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Well, of course. And if you think about it further, all user-facing software is, in fact, an illusion. Smoke and mirrors all the time. Apple just pushes the illusionist work even further than what most software developers (who are themselves illusionists, whether they realize it or not) consider as being "real". But it works, users prefer that.

Not only that, but I'm convinced that users are actually more efficient when perceived responsiveness is added: for instance, most users will not start thinking about what to do next on an app until they are seeing the app interface; presenting then with a non-interacting screenshot as soon as possible actually makes the overall interaction more efficient. But the ultimate is what the guys making PCalc discovered ( http://www.dragthing.com/blog/2009/07/how-to-make-your-iphon... ): you can put a non-interactive screengrab in such a way that even though it is a dumb image, touches will actually be recorded and have their effect as soon as the actual interface is set up; users can actually interact very soon. Now that's badass.

(however, most animation stuff doesn't fall in the category of perceived responsiveness, as most often, for instance for transitions, the end result must be ready before the animation begins; also, "undocumented nature"? Apple's obsession with perceived responsiveness is well-known).

Thanks for that link... I'm a designer not a developer, but I find articles like that fascinating.

(You are right about the other things you objected to in my comment.)

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