Having every feature and option up in your face can reduce usability and make simple tasks harder for the average user. Apple wants a product that's easy for anyone to use and that often means keeping non-essential features out of the way.
I’d be more interesting in seeing feedback for Apple on how to improve the situation without compromising on ease of use.
(Regarding the WiFi thing...I agree this is a very annoying default setting, but I think a worse outcome is when a user shows up in their friend’s house and has no idea how to connect to the WiFi. Making the user go to Settings -> WiFi to disable this prompt means they’ve demonstrated they’ll be able to go back to that page to manually connect to a network in the future. If you turn this setting off on a friend's phone, be sure they still know how to connect manually.
(Though I do think iOS could be smarter and not prompt you to connect to intermittent networks while you’re driving around a city...))
Loads and loads of people are older than 40. Loads of people just have weaker eyesight. Apple has really good accessibility tools, and it would make a _lot_ of sense for there to be a dedicated part of the onboarding for accessibility.
As much as I'm not a fan of their products, there is very little you can do to help users when they (by proxy in this case) ignore or avoid your attempts to help them.
Making the option easier to find after on-boarding might help, but for the users you describe it would need to be very easy to access and you will fill any list of quick-access options very quickly if you include things they may only want to use one or twice in the life of the phone rendering the "quick access" a big scary list that is neither quick nor easy. Even if you do find a good place for the option: will that class of user even know to look for it never mind find it? They'd just ask the person who on-boarded them instead so the technical level of the target audience has changed back to someone who at least knows how to Google for where to find a more buried option.
So don't ask them. Default to a non privacy invading mode. Ask the questions later of people who wants the features.
I don't buy "this is the pinnacle of ease of use" and we can't get further.
I know many people (yes, most of them older) for whom the idea of trying to look at an unfamiliar process on a computer (including smartphones) and see if it's something they can do themselves is just a completely alien idea. If it's not something they're already familiar with, it's Scary Technology Stuff, and they need a Technology Person to handle it for them.
It seems a bit of a stretch to ask everyone around me to drive go there every time they get a new phone.
Reality: people who feel that they need help, and for most features it's a one-time trip with settings passed from phone to phone as you upgrade.
And of course there are still countries where there is no Apple store, but you see quite a few iPhones.
Onboarding was like 3 steps, including "plug in your old phone".
I‘m really not sure what else Apple could do other than:
- Asking during onboarding
- Putting it in Display as well as Accessibility settings
- Having a control center button
Text size? Same - I often have to show something to my elderly family members, but digging deep into the menu's to find the Text Size setting is very distracting.
I think what's happening in this thread is that people are simply attempting to justify bad design decisions without thinking things through. Language should be something you can change, with ease. Same with text size. Ditto, Wifi access, etc.
That's an outlier request, if I ever saw one, and the accusation is absurd (they give localizations for the OS and tons of things like Siri for dozens or hundreds of languages, so to say they ..."enforce a mono-culture" because they don't allow one to see Spanish one day and French the next on the menu" is contrived at best.
The vast majority of people just don't change the language frequently, and wouldn't do it even if it had a dedicated rotary switch on the side.
If that's the best argument, Apple is doing pretty well.
> That's an outlier request, if I ever saw one
I've lived in similar households. In KDE one can change the language on the fly for any arbitrary application or the desktop manager.
The Russian-speaking girlfriend, the Hebrew-speaking children, and the Spanish-speaking regular can all use KDE comfortably. I was actually surprised when I had to use an English-language Windows machine and could not change the language on the fly.
I'm switching languages I type in every whatsapp conversation.
On an older Android version that doesn't track per chat language, I have to switch the keyboard every single time. Three languages. And I happen to know more.
You don’t need to change the whole OS’s language to type in multiple languages!
The vast majority of users in some countries may never change language, but there are other countries where multiple languages are officially spoken and where even members of the same household have different first languages.
For the phone form factor I would think that maybe language switching isn't as important since most people are not sharing their phones often, but for the iPad it might be more useful to be able to switch languages quickly.
I switch languages between English (work) and German (everything else) every day. My sister's family is bilingual. I've seen them switch languages back and forth every other sentence within the same conversation. (When I asked the kids why they do that, they told me that some things are easier to express in a specific language.)
FWIW, multi language support has gotten much better but there's still a way to go. Two issues of the top of my head:
- I have my phone set to English. But I want Google maps pronounce street names in German when giving directions. This should probably be a user-configurable option because I can see that it helps people to hear (an approximation of) how a street would be pronounced in their language if they don't speak the local language.
- iOS automatically detects the language when I type in some text. But speech recognition always uses whatever language the keyboard is currently set to. I often speak out notes in German and English and to do that I have to make sure that the correct language is set.
3D-Touch the widget group with airplane mode and the antenna toggles in it, and it will expand to include a Personal Hotspot control.
Of course, this is completely undiscoverable...
Then everyone does it a bit differently and there is this pre-parsing phase trying to understand which idiom people have written the text.
This is what frustrates me about consumer electronics, that if you have a use case that the vendor doesn't want to support then you'll be constantly frustrated over what could be a simple software change.
Bingo! Apple have acquired immense expertise in applying this anti-pattern.
Better than cramming every such feature as a first priority, and making a UI that's confusing for everyday use.
They can always look them up (online), set them, and forget them. Better than having all such settings front and center over more commonly used settings.
Even most young people I know are not able to google things (even if it's some important information they urgently need). Or maybe they just don't get the idea of even asking the internet.
But they don't. You're a reader of HN. It is fairly obvious that you're the sort of person who, at a point when you need to accomplish something you don't know how to accomplish, will assume that it's possible and start with research. But there are a lot of people out there who will start with the assumption that not being able to see their phone screen so well anymore is just something to put up with. The entire point of this post and discussion is that Apple may not be providing the best experience for those users for whom it would never even cross their mind that changing the text size on their phone is possible.
It's not like you're learning a new language everyday. Nor losing your eyesight. Keep in mind that the life of a cellphone is anywhere between one and six years, for most tends to be around three (speculation). Isn't reason enough to make it a top priority for people to be able to access language / text size changes in their settings everyday.
Even so, all of those people have to change their text size just once or twice. They can look it up when they need to. It's not like it's a feature they need to use everyday.
The main challenge there is just reminding people that the option exists so that they will know to ask. That and normalizing the idea of navigating interface elements by voice or querying the search bar rather than by physically scrolling around.
Actually, I prefer a larger text size in the evening / night and a smaller text size during daylight hours. So I'm changing text size once or twice per day.
Worth noting that there's a fair number of apps historically that don't really support text sizing. Until iOS 11, if you were using a non-system font, you had to do the resizing manually. They made it much, much easier to buy in to Dynamic Type in iOS 11, so hopefully this will get better over the next year or two.
I don't think that was the point. The point was that people don't even know it's possible to change text size, never mind about other accessibility features, because they're not easily discoverable. Besides, the people who don't know about text sizing don't know about control center customizability either...
At the very least, the emergency contact info should be stupid simple to find (I'd say top level in Settings). This isn't an "advanced" feature, it's a fairly vital and basic feature of a cell phone. Family relationship specification should be simpler too.
Relationships is one of the features, to me that feels like Apple ended up building functionality on top of years after the feature was released, but since it was useless for so long nobody ever uses it.
Did you know not only could you specify your relationships, but other people's relationship's as well? I'm not sure if Siri lets you contact people this way ("Call John's mom"), but I wouldn't be surprised if a hidden update to Siri enabled this feature as well.
FWIW it's been in the MAC address book since the original OS X (jag-wire?)
It's a hard problem. Has anyone really solved it well that offers the use cases our current smart phones/computers have?
"so-and-so is my wife" => it will update that contact's info (and yours). Then later you can say "text my wife I'm on my way home" and it will.
"call me Mister Smith" => it will update your contact's nickname and use that to address you
"Take me home" (or to work/etc.) => it will bring up directions in apple maps to the "home" address on your contact
All devices need a universal undo so you can change something and easily undo if you get it wrong or you just preferred the old setting.
For security you could prompt after a while to make the new settings permanent and delete the snapshot.
Edit: it's the equivalent to not putting keyboard shortcut keystrokes into pull down menus.
There is definitely room for improvement though. There are some regressions that are too obvious. The recent regression that comes to mind is forcing the end user to go through extra taps to switch the camera between front and back during a FaceTime call when previously it was a one-button click
I seriously doubt there was a groundswell of users complaining they could swap cameras with a single tap.
The other annoying change was putting the End Call button in a panel the bottom right. Regular users have muscle memory, and suddenly they have to relearn one of the main features.
Changes like these are superficial tinkering and make work for the sake of appearances rather than considered, focused development.
While 'desktop mode' is super useful the HN crowd, I don't think most users would benefit from it.
A non-technical user is probably only minimally aware that mobile and desktop sites might have different features at all. And even when you do use it, it might not have the desired affect. I might have been browsing around on "mobile.site.com" for a while and repeating my request with a desktop User-Agent is still going to get me the mobile version. (this happens to me on m.facebook.com) To fix this I have to know how to modify the URL to point to the non-mobile-only version...easy for this crowd, but not for the average user.
Certain CSS @media queries also don't seem to be affected by "Desktop Mode". (It only changes the User-Agent I believe?) So in other situations, it won't work no matter what and that's pretty frustrating/confusing/inconsistent if you don't know the details.
Even if I do succeed, a desktop webpage on mobile can be a pain with all the zooming and zooming out needed. Sometimes desktop sites don't even work properly on mobile browsers! Now...we understand the constraints, but all these details come together to make it a pretty confusing feature for the average user.
I think most users wouldn't get value from this so it's obscure by default...but for the technical types that love this, it's not too hard to figure out how to move this feature to a place where it's convenient to access.
Overall I think the current design is a pretty good balance all things considered.
(though I do wish the ability to move the desktop mode button to the 1st slot was more obvious. Definitely took me a while to figure this out)
It took me a second to realize that "Request Desktop Site" is available in the Share Sheet. I use it by long-pressing the refresh button.
Long pressing there also gives me a "request without ad blockers" button which I've found super useful as well. A bit weird this option isn't in the Share Sheet like desktop mode is...
also isn't it weird that this is called the "Share Sheet" but has lots of buttons for non-sharing related things?
The whole "Share Sheet" is rather confusing. It has three categories of actions in one screen. Potentially useful options are hidden wayyy down the list (like this Request Desktop Option). Even more options are hidden inside "More" menu all the way at the end. Which is also where the re-ordering controls are – although I just realized the icons can be reordered with drag-and-drop.
All in all, not very discoverable for a feature with such high utility.
The problem with Solaris, Windows, and other desktop workstations at the time was that the second (and even third) mouse buttons were required for many workflows, especially in applications---i.e. a lot of functionality was only available from the right-click menu or via the middle mouse button. This introduced a lot of unnecessary complexity to computer use, especially for new users, because of low visibility and discoverability.
Even today, Mac hardware never has a visible 2nd mouse/trackpad button. Sure, you can click a trackpad with 2 fingers or tap on the right side of a mouse to get a context menu, but keeping the buttons invisible forced these shortcuts to remain just that, and not an essential requirement to get the job done. Windows apps today follow this rule as well -- never make right-clicking the only way to execute a particular function.
Damn the little tip about tapping the clock to jump is so handy, I have actually searched for how to do this and never came across a description of this feature.
That doesn't make sense at all to me: The right click button on a mouse is visible.
The Mac way of hiding it behind the ctrl key was non-discoverable and non-obvious to me.
Force touch just seems like a different form of right mouse clicking.
E.g. to delete you didn't need to "right click, send to trash". You dragged the item to the trashcan.
You're probably thinking of either discoverability or affordance.
Actually, I wish any modern smartphone OS had half the thought put into it that Palm had 20 years ago. After all this time, nothing even comes close for contact and calendar management, as well as actual phone use!
Whenever a key feature in iOS seems missing I just google for where it went. iOS search is so essential that I couldn’t see it ever removed...
This reminds me that several versions ago, Windows stopped underlining the shortcut keys to the menu items by default --- taking away the only affordance to discovering that the keyboard can be used to more quickly activate the menus. I learned by accident long ago ("what's the Alt key for?"), and have used it since. In contrast, I remember trying to operate a Mac the same way but gave up experimenting with the Alt key and such to try to get the menus to show (I know about the shortcuts, but they are not easily discoverable/explorable in the same way that menus are) --- and only later found out that trying to operate the menus on a Mac from the keyboard is... not very intuitive and disabled by default (why!?!?):
(I'm not sure if the above even apply to pre-OS X --- when I discovered the function of Alt and the underlined keys in Windows, it was the Windows 3.1 era.)
Well, that's not a dictum to design UIs by. This way everything becomes "critical".
At some point you just use statistics, and if something is critical to fewer people, you can give it lower priority anyway than what most want to use everyday.
This is not so nice when you only want to reload the page while clearing the cached files.
Could have been something like a long press or double tap on the refresh button.
Not a single time in the past 5 years or so. What's your point?
I thought cool, I'll try it with the nyt - It'll be like the original iPhone demo again but no - it goes to a pay screen. Mercury Browser kind of worked though which is an app that "can spoof the UserAgent string to trick websites into thinking the browser is a desktop browser."
Added to this is the obvious point that with a touch interface on a small screen, you cannot make everything obvious. It's impossible.
I like Apple's design, but that's...definitely not true. You could charitably say that Apple's goal is a seamless marriage of form and function, and they do that better than most. But they have always cared more about aesthetics than any other important developer, of hardware or software.
Meanwhile a function-motivated Finder in MacOS would not look anything like the clunky dinosaur we seem to be stuck with.
Perhaps they should be located in the middle of the screen? ;)
Yes, why not? Tons of PC laptops had it that way as well, even industrial-style all-function PCs.
I'd rather present all of the options and let the user learn what options are there even if they never use them.
Personally, I prefer the Android ecosystem, and honestly I'd very much prefer even more control than that. In fact, I'm really excited about the Librem 5 project, which is pretty much the exact opposite of Apple. However, many of my friends prefer the Apple experience.
A product doesn't have to cater to everyone. If it tries to, it ends up alienating everyone.
I've always found the Apple-way, wrt UI, to be different; more confusing for me because I'm used to a different paradigm. But, there's some lock-in effect there, if you start with Apple, you become accustomed to their way and then other "ways" seem more complicated. In practice it seems largely to be just familiarity.
Our tech keeps getting more powerful, to the extent that the interfaces and sheer number of options outstrip the average person's capabilities to manage.
Like, as tech nerds we have no problem navigating lists of lists of settings, we can usually guess where a setting will be if it exists. But for a lot of people, just asking "Hey Siri, can you make the letters bigger?" would be more accessible.
-we have feature X but only 1% of users find it where 10 of users use it after someone else shows them how to use it. Maybe a feature that is only for 5-10% of users is advanced or niche but we need to design it better so this niche/advanced features are irrecoverable.
I do not know how to solve this on mobile, I know that some software on desktop has a tooltip dialog when you open it(with a checkbox to disable this feature) that presents some cool advanced feature, you can click Next and Next to see more and more advanced features. I seen this in Intellij, they also have a list of the actions you performed sorted by usage, so you can look at it later , notice you used action X the most and that you can speed it up if you learn or configure a shortcut
Mind you I do believe Apple should release a proper manual. Barring that, there's a series of iphone books, websites and magazines that will go over these features over and over again.
If people don't invest the time themselves, why should Apple bother?
Also why is Apple and the iphone singled out? It's the same rhetoric for Windows, where the start button is a mystery to the computer illiterate.
TL;DR educate yourself or don't get an iphone.
I do believe text size should be an option for the first configuration though (and if you give your old phones to other people, do a factory reset and let them run through that initial setup themselves).
It gets complicated with apps though, designers often don't keep the variable size text in mind. That feature - at least when I looked into it a few years ago - gives you fixed text sizes to work, which is fine for default looking apps but a bit problematic when you're implementing a certain style.
These type of complaints are the most common I hear from technical people that switch from android to iphone - the lack of customization, the product is on purpose 'dumbed down'.
This is after me owning 3 generations of iPhone (3S-4S) and an iPad AND the family owning one of every main iPhone since 3S.
Is turning off the device an advanced feature?
I guess most people really never need to turn it off. Maybe when switching sim cards to not hotplug them?
They just changed the battery page in settings. Where's the tutorial? An obvious place would be apple.com/batteries but I don't see it.
And no: Apple does not "believe their product is so easy to understand that people will just get it". You just made that up. It's...surprising what people will claim sometimes about what Apple "believes" based on zero evidence. The fact is, Apple knows very very well what is easy and obvious, and what isn't. They have done rigorous study of all of this.
I'm not saying that Apple always makes the right choices, design-wise. But to say that they are blithely ignorant of the basic usability facts surrounding the most successful consumer product in world history is...a bit of a stretch.
Edit: and according to the article, the manual doesn't cover a lot of the hidden features described in the article.
I learned at least five new things: select multiple pictures, announce calls, swipe right for forward, and a couple others I don't recall. I would rate myself as an advanced iphone user. I've made very complicated Siri shortcuts. But a lot of stuff has been rather hard to discover.
More likely to be found is that in the Tips app that a newly set-up iPhone tries to point you to, once you've gone through a few tips one'll suggest that you download the manual through Apple Books.
That reminds me of the 1990s scenario of having to know and understand FTP in order to install a web browser.
Wouldn't it be more sensible to have it preloaded on the phone? I presume the OS is already regionalised, so they could include the appropriate manual.
It’s purely anecdotal but as far as I’m concerned I would rate discoverability as good enough.
I have a feeling they also rely on less tech savy users buying in-person at the Apple Store where their sales staff can do whatever custom 1:1 training is required.
Stop being hostile, dude.
Poll a hundred iOS users and ask how many know there's a manual.
You're being weirdly hostile about this.
I like Apple's design for the most part, and I enjoy a good comprehensive manual as much as the next guy, but the expectation these days is that software should be self-teaching. Presenting the user with an incomprehensible pile of options is bad, but so is only giving them a tiny subset of practical functionality. Good design presents the common/important options front and center, then lets power users drill down into advanced settings if they want. And all that should be at least nominally discoverable with recourse to the manual.
To say 'iPhones are hard to use' and then point out all the small edge cases of use as significant flaws is hyperbole in bad faith. The author is caught up in his own intellectual habit and not in touch with reality.
A better title for this article could be 'Simplifying complexity inevitably sidelines some of some user's needs'.
I don't think that his point is an overly broad indictment of the iphone so much as an analysis of where many of its more common flaws actually lie. I've seen so many criticisms of trivialities around colors in the calendar, but little analysis of what real people with basic knowledge don't know.
The fact that it is so iPhone centric leads me to believe that the author is a fan. I don't consider this bad faith at all.
The fact that an iPhone can literally be used out of the box with no user-manual (unlike an engine-diagnostic unit) is testament to its simplicity. I don't even know why I am arguing this point.
Does iOS get everything right? Nope. Is an ongoing conversation about UX important? Of course. My point is not that the author may or may not bring up some valid points, it's that he hung his whole piece off of an self serving, insincere title and sensational premise.
More and more we are declaring that there is so much noise on the web that it's ok to bait users with nonsense titles. Just a couple comments down someone advocates this. If you let principles like sincerity and honesty slip just to get attention you've let a piece of your integrity go which in turn mars what you are actually saying.
If what you are saying isn't interesting enough to warrant an interesting title, maybe you aren't as smart as you think you are, or what you have to say is less important than you think it is. Either way, don't hijack the attention of others to validate your own ego, work harder and earn the attention honestly.
“Hard” is obviously a definition that’s relative and varies from person to person. Maybe you could define it as some sort of objective metric where you poll people about ease of use, but then your definition of hard becomes subjective.
For a lot of people any tech is hard relative to the rest of their life, including the iPhone. My mom is very much not computer savvy and she runs into so many problems with her iPhone that would otherwise be obvious to tech users. When you really think about her problems often there is some unintuitive design choice causing it.
My point is that “iPhones are hard to use” is a very true statement for many people. I don’t think the author was insincere.
Within the spectrum of all personal computing, ever, I think today's mobile devices are some of the easiest to use. Blinker yourself from the realm the devices occupy and set idealistic goals and maybe you can say 'iPhones are hard to use', but you are likely being purposefully obtuse, dishonest, or willfully naive.
You seem to describe something as "hard" or "easy" relative to other things.
If your job is lifting rocks and all of them are really heavy, but one weighs slightly less, you might describe the less heavy one as "easy" to lift. Someone else might describe them all as "hard" to lift.
A lot of people in the tech industry, yourself included, seem to be in the first mindset. That mindset can be dangerous as it invites complacency.
This language matters a lot, because who wants to improve something that's already "easy"? Refusing to call something "hard" because it doesn't apply to what you view as the average or ideal user is picking a small semantic point in a way that avoids improvement.
Perhaps this is not you, but I've seen many people use language like yours("idealistic", "naive", "one size will never fit all") to dismiss turning a critical eye towards tech design. The argument seems to be that modern design is actually really good and that efforts to improve it are just a futile quest fueled by people who are unnecessarily critical.
Maybe that argument is right, but I don't think so. Whenever I get a chance to peek outside my bubble in the tech world and I talk with a less tech savvy user it becomes clear their relationship with technology is basically adversarial.
The iPhone can be "great", "easy", "hard", and "terrible" all at the same time. Refusing to accept calling it "hard" and describing someone who would do so as "obtuse, dishonest, or willfully naive" is a constrained and inaccurate mindset.
The author's issue lies with the complexity of today's modern devices vs. the number of people that require certain features. It's definitely in bad faith and, frankly, is nonsense.
I say this as an Apple fanboi with both a PC and an Android Nexus phone.
Saying that there is something you can do with a device without an explanation doesn't automatically imply that it's easy to use. Ease of use is a metric for how much of the full potential of something you can utilize with as little instructions as possible. The article has a point that this ease of use is quite reduced when you are disabled or don't have prior knowledge of devices.
I'm not saying that the title couldn't be less sensational but simply saying that iPhones aren't difficult to use is wrong aswell.
But I see his blog as one dude's opinion, who just happens to also be a good writer. Its hard for me to blame such a person for clickbait when I can't really see how they would even derive significant personal benefit from such clickbait.
As to your comment about the Daewoo engine diagnostics module, I've never used that one specifically, but you might be surprised at how easy some engine diagnostic tools are to get started with. And also how powerful they are if used really well, and how frustrating (and incorrect) they are if used for marginally more advanced things without a basic level of knowledge. The analogy worked pretty well for me.
We should still keep it off HN. I expect the headlines to work for me, not for the author.
Also harping on specific terminology like password vs passcode is not really productive in terms of improving the underlying UX, as the word gets translated into tons of languages which may or may not have the same level of nuance.
While I don't necessarily agree with the premise, especially when compared with the competition, I will say that iOS has not gotten easier to use over time. Features like 3D touch are implemented inconsistently both at the hardware level, and in the UX — Worst is how undiscoverable they are. Here's the crazy part: Apple is about to release the iPhone XR, their 1 and only phone without 3D touch!.
It feels like we have regressed a lot from where we were in the "golden age of the desktop". I mean, we actually had standards for things - remember CUA? And UX was designed in a way that made it so that once you learn a few basic tricks (like double click and drag and drop), they would work everywhere, and they would do so consistently. Consistency, in general, was key to the UX of that era. Some things might not have been as easy to access as they are today, but all things could be found where you expected them. Even the menu hierarchy was largely standardized.
Now, even if you stick to one particular platform, it often changes the concepts radically within 4-5 years; and many of those aren't even consistently applied. Worse yet, instead of fixing the mess, the UX designers just keep piling more and more stuff, like Apple's "3D touch".
To take your 3D touch example. I'll bet it went a little something like this; development said 'we can now detect pressure', leads (inc UX) brainstormed on ways to utilise the functionality. Then it's soley on UX to make it usable.
I've never been involved in a situation where I get to demand capabilities that hitherto did not exist. Nor have I ever held the power to stop-ship. We have varying degrees of touch on functionality as it evolves for sure but not the power you assume we have.
We don't live in a reality where any company, Apple specifically, says 'hey customers, we realised we actually got things right on the last release, please give us more money 'cos shareholders'
If everything was evaluated by cybersecurity and UX experts first, we wouldn’t have half the problems, but people aren’t interested in those sorts of issues, it is more of a matter of getting there “firstest with the mostest”.
That's an extremely brash assumption. The reason privacy and security haven't been built into the core of everything we do is because the ease of use within highly secure systems is inversely proportional to it's UX. The more secure you want something to be, the harder it is to learn and use.
I think the issue is that Apple keeps adding functionality to iOS, but seldom removes functionality. So all these "non-essential" features end up relegated to harder to discover actions.
That means that the fact that phone screens have gotten larger is irrelevant because whatever complications or features are added have to work broadly and consistently amongst devices of varying screen sizes. Web developers actually have it down best when it comes to responsive design but even responsive design makes for a different experience on mobile vs. desktop and I think Apple is trying to avoid that. An iPhone might be "hard to use" for someone that's not tech savvy but, once they learn how to use it, they now have an easier time across Apple's entire product line, not just that one device.
Both are great ideas, but only sparsely exploited even by Apple, itself.
So you don't actually need 3D Touch to have the benefit of the awesome cursor UX.
It’s a bonus for SE users without force touch. Seems obvious to include this, but I assume the reason they went back and bothered with it is the new XR taking force touch back out.
Since iOS 9. Early in the betas this feature existed for non-3D Touch iPhones as well, but then it was removed and restricted to models with 3D Touch.
I agree with the author that the iPhone is hard to use
Without 3d touch you need one more step to open the app, and maybe more steps to find menu for payments(depends on apps you use)
edit: just found some apps(not all) provide widget to access features like payment...
With a long touch, it brings up a loupe that magnifies the text. With 3d touch it lets you use the keyboard almost as a trackpad to move the cursor around.
Great for me as 3d touch is so flaky on my iPhone since I got the screen replaced.
No, it is the right-mouse click of touch interfaces.
I have used windows phone, linux, chrome OS, Blackberry's palm-like UI over the years, but I have gotten the hang of each over a small period of time. Apple devices however, are simply counter intuitive for me.
Apple seems to design UI for 2 types of people.
1. Old Apple users
2. The person whose phone use is the same as it was 15 years years ago + an app launcher
Because of those, I have seen 2 negative trends in their UI/UX design :
1. Sticking to old but familiar (for Apple customers) ways, even if they are cumbersome. (itunes)
2. Front loading everything that is heavily used by a layman (their launcher and quick setting menu), and hiding everything else behind a bevy of menus in settings.
If you have not grown up thinking like an Apple user and want to do anything advanced (my demographic), then their interface is incredibly alienating. The only other time I have felt this way has been when using SnapChat. (although Snap's was a lot more egregious than Apple)
I used an iPad for 2 months this Summer, and swapped it out for a Fire HD 10. As much as the iPad was fast, I can't be happier to be back to familiar territory in Android (even if it is on 5.1 Lollipop)
Granted, that my demographic may be the minority, esp. in the US. But, I can't help but feel, that the incessant praise showered on Apple's devices is partly because of the greater familiarity people have with those devices. And, that Apple won't fare as well if they were to be evaluated by an audience unfamiliar with their brand and devices all together.
Haven't they spent the last decade expanding into new markets successfully though? And from what I gather their new customer retention and satisfaction is among the best in the industry.
People like to explain away Apple's success as merely the product of "fanboys" they've had for decades, as though the same 10 million guys who bought the first iphone are somehow responsible for the 50+ million phones apple sells each quarter. The truth is simpler: (1) yes they do have many loyal customers and (2) those customers keep buying Apple products because they have good experiences with them. It's also true that their design priorities are not universal and some are especially ornery for power users. But the idea that their UI design is inherently bad seems off and the fact that people keep copying them  seems like the best evidence.
 https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/17/17988564/chinese-phone-s... , money quote: "judging by the accuracy and specificity of the rip-offs, the camera app from iOS 7 has a serious claim to being one of the most influential software designs of the past decade."
Given the world's fashion industry is worth trillions, it will take a more persuasive argument than that to convince me it's not heavily influenced by people's perception of it as a status symbol.
> those customers keep buying Apple products because they have good experiences with them.
Or they've bought into the hype and that's all they experience on a regular basis anymore. My mom has driven a Mercedes for decades. My sister drove a cheaper one as her first car, and recently bought a much nicer one. Even if I wanted to spend that much money on a car, I don't like them, and have always had bad experiences with them. My mom's car was a lemon, in and out of the shop multiple times every year for the first 15 years, until it's been too unreliable to drive on a regular basis the last 5 years.
She's in a market for a new car, and both she and my sister are excited to get her a Mercedes. Their experiences should have driven then away from the brand years ago, but they haven't. Why do you suppose that is? I have my own theories.
The luxury goods industry, by contrast, is only worth 250 billion.
I feel your analogy is not very well founded.
I was using https://fashionunited.com/global-fashion-industry-statistics, which has slightly different values (but it's likely including labor force).
And yes, I meant fashion, including clothing. Either works in this case, as both are very large numbers, and a large amount of the general apparel category is also carried by brands and brand awareness. Just because it's not Louis Vuitton doesn't mean people aren't opting for the Gap instead of Walmart, Target, or in years past, Kmart because of perceived value and status.
> I feel your analogy is not very well founded.
Feel free to provide a counter example, or explain why the specifics you called out change the point I was trying to express. Maybe you thought what you already provided was self-evident, but I don't see it that way so I don't see how you've provided any evidence that it's not well founded.
In XXI century, in a western country, a smartphone is pretty much a necessary item too. Not on the clothing level yet, but it's definitely not a luxury category.
Status signalling is what a particular kind of "rich" person does to indicate they are rich or high value. Often also used to bolster social capital. You see it when women buy extraordinarily expensive designer brand hand bags. Men buying sports cars but have no clue what is under the hood. The key element is not the actual product but the visible cost involved in actually purchasing it - expense as a feature.
However, Android did not live up to my expectations at all. I don’t know what I was hoping for, but Android was not it.
After a while I came to understand that for me personally Android was a bad fit, and everything I had envisioned about running Linux on my phone was ill-adviced. Linux and FreeBSD are my main two operating systems I run on my own computers and servers, and I would not trade them for anything in the world on my main laptop, main desktop and servers. But on phones neither have anything to offer that is of use to me actually.
I don’t really understand what kind of “advanced” things you are referring to not being possible on iOS. Could you expand on that?
I use my iPhone for web browsing, watching videos, making music, playing some games, taking photos, 2nd factor auth, sending and receiving money, SSH client in my pocket, GPS with updated maps, listening to music, writing down notes, setting alarms, keeping track of my schedule, keeping in touch with people, creating PDFs that are indistinguishable from the scan a full size flatbed scanner would give me. The list goes on.
Everything I thought I wanted when I imagined having Linux in my pocket turned out to be a distraction. When I need Linux or FreeBSD, I have my laptop, desktop and servers for that.
Anyway, the point is to say that I don’t identify with the two groups of people you said are their target audience, but I find myself a very happy iPhone user.
But I am not married to Apple, and I am a loyal customer only because of 1. their stance on privacy and security and 2. their product fits me so well.
If they mess up with my trust then they will lose me as a customer. If they make changes to iOS that make using it bothersome, they will lose me as a customer.
Personally I'm still pretty annoyed you can't replace the default url handlers for stuff like Maps and Mail. Every time Apple Maps pops up I curse them.
Pipe dream level: Apple Maps gains api-accessible import/export of geodata, (POIs, tracks, layers...?), so opening any compatible map app can both open at the 'there' location and can display the shared geodata.
(typically I use google maps for urban stuff, maps.me for pre-downloaded offline maps and POIs, ordnance survey for uk outdoors, michelin maps for france (the search is terrible, but having roads marked as scenic is fantastic), bikehub for cycle routes... and more. I switch maps a lot...but never to Apple Maps)
I could give you one. An actual user-accessible filesystem instead of having only iCloud plus siloed app-specific storage. (No, Apple's eventual capitulation to include a "Files" app which just aggregates files from different apps doesn't count.)
Proficient users aren't born, they're made. Or, increasingly, not made, thanks to contemporary UX trends.
You and I know that a file is data and a file format is defined by the structure of the data.
Most regular users I have talked to don’t know this. If you ask them what a file format is they will say that the file format is determined by the extension of the file.
Even with a file system presented to the user you still end up with most people not having a real understanding of what files actually are.
Likewise, a lot of users will insist that certain file formats “belong” to some particular program, just because the extension associated with the format is handled by that program on their computer.
Furthermore, most users have no idea what really happens when you open a file in a program.
In fact I would bet that at least some are completely unable to distinguish the data of the file from the interface that they are using to edit the file.
A file system is a powerful abstraction, but I don’t think it teaches the “truth” on its own.
Neither do I think knowing about files is the most important for someone wishing to understand computation.
The most important to understand is what a data format is, and knowing that knowing the details of the byte-level structure of the data is what allows software to be implemented to interact with and optionally transform that data.
Furthermore, I wish more people knew some fundamental things about data like
- the difference between text and an image of text
- the difference between bitmap and vector graphics
- the difference between lossy and lossless compression, and how these work
- why some formats are hard to work with, for example extracting data from PDF files
Understanding these things does not require a user visible fs, nor will a user visible fs help most people understand these things for reasons I stated earlier in this comment.
I've had direct access to my filesystem on my iOS devices since 2012 and it is very very rare that I use it. And when I do it is mostly for fun and exploration, nothing a normal user would be doing anyway.
That's nonsense. Most users don't care that there's a file system and they surely don't care how it works. They care that, when they open up Microsoft Word, they can find the document they last created or an older document. They care that, when they open an app called Photos, they see their pictures. They don't care how they're stored by the computer or how they're organized, they only care that they can find what they're looking for when they're looking for it.
It may be easier for you to navigate through a file system because that's how you've adapted your workflow but to say that not having one is somehow destroying productivity is crazy nonsense. You're taking your individual experience and extrapolating it on populations that are not similar to you at all.
I mean... do you honestly thing that Donald Trump/your grandmother/a teenager cares that there's a file system on his iPhone?
My personal favorites are to turn off wifi if I'm not at home or work, turn off bluetooth if I'm not home, turn down brightness at night and shaking your phone to turn on the flashlight.
It's not that things aren't possible (sometimes), it's that they're not discoverable.
If you can't figure out how to do things on an iPhone and think it's difficult, I'd wager a argument that it's because you're not just looking at what's there, you're trying to project your existing experience onto a different device and expecting it to work the same way. In other words (and I don't really say this sarcastically), you're using it wrong. If they were meant to be used the same way, they'd be the same products and they're not.
Seems there is a good manual online, but it's poorly advertised. The new features are often mainly announced once when you first open a system app after an ios update.
I've seem my parents repeatedly close them in a rush to get to the app. There's no "show me these tips later" option either, so they never learn the new features.
There are many advantages to the simplicity, but it's not wrong to say that new stuff is poorly discoverable. For pros and casual users alike.
That said, basic useability is great. Both of my parents figured out how to use iphones for their day to day with basically no tech support requests. Same with a mac. I was impressed, they always asked for help on Windows.
There is a Tips app which is visible on the Home Screen that contains general information such as "Welcome to iPhone" and "What's New" that contains tips on how to use the new features.
The app sometimes even nags you with "Tip of the Day" notifications.
It's a mystery to me why they don't have a list of tips for each stock app in the tips app.
I've been using iOS since the iPhone 3G and have built apps for it. I know iOS inside out. I recently started a new job where the vast majority of our customers use Android. I therefore chose my work phone to be Android, so I could use the same platform that our customers use.
Wow - is it confusing! Nothing is intuitive, and I genuinely find it very hard to use and get into a rhythm with. It's a Galaxy S9, so hardly a "bad" Android phone.
My takeaway is that so much of the way we use our devices, especially our phones, becomes muscle memory. Android is not badly designed, neither is iOS, it's just that I've built up a decade's worth of muscle memory, coming from hundreds of interactions a day with the device, that switching to a different paradigm is going to feel jarring.
However, as more features were added, Apple's desire to keep things appearing to be simple and clean, and their refusal to increase screen size, meant features get hidden away, behind swipes, long presses and double presses from different parts of the screen. I find iPhones really hard to use nowadays - even though they now have a lot of features which stopped me from buying them initially.
They also didn't send MMS. No Flash, at a time when the web was highly reliant on it. No front facing camera. No practical way to share files. But the interface was definitely simple and easy to understand.
2. Click compose button
How could that possibly be difficult of all things?
TL;DR - Compose is the correct word to use.