There has been some excellent critique of Apple’s UI experiments on Irate Scotsman, Daring Fireball, and NSLog. While moving some books last night I found the following, which you may recognize from Apple’s Think Different ad campaign. Reading it I couldn’t help but think of the posts above.
Here's to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.They're not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
The important thing here is that you want to be different and better, not just different. Lately, Apple has been better. The recent failures are so annoying because they got the hard things right (new design approaches to old problems) and the easy things wrong (UI widget consistency).