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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  • What makes you feel better?

    Our readers are nothing if not opinionated. I enjoy writing on somewhat controversial topics (heck, I do the government column) because our readers get involved, both (or many) sides start discussing the issues, relative merits, and weaknesses of whatever is being discussed. The result is that I never fail to learn something new, and I'm sure that most of you derive the same benefit.

    So here we go again. A few months ago, I traded in my aging iPhone 4S for a Samsung Galaxy S4 (yeah, I traded the 4S for an S4 -- gotta love the folks who name products). Anyway, after that, I realized that features in the new Android phone made my iPhone seem very dated. So I wrote, 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s. The thing is, the iPhone also has its advantages, so I also wrote, 10 things I miss about my iPhone now that I'm on Android.

    In the four or so weeks since, I've come to discover that a lot of the iOS users are absolutely convinced that the iOS devices are better (even if better is really an eye-of-the-beholder thing). I have gotten tweets, posts, emails, and discussion posts describing to me, with no shortage of detail, exactly why the iOS devices are better than anything Android (or BlackBerry or Windows or Kindle — you get the point).

    After reading all these missives, it seemed to me they were more about justifying purchases and feeling better about the gear they carried than real details (although some of their points were dead on). I also noticed that a set of these points seemed to be common among many, many iOS users.

    So, that's what follows. These are the 18 most common things iOS users say to feel better about themselves, their devices, and their choices.

    By the way, I'm doing more updates on Twitter and Facebook than ever before. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz and on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz.

    Licensed image courtesy GraphicStock.

  • #1 "All iPhone users get the latest updates."

    Many iPhone users are looking forward to iOS 7. Personally, one of the reasons I moved to Android was what I saw of iOS 7. You can read about that here: iOS 7: why I'm finally dumping my iPhone for an Android.

    The assertion, "All iPhone users get the latest updates," like most other tech assertions, is somewhat true. All phones from the iPhone 4 and later will support iOS 7, but the old iPhone 3 and 3S won't be supported. Likewise, the original iPad won't upgrade to iOS 7 and is being effectively abandoned.

    This problem occurs on the Android side of the house, of course. The Google-reference versions of phones and tablets get upgrades right away, but the devices made by other manufacturers may or may not ever get an upgrade. My year-plus old Nexus 7 got upgraded to Android 4.3, but my three-month-old Galaxy S4 is still running 4.2.x and there's no date for when that will upgrade.

    Should Apple users feel better about themselves because of this? Sure, if you are a recent purchaser. Otherwise, you're in the same boat as the Android folks.

    Image courtesy Apple.

  • #2 "We have iMessage."

    This is one of the most common statements I've heard, and it baffles me a bit. Of course, I send maybe ten text messages a month, so I'm not the target audience. If you dig into the comments here, you'll see a detailed, almost overblown discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of iMessage.

    Android certainly has apps that bypass the pay-as-you-go SMS system, most notably Google Voice.

    Should Apple users feel better about themselves because of this? I guess, if it makes you happy.

    Image courtesy Apple.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, Google, iOS


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

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

      ..though admittedly, he's gotten better..
  • 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.
  • :-)

    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?


      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.
      • 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.
          • 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.
          • Back Button?

            Only bad UI's need a hardware back button.
          • 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?
          • see below

            Maria Davidenko
          • Not right

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