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Despite Design Focus, Apple iOS 7 Doesn't Fix Its Ugly Off-Center 1

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I had high hopes for iOS 7. It's designed by Jony Ive, the God of Minimalism, Attention to Detail and Tight T-Shirts. I love his work almost as much as I love Phil Schiller (so huggable!) But Jony... you broke my heart, Jony. WHY DIDN'T YOU OPTICALLY CENTER THE 1 IN THE CALENDAR APP ICON?

OK, punks. It's that time of the year again. The time in which a new update to Apple iOS comes out and the calendar hits July 1. Yes, that time. The time I want to take a sledgehammer to my iPhone. The time I want to get a baseball bat, go to an Apple store, and start smashing every genius in their non-centered genitals as retribution for this act of typographic terrorism.


Did really think I was going to let this one slip away? COME ON! No, of course I couldn't let it pass.


Not until Apple fixes it like they fixed off-center calendar days, which they corrected just a few months after I wrote a piece excoriating them for it.


But I digress. The problem with the off-center 1 goes back to the very beginning of the iPhone. For some reason, Apple decided to use the bounding box to center the digits in the's icon instead of carefully setting them to be optically centered. So what, you ask? You don't have to be a hawk-eyed genius to see the difference:


The difference is obvious. Despite its bounding box being metrically centered in relation to the icon, the number 1 feels off-center. The example on the right shows the correct placement—the 1 feels optically centered, balanced in relation to the icon.

Does this matter? Not unless you are some detail-obsessed twunt like me.


I had hoped that iOS 7 would fix this, but it didn't. And in fact the light typography makes the bad positioning even more obvious, like you can see in the image at the top of this article.

If you are reading this, whoever you are at Apple UI design's department, please, please fix this for the love of all that is sacred and good and made of deep fried rainbow bacon twinkies. I can't stand it anymore and I've run out of pills.


And just in case there's any doubt, this is...



Reader Backhome rendered it. The right way is the one on the right. Notice how the 1's stem is not centered in relation to the white area, neither is its bounding box. And yet, the number looks pleasantly centered in relation to the icon surface. The brain makes it work just like the one in the left looks like crap compared to the right one to anyone with eyes except the most rabid and brainless of all the Apple fanboys.