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Apple says ‘Hello’ to Web 2.0

Lost in the buzz surrounding iPhone SDKs and Safari 3 betas and the lack of any new or updated hardware was Apple's site redesign. Not since 2000 has Apple's site gone through such a drastic change. Today ushers in a new day for Apple's web presence. Gone are the days of the aqua apple.com; unified is the new look in town. 老域名购买

Upon visiting the new site there are several things that will strike you right away. First the aqua menu at the top of the page is gone and has been replaced by a similar menu sporting the unified look. You will also notice that a number of the pages (product and the home page) are now sporting black as the primary color for backgrounds. The third thing you may notice is that the "Software" and "Hardware" menu items of old are gone, replaced by an all-encompassing "Mac" tab. Also added to the mix is a new "live search" field that works much like Spotlight, only fast.

Once you navigate off the front page, you will start to see a lot of changes in the UI. Navigation is now done through a horizontally scrolling 'frame' (not really a frame in the traditional sense of the word) which can either be navigated by dragging a scroll bar or by clicking on text inside the scroll area. Once you select an item from the frame, the page reloads and you get the product page without the new means of navigation (clicking on "Mac" brings you back to the original navigation page). The initial pages—"Mac" and "iPod and iTunes"—where this new navigational tool can be found also make use of a three column layout but with auto collapsing sections that expand when you mouse over them. For instance on the "iPod and iTunes" page, the right side has a "Latest in iTunes" section which includes "Top TV Shows," "Top Movies," "Top Music," and "Featured." By default "Top TV Shows" is expanded, but when one mouses over "Top Movies," the section opens up as Top TV Shows collapses, revealing movie content without a page refresh.

It is safe to say that the new site makes heavy use of Ajax and the script.aculo.us java script framework and it does it fairly well across all of the browsers I have tried. It is nice to see the old tired aqua look finally gone from their site, but this rewrite isn't without problems. Pages feel a bit cluttered, and they are fairly wide—maybe a touch smaller then 1,024 pixels wide. The switch between black and white backgrounds from page to page is actually kind of nice, and as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on the new means of navigation.

All in all I'd say the new look is a much needed revamp for Apple; updating their web site to match their OS a bit better.


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