Marissa Mayer shoves her iPhone toward her MacBook’s webcam until it overwhelms the screen on the Google Meet video call we are sharing.
“I admire Apple,” she declares. “They are the best at what they do. But the fact that the biggest and most successful company on Earth by some measures—and certainly the best at design, bar none—thinks that when you meet someone new, that this is an ideal interface is mind-blowing. It’s like bad nerd humor.”
What Mayer is critiquing is the New Contact feature in iOS’s Contacts app—an exceedingly generic screen with fields for you to type first and last names, phone numbers, and other information. It’s not uniquely uninspired. Actually, it’s comparable to Google’s equivalent on an Android phone—and reminiscent of nearly every other piece of software for managing contacts we’ve seen throughout the history of smartphones and PCs.
Mayer has been part of that history herself—first at Google, which was a dinky startup when…