Steve Jobs would not appr o ve

In his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, Steve Jobs explained how his interest in typography played a fundamental role in creating the first Macintosh computer, and how the beautiful typography set the Mac apart from other personal computers out there. He was obviously passionate about these things, going as far as pixel-perfectionism about fonts and icons. That’s why I was a bit shocked when I started noticing bad kerning (aka keming) in the iOS 5 status bar. Could it be that these are the first artifacts of the post-Steve Jobs World? (Update: No)

Spoiler alert: As XKCD points out, recognizing bad kerning is something you may not want to learn about. If you like your iOS status bar, consider not reading on.

Have a look at the battery level indicator of the iOS screenshot below:

Battery Indicator: 44%

Now compare that 44 with the one from the clock. Doesn’t look right, does it? How about something a bit more obvious: charge your iDevice to 100%, and you see the following:

Battery Indicator: 100%

That 1 in the battery level almost looks like it’s coming from a different font?! Still not convinced? How about anything in the 10-19% range?

Battery Indicator: 18% Battery Indicator: 15%

You have to admit that this is much worse than pixel-imperfectionisms. Even if this was post-Steve, or Steve always had his battery level indicator turned off, you would have come to expect someone at Apple must be annoyed by this, surely?

I know I’m nitpicking, but the problem is that, if you noticed it once, you will notice it every time you look at your status bar. The only solution: disable the battery level indicator.

This page was posted in Typography with tags iOS, Typography, Keming, Kerning .