more natural in the context of a full 3D environment, and the Vision Pro can do a much better job of simulating depth than we’d ever manage with motion sensors.

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