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The History of Cover Flow

A few months ago when I was writing about Widgetsmith’s new music widgets in my iOS 17 review, I told my buddy Stephen Hackett I couldn’t believe there was no Cover Flow retrospective on 512 Pixels. Yesterday, Stephen delivered:

Over the last decade or so, Apple has been hard at work in simplifying the user interfaces that power its myriad platforms. I’ve welcomed most of that work, but it’s hard to deny that we’ve all lost some things along the way.

Today, we look at a UI element that started life in iTunes, but spread to the iPod, iPhone and Mac over time: Cover Flow.

I had completely forgotten that Cover Flow eventually found its way to Safari as well. I miss Cover Flow more today than I ever used it at the time; I wonder if a similar 3D interface could be revived for the age of visionOS and Vision Pro.