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Last post Author Topic: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.  (Read 70180 times)

superboyac

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #225 on: April 26, 2010, 04:31:12 PM »
Quick update:
My little sister just got an iphone for the first time.  She is in love with it.  She has never been a gadget person, computer person, or anything like that.  I'm telling you, it's not just hype.  Apple is doing something very right somewhere.

I know we criticize the behind the scenes stuff, because we are knowledgeable computer people, but the end user experience is very exciting to most people.  You have to give credit where credit is due.  I'll never get an apple product anytime soon I can never be tied to the DRM or proprietary stuff if I can help it, like many of you.  but ignoring Apple's sinister plans to take over the world and all that, they give the people what they want, and that is good business.

And it's not just because it's hip or cool.  It's more than that.  My sis really loves using the thing, it's easy for her.  She didn't have to ask me how to do this or that.  Cmon guys, you have to recognize the value in that.

I just had to mention that.

The other thing is I'm sure some of these Android phones can do the same or better, etc.  But my sister didn't buy one.  Apple got my sister to buy an iphone, which is amazing to me.  So there's also value to getting people to buy your product.  There are a lot of things I have to applaud apple for.  I'm a Sony guy when it comes to gadgets, and I love their technology.  But everything that Sony does wrong, Apple does right.

mouser

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #226 on: April 26, 2010, 04:40:58 PM »
Oh there are a lot of things Apple does right in terms of usability, and focus on usability.

There are also a lot of things Apples does cleverly in terms of *advertising* which have nothing to do with usability and features and are just pure brilliant marketing.  Notice when you see an ad for a normal computer, they are telling you how fast the chip is, how much memory it has, how it has great monitor resoltuion, etc.  Then notice an Apple ad, showing how people can listen to their favorite music! burn cds of music! It's not that the Apple does things the others don't in this case, it's that they are talking to a different audience.

My mother is quite tech savvy and bought an android, and is constantly frustrated and peeved at the UI and workflow.. She sees people using iphones having none of the problems she has.  Apple deserves major credit for focusing on making 99% of the workflow really smooth and painless.  [Things get a bit more dicey when something goes wrong]

JavaJones

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #227 on: April 26, 2010, 04:44:20 PM »
The iPhone is a good experience for the lay person, no doubt. iPad probably too, aside from the little technical foibles that are cropping up already, and probably just indicative of a 1st gen device. That being said, I have 2 friends who recently bought iPhones and are having terrible troubles with AT&T's network and/or iPhone's 3G/call reception (note: both these people had AT&T before, with different phones, and had less/no problems).

As for Android vs. iPhone, there are a couple things here. First, your sister probably bought an iPhone because Apple's marketing appealed to her. Android itself doesn't have any unified marketing, but the most marketed Android phone to date, particularly on its "Androidness", was the Verizon Droid, and the marketing spin there is pretty aggressive, techno-centric, and decidedly not oriented toward the lay person, or women, or anyone who isn't a "bare knuckled bucket of does". So Apple's marketing is definitely successful, but also oriented in a direction that a major competitor hasn't really exploited yet.

Second, Android as a platform is less unified than iPhone, plain and simple. This is one of the potential downsides of Android for the average user. For the tech geek it's a boon because it means you have options, and lots of 'em. But the average person just wants simple. To is iPhone is "lock-in", to them it's "simplicity", which is great.

What I want to point out though is that I think the advantages of iPhone as a platform and as a device could largely or even entirely be achieved *without* Apple being total a-holes (see latest developer clauses and consider the implications for devs trying to make a living). I'm a bit disappointed in how Android is panning out now as far as there being far too many devices already (unnecessarily), each with small variations that make them subtly different and potentially incompatible with each other. But it's early days yet, and I have hopes that the platform will solidify and unify a bit more, maintaining the open nature and ability for customization, without betraying the fundamentally shared platform benefits and the possibility for a shared ecosystem that it can bring. The last thing I want to see is phone makers not upgrading Android OS because they haven't had time to update their custom UIs...

In the end though, Android may not be there to serve the same needs iPhone is. Hopefully they'll figure out a way to balance these issues better than Apple has, but I fear they're erring on the opposite side of some of them by being too flexible and "open". There needs to be a bit more platform standards enforcement on Google's part IMO.

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #228 on: April 26, 2010, 04:46:56 PM »
Quote
What I want to point out though is that I think the advantages of iPhone as a platform and as a device could largely or even entirely be achieved *without* Apple being total a-holes

amen.

superboyac

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #229 on: April 26, 2010, 05:30:09 PM »
yes, mouser.  That's exactly the point I'm making.  One of the reasons I'm sensitive to this subject is because I'm experiencing this more and more in my actual job.  I used to be very against all things Apple, like worse than anybody you've ever seen.  But we have so much technology, so many options, so much informations, just so much everything everywhere, that it's not so valuable just to have something powerful, or versatile.  One of the most important things today, if not THE most important thing, is the user interface, or the user experience, or whatever you call that.

See, most people do not care for all the things we care about.  If I tell them that they can't transfer their music to another device or something like that, they just shrug their shoulders.

But a very good example of why we here don't like apple is the following:
My good friend also bought an itouch last year.  He had some audiobooks on it, and he wanted me to listen to it.  So I said, go ahead, just put it on my flash drive and I'll listen to it at home.  Well, we spent like an hour trying to do it, but it was not possible because of the DRM.  So, the big companies can be very glad that their protection works pretty well.

That being said, just about all companies would be well served to take a good look at Apple's strategic planning and learn from it.  I would love those little companies that make great products that I love to be able to let go of their geeky side and focus a little more heavily on the end-user experience.  Easier said than done.

superboyac

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #230 on: April 26, 2010, 05:35:44 PM »
Quote
What I want to point out though is that I think the advantages of iPhone as a platform and as a device could largely or even entirely be achieved *without* Apple being total a-holes

amen.
Probably.  But you never know what's happening behind the scenes.  I'm involved in a eerily similar situation here at my job, and as much as I know about this stuff, and as clear of an idea as I have about what SHOULD be done, I have to bow to the other influences in place.  And I am glad to do so because I'm paid to do it, and I've learned by now that I am not the dictator of the world, not everyone is like me (very few, actually), and more important people than me are asking for certain things.  So Apple does all those things for their own reasons, most likely for profitability.

It's up to someone even smarter than Jobs and with the ability to trump what Apple has done.  Let's see if someone can offer a great user experience, while giving all the flexibility that the geeks will desire, and still market it as effectively as Apple.  The opportunity is there.  The wonders of capitalism.

Dormouse

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #231 on: April 26, 2010, 06:58:07 PM »
What Apple are essentially doing is turning computers and related gadgets into consumer items like cd players, TVs etc which "just work". You cannot really do that without controlling the hardware and the software and without severely limiting consumer options. Earlier generations (well, at least it will be earlier generations to a lot of people here) of geeks had to spend their time with soldering irons or in garages with oil and spanners.

The Microsoft stage succeeded in separating OS from hardware in computers and thereby provided the incentive and impetus for computers to get very cheap. Apple have now been able to take advantage of the cheapness by giving a lot of people what they think they want. Designer labels are the order of the day, and that is what Apple have created.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 06:59:55 PM by Dormouse »

JavaJones

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #232 on: April 26, 2010, 07:04:24 PM »
I'm not so sure that your 2nd requirement, "you can't do that without... severely limiting consumer options." is actually true. I agree that controlling the hardware and software is very important, to a critical point. But imagine if Apple simply had an advanced option in the iTunes settings, even a commandline option, "disable system controls" or "advanced mode" - essentially an official and Apple-endorsed (but *not* "supported") "jailbreak". Thus allowing you to install whatever apps you want, etc., only Apple doesn't provide you support (but does honor warranty on hardware), and features are not guaranteed to work as advertised. For advanced users only, but at least it could be there and not be voiding warranty. Not to mention allowing alternative app stores, etc. but only if you've turned on the advanced mode feature. And of course not restricting devs to what environment they develop in.

You know why Apple doesn't do this? It's little or nothing to do with the "user experience". It's because probably 50+% of iPhone users would probably enable it, because that's what people actually want, given the choice. And yes, they probably would still complain to Apple about issues that are then not their problem to resolve. But guess what, Apple is used to telling customers that what they're trying to do isn't supported. ;)

- Oshyan

Dormouse

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #233 on: April 26, 2010, 07:45:06 PM »
Limiting options up front, means that you can limit your design parameters; limiting consumer options with the device, keeps everything simple and massively cuts support needs and the number of people saying that x or y doesn't work (and they have enough of that already really given how limited the options are. And it wouldn't fit with their brand image.

I would have said that the only thing that would make them change would be losing market share to competitors purely because the competitors offered more options - except that when they were in that situation they still carried on in the same way.

wraith808

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #234 on: April 26, 2010, 08:08:47 PM »
What Apple are essentially doing is turning computers and related gadgets into consumer items like cd players, TVs etc which "just work". You cannot really do that without controlling the hardware and the software and without severely limiting consumer options. Earlier generations (well, at least it will be earlier generations to a lot of people here) of geeks had to spend their time with soldering irons or in garages with oil and spanners.

The Microsoft stage succeeded in separating OS from hardware in computers and thereby provided the incentive and impetus for computers to get very cheap. Apple have now been able to take advantage of the cheapness by giving a lot of people what they think they want. Designer labels are the order of the day, and that is what Apple have created.

Both parts of this are quite true, and show sort of what we have to look for in regards to the phoneos wars. I'm a tech person, and have resisted the call of the iphone for a while, but I finally gave in. Why?  Because, in the end, a phone is a phone.  I don't care what you add to it, it has to be able to make calls, and do so *reliably*.  No matter what apps are available, or what cool things you can do- if you can't make and receive calls when you need to, it's not a phone.  This is also one of the reasons that I've dealt with the limitations and haven't jailbroken it.  Because I have too many memories of answering a call and my phone locking up.  Or having no ability to make calls until I 'rebooted' my phone.  I can count the number of times this has happened on my iPhone on one hand with 3 fingers to spare.

As far as the second part, it bodes ill for the android platform.  When the G1 came out, I was impressed.  It was functional, and the experience seemed very good for a first generation device.  Then the G1 without the keyboard came out- and I was still impressed.  Then a plethora of devices followed and I saw the same fracturing of the platform start that happened on every other device with an open (or semi-open) platform.  If you don't control the hardware, then anyone can decide to add or remove features based not upon the end user experience or solidity, but upon gaining market share and making money.  And whenever you are dealing with a money-making proposition, this will become paramount- it's the nature of the companies, if not all of the people that drive them.

JavaJones

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Re: Windows vs. Mac: I'm starting to change.
« Reply #235 on: April 26, 2010, 10:41:21 PM »
I don't see why you can't limit your design parameters and support based on the official, supported options, software, settings, etc. but still have an "advanced" and *unsupported* mode. I doubt Apple is providing support on Windows even though they offer Bootcamp. Maybe they support Bootcamp itself, but to a limited degree. Doesn't seem much different in this hypothetical situation. "Sure, you can unlock your phone and install random apps on it, but we can't support them. Sorry." No big deal. I doubt most average consumers who are enjoying the iPhone now would even know or care about it, and meanwhile pretty much everyone moaning about the iPhone lock-in would be a lot more interested in buying one. I know I probably would have one already.

- Oshyan