Can a Machine Have Soul?

Back when the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4 was announced, Joshua Topolsky scored an interview with Martias Duarte, formerly head of Palm’s WebOS, now in charge of Android’s design.

The guy has his head firmly screwed on.

This quote made me jump out of my seat and scream “absolutely”. It’s about competing devices to Android 4:

Right now if you look at all of these applications that are designed in this real-objecty, faux wood paneling, faux brushed metal, faux jelly button kind of thing… if you step back and you really look at them, they look kind of juvenile. They’re not photorealistic, they’re illustrations.

Exactly. Apple design of recent looks truly pale for doing this too often. The calendar app in OS X Lion looks like a turd. I’m convinced the address book in OS X Lion is a joke. Duarte is pioneering beautiful design without the need to create faux-real impressions. In Android 4, the interface isn’t pretending to be real, it is real.

Design is arguably the most important part of an operating system and until now has always felt like an afterthought on Android. On ICS, it’s years ahead.