- iPhone somehow nails “baroque yet oversimplified.”
- Android is continuous assembly required and an engineer’s fetishized vision of security.
- Winphone is usable, which remains the core function of a thing that’s going to go back in my pocket the moment I have something else to do. Which is ALL THE TIME. Stop making me use my phone. I got bills and shit.
I was surprised to find that the WinPhone (which I was replacing, but going from 7.1 to 8) was such a superior experience. I had assumed that perhaps my Microsoft time had blinded me to actual improvements in the other experiences, but there’s really just nothing there.
Android really expects you to make your life about doing the work they decided not to do (design a usable UI), and do it all on the phone, which means you’re weeks into the “project” of owning their damn phone. Widgets for this and that, but they’re of different sizes, and things can’t always fit, and there’s multiple pages and each page can only hold so much…but they all have the same-ish wallpaper so i’m going to spend time swiping to find things I use all the time. All data trapped in apps. All contacts trapped in their respective ecosystems. But Google+ integration so I can be with the other three people left on G+ (and now Youtube). And connecting to any secured Exchange environment means audio notifications now mean nothing. Phone made a noise? I’ll look…and now I have to type in a password just to see what happened? and by that time the notification is gone and I’m now looking at everything that happened recently on my phone. or I can engineer the Notifications view (again, Google could have done this for me but didn’t). Everything works, just not together. But don’t worry, there will be an update soon which won’t hit your phone and won’t solve anything but will update some kernel thing somewhere that you don’t care about because NOTIFICATIONS STILL REQUIRE YOU TO SET THEM UP. 10 days with my ring and run phone and it went back to ATT.
[Update] Cyanogenmod is NOT a solution. There are those among my flock whose life is about creating a better technical experience. I use my phone, I don’t work on it. My phone is not a project. I expect a reasonable amount of configuration, but I will not tolerate a user experience that requires me to invest time and focus and energy in re-engineering the platform. [/update]
iPhone goes the other way: no need to design anything, we’ve extracted the choices and made none of them. it’s now 2013, Twitter just IPOed and the keyboard needs three clicks just to get to a hashtag? Fuck you. Every website I ever go to has an app, fine. You know what every website I ever go to also has? A GODDAMN WEBSITE. Unless you’re going to cache all of Imgur, why do I goddamn care there’s an Imgur app? and why does Imgur have to consume a third of the smallest screen in the smartphone marketplace to remind me of that app every damn time I go there. Oh, and voice commands…wow is that bullshit. Siri is…Siri likes to hear herself talk. What’s three commands in WinPhone’s less than perfect voice is six in Siri’s dulcet (and well-designed) tones.