Monday 22 January 2018

Shooting stars on iPad desktop look like scratches

Front screen of the iPad with its shooting stars
Front screen of the iPad with its shooting stars
Steve Jobs presents the iPad to an expectant world. Photo: Getty Images

Heidi Blake

Shooting stars on the iPad’s default desktop wallpaper are leading users to worry that their devices are scratched.

Fans of Apple’s latest gadget have flocked to online forums to complain about unexplained marks on the screen of their iPads.

The “scratches” are in fact an illusion caused by dozens of distant shooting stars in the night sky of a landscape displayed on the device’s desktop.

One owner, Barry Sharp, wrote on Apple’s user forum: “Do others find it annoying to see those streaking meteorites dashing across the iPad's screen as BEING scratches. My wife was in horror when she first turned on her iPad and exclaimed ‘it has all these scratches on the screen’.

“At first I had to agree with her until I discovered they were traces of shooting stars or whatever. This is a bad move on Apple's part and I cannot fathom out how Apple could let something like that through their QA and/or PR departments.

“The perceived 'scratches' ruins the joy of see/using the iPad for the FIRST time. Shame.”

Mark Hattersley, of MacWorld magazine, posted on the publication’s website: "The desktop shows a serene landscape with a lake, mountains and sky. In the sky are some shooting stars, the trouble is they look like white lines: people think they look like scratches.

“It certainly seems like an odd design choice for Apple, notoriously strict on its attention to detail. We find it hard to believe that Apple didn't know of the appearance before the iPad went out.”

Fans who realised their mistake were amused by the confusion.

One user wrote on the iPadGuide forum: “heh I wonder how many people were freaked out by that. Apple's inside joke, maybe. ;)”

Another replied: “HAHA i thought the same thing when I opened it up..and a few times after. Then theres a huge sigh of relief when i realize they're just the stars. glad im not the only one!”

The picture which has called all the confusion was taken by the photographer Richard Misrach at an Native American reservation in Nevada.

Misrach said of the image: “It’s a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance. I shot it on an 8x10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky."

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