18 shiny, happy things iPhone and iPad users say to feel better about themselves

18 shiny, happy things iPhone and iPad users say to feel better about themselves

Summary: David Gewirtz counts down the 18 most common things iOS users say to feel better about themselves, their devices, and their choices.

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  • #10 "Why would you want to tweak your phone?"

    The general intent of this comment is to imply that the iPhone is just perfect as it is. Of course, if it's so perfect, why is Apple changing the interface so radically in iOS 7? To be fair, Zack Whittaker spent a month with iOS 7 and reports it's a pretty solid OS that's reasonably pleasant to use.

    But here's the thing. What if you liked the way something worked in iOS 6 and don't want to change it? Let's say you liked swiping the home page in from the left to get the search box. Once you upgrade to iOS 7, that's gone forever. In Android, if that's what you want, there really is an app for that. The system isn't so locked down that you can't add and use utilities.

    Here's one that's annoyed me since the first day of iOS: folders. I dislike the mini-icons. I want my folders to each have an icon that clearly indicates what they do. You can easily do that in Android, but there's no way ever to do it on the iPhone or iPad.

    It's not that you have to tweak your device. But since it's just about the most personal technology we have, it's nice to make it fit our needs rather than force ourselves into a mold someone in Cupertino thought would be a good idea.

    Should Apple users feel better about themselves because of this? Nope. This is merely a failure of imagination.

    Licensed image courtesy IconShock.

  • #11 "Why would you want to use a Back button?"

    The Back button didn't even make it into my list of 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s. But the fact is, the Back button is integrated quite elegantly into the Android experience.

    Now that I'm using Android regularly, I find myself trying to press Back on my iPhone (which I now use like an iPod touch). Sure, I could always tap the Home button and go back to what I was doing, or remember some weird Boy Scout three-finger-salute to rub across the screen, but the little Back icon is there, it works in everything and it just works.

    Should Apple users feel better about themselves because of this? No. The Back button is a simple and obvious user interface innovation.

    Image courtesy PowerPoint.

  • #12 "Why would you ever want to do... [fill in the blank]?"

    I've already highlighted a few "why would you ever" questions I've been asked, but the interesting thing about my correspondents is "why would you ever" seems to be applicable to virtually everything.

    "Why would you ever use a spare battery?" Because some days are long days. "Why would you ever need a Micro SD card when you have the cloud?" Because the cloud isn't everywhere. "Why would you want to copy files straight to your device's USB port?" Because it's convenient and can even be scripted.

    Oddly, enough, whenever there's some neat feature or useful function that another system has but Apple lacks, the fanbois tend to feign bafflement and ask, "Why would you ever want to do that?" as if "that" were jumping off a bridge or putting your hand on a hot stove, rather than simply having a spare battery.

    Should Apple users feel better about themselves because of this? No. This is just a lame excuse for not having some feature or another.

    Licensed image courtesy GraphicStock.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Google, iOS

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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201 comments
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  • I am glad that you like your choice of product and that it works for you

    There is nothing wrong with anyone making their choices to suit their personal needs and preferences.

    What IS wrong is for a person to then extrapolate (as trolls love to do) that their personal choice should be the same choice for everyone else.
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • Humor Alert

      Well then, let me wake you with the following national alert: When I saw the headline on this article I burst into chest-heaving, diaphragm-shaking laughter, and repeated that exercise as needed throughout the entire article. DANG, DAVID !!, I do think you've written one of the most humorous articles ever published on ZDNet, and may you be blessed for it. (Sorry Larry, but David just out-classed a bunch of your pals). I'm still laughing about this one: "I've been told, "Well, you just don't know how to use it right?" Also possibly true, but with 30 years of technology experience, a degree in computer architecture, and years spent at Apple with the title "Godfather," if I can't use it "right," then perhaps some work needs to be done somewhere to make things easier for civilians."
      ---Wordman
      https://plus.google.com/114660584480111918841/about
      Paul B. Wordman
    • windoze users have an inferiority complex

      notice all their knee-jerk reactions they exhibit everytime their corporate temple of sloth is attacked.

      No wonder they can't come up with 18 shiny, happy things of their own.

      And if they do happen come up with one or two, they piggy-backed them off Apple.

      Sad... :)
      CaviarRed
  • Never thought I'd say this about an article, but here goes

    Don't feed the troll!
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Apparently you haven't read SJVN often...

      ..though admittedly, he's gotten better..
      daftkey
  • this does seem a little childish.

    The market needs two or three players. I don't want to be stuck in Apple's walked garden and others don't want the complexity of Android. To me, having a single brand would stink for half the people on the market and that's why it is important that either Apple of MS take up that #2 spot and stick around for awhile.
    slickjim
  • :-)

    Funny article. Really funny. You should be proud of your new S4. Working everyday with various Androids & iPhones - almost all of our customers order the apps for both platforms, so sometimes we , developers find ourselves comparing the apps on iDevices & Androids. I bound to use Android sometimes, there's nothing I can do with this. This "back" button is extremely inconvenient thing. If the app was designed and written in a right way, you won't feel the need in the "back" button.
    Maria Davidenko
    • Wouldn't need a back button if app properly designed?

      Do you want me to start posting links to screenshots of ios apps, many built by apple, that have a back button?

      http://static.geekbeat.tv/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01-iOS-Settings-App-General.png

      Oh, how intuitive, the back button is labeled differently.

      Android (presumably) and Windows Phone have an extremely consistent, intuitive, easy to use navigation system that is simply unavailable in ios.

      ios loses this one big time.
      toddbottom3
      • Sorry, it wasn't clear enough

        I mean, you dont need "back" button on the phone's surface, not within an app.
        Maria Davidenko
        • It is extremely convenient, consistent, and easy to use

          Since you are so against any buttons on the phone's surface, how about this:
          If ios was properly designed, you wouldn't feel the need to have a "Home" button on the phone's surface. Instead, ios could have a start button always on the screen. That way, you would save valuable phone surface real estate.

          The room is there on the phone's surface. Going "back" is EXTREMELY useful and ios users, not having access to that functionality, show a gross misunderstanding of what it can do. They assume it is the same as the button that shows up in different places, with different labels, in ios. It isn't. It is an OS navigation feature.
          toddbottom3
          • It is.... moderately useful

            that is my experience on the classic Blackberry, which had the most robust backwards navigation system of any phone then or since, in that the physical button took you backwards through whatever you'd done, in whatever app you'd done it.

            I find myself occasionally missing that on the iTouch... but not a dramatic issue, as far as I am concerned.
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Back Button?

            Only bad UI's need a hardware back button.
            TimeForAChangeToBetter
          • this is...

            Exactly what I'm trying to say!!!
            Maria Davidenko
          • I notice you had no response for the home button comment

            Only bad OSs need a hardware home button. Right Maria?
            toddbottom3
          • see below

            Maria Davidenko
          • Not right

            Only bad hardware needs UI back buttons. See screenshot above for an example.
            toddbottom3
          • Any buttons?

            Did I say it??? When? In the droids phones surface you have 3 (last nexus I think, one of our developer owns it ) buttons . God, what for???? You have UI with back button and hardware doing the same back operation
            Maria Davidenko
          • So again, you have no answer

            Only bad OSs need a hardware home button.

            You have absolutely no answer to that.

            You apple people are absolutely incapable of admitting that someone else has done something better. I can't speak for Android and its back button but on my Windows Phone, developers DON'T have to put a back button in the UI. It isn't required. Going back in the Windows Phone OS is intuitive, consistent, and doesn't take up valuable screen space, unlike ios which is about 90% buttons and chrome and only 10% content. When I look at an ios screen, I'm reminded of the old Word UI that apple people would make fun of because 90% of the screen could be filled up with toolbars.

            "God, what for???? You have UI with back button and hardware doing the same back operation"

            Oh, and just to show how ridiculous you guys are when you pick and choose your arguments, ios has hardware buttons for volume and mute. ios also has UI buttons for volume and mute. God, what for????
            toddbottom3
          • talking about AV applications...

            It's absolutely impossible looking at every platform design conception not to put the buttons you've mentioned on Audio-Video apps. It is a nonsense . But if you remember, you have a speaker and have to control it's volume . Remember ?
            Maria Davidenko
          • It is so easy to get apple fanboys to do backflips

            Got it. So when other platforms have the same buttons repeated in the UI and in the hardware, it is because those other platforms suck.

            When apple does it however, well, it is because there is no other way. It is nonsense not to do it.

            Maria, it is nonsense not to have a consistent, intuitive way of navigating an OS and its apps. That's why ios is nonsense and WP (and Android, from what I hear) are better.

            Again, instead of doing all these backflips where you have to frantically figure out why repeated buttons are great on ios but horrible everywhere else, wouldn't it just be easier for you to admit that navigation is not one of ios's better features? Wouldn't it be easier for you to admit that others have done it better? You don't need to switch just because you have admitted that ios isn't perfect in every way. You do realize that, don't you?
            toddbottom3