It seems that the metaphors and UI for touchbased gesture computing have already coalesced into a set of standard approaches, and Microsoft has done a fine job of implementing them. In the few areas where it’s done something new, the results were often great…
A good start, but:
Slicing off part of an already narrow screen simply to indicate additional content is a bad idea. Having icons that change their appearance so often isn’t really good UI. The status bar is just annoying. If anything, these aspects of WP7 are too much like an Apple product: they sacrifice functionality to give users something artistic looking.
If there was a spectrum with function on one side and form on the other side it would seem Apple would fall more towards form. But the entire premiss is wrong. The assumption that you need to sacrifice function for form is not correct. Form and function are not on a spectrum: there is a correct form for a certain function, the two are symbiotic. I think Apple has done a fantastic job of finding a more correct form than most other brands in the computing and consumer electronics industries.
That being said, I don’t really appreciate the back glass on the iPhone 4. It lowers the overall durability. Before there was a 50/50 chance the iPhone would do a face plant on concrete. Because both sides are glass the likelihood of the iPhone 4 doing a face plant doubled to 100%. You’re also having to clean off your fingerprints from both sides of the phone. A unibody stainless steel construction would have been better.