What or how is most important to you?


Isn’t that a bit like saying “What can Windows do that a Mac can’t?” vboelema

A simple comment in response to this article which discussed the fact that, in my opinion, iOS can literally do everything that Android can. Everything that is important that is.

Perhaps the more important question should ‘how’ computing platforms do things and not ‘what’.

I would not use a Mac or an iPhone if it came down to what they did because Windows and Mac can do the same things and so can Android phones and iPhones. There is a difference in the customisation of non-Apple platform and in particular on Windows where you can do whatever you want, but the reality is that 98% of people just want to use computers, big and small, to do stuff that does not need advanced functionality.

If, for example, I want to keep a task list on my phone, I can do that easily, but there is a consistency to iOS that makes every single interaction feel natural and without the need to think about what I am doing. It has been this was from the start of iOS and in macOS for many years. The ‘how’ ironically means a huge amount because I never think about how it works.

Truth be told, I don’t see this on Android or Windows. There is always an element of the computer behind the pixels and the interactions and interfaces often lack the immediacy that I have become so accustomed to.

It is hard to explain, but the fact I rarely feel like I am using a computer is what does it for me, and it is the main reason I won’t be changing any time soon.

Categories: Articles

2 replies

  1. Apple has published very specific interface design guidelines for MacOS and iOS. It’s pretty obvious when a Mac app is not following the guidelines. In the early days of the Mac, an app that didn’t follow the guidelines was often shunned, no matter how useful it was. Not so much these days but it’s still pretty obvious when an app is “different”. Similarly with iOS. I can’t speak to Android, but while there may be Windows guidelines, in my experience, developers did their own thing, good or bad. That made for an inconsistent user experience.

    That said, it depends what you want to do. When I get asked about buying computers, the first question I ask is what do you want to do, or what types of things do you want to do. Yes, there are things that they might want to add in the future, but the initial list gives a pretty good idea. The next question is how much they know or care to know about the details, although most people who know the details know enough not to need to ask the initial question.

    On my desktop I want flexibility but also stability and consistency. MacOS gives me that to a much greater degree than Windows or Linux. In hand, I want stability and consistency, but the flexibility isn’t as important. I do very little what I would call real computing on my phone or tablet so iOS for me.

  2. What I use a computer for these days is pretty basic and light, and I generally prefer the instant on, portability and battery life of my Android Lenovo Yoga Book. Those are the things that are important to me. The moments I do boot up my Windows laptop are very frustrating and endlessly slow. I know that whatever OS I hop on should be able to do the little I demand of it these days, but you do get used to a certain way of doing things. I’d love to own a Mac, I used to only use Macs, but I just can’t afford to justify the asking price, it’s not within my lean budget, so I make do. The latest firmware upgrade lets me double tap the keyboard to turn it on when it is open. It doesn’t seem like much, but it makes life so much easier! I was talking to a friend who is patiently waiting for the iPhone 8 to come out, even though his screen is cracked to bits, his battery is suspect and his family are embarrassed when he pulls his phone out in front of them. His wife and son told him to get a Samsung, like they have, but he said the way he is able to just change appointments in his calendar is so comfortable for him, that there is no way he’s going to switch. Where as I love the overview I get of my day just by opening up my phone or Yoga Book. I completely appreciate his reasoning, it make sense. I would love to spend some realnhands on time with iOS. I have used it, and played with it, but that’s completely different from making it ones daily driver.

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