Why iOS is so beloved

Discussion in 'iPad' started by reckless2k2, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    I always say that iOS is so easy for anyone to use and that is why it is so beloved by anyone that touches it. Below is a video of my 2 year old navigating between music videos on the iPad. There is no ad revenue or anything on the posting. I just posted it so other people could see. My computer illiterate in-laws use iPhones and iPads without any problems from day one.

  2. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    Beloved? Grand assumption there. the iPad's UI aggravates me. Boring, inefficient, and only intuitive on the surface.
  3. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    You're in the minority.
  4. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    True. Most iPad users haven't thought about efficiency to believe it could be better.
  5. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    Ah the popular simplistic sweeping generalization against iOS. The problem with you and many others who say "iOS is boring!" is because it's often confused:


    That cannot be said enough. When people say "iOS UI is boring" they don't actually mean the UI bit, but they are saying "we think iOS launcher/task switcher is boring," which is an entirely different issue.

    When we're discussing UI in this case, we talk about how nicely consistent the iOS UI design is across the apps, how well designed visual cues are throughout apps, how responsive touch UI is, etc. The launcher can be considered part of UI, but it's far far from being the main point of contention.

    This has long mystified me. Obviously iOS apps are in general often superior to apps in other OS in terms of UI, better designed, more consistent and visually appealing. Yet somehow all it matters to the opponents of iOS is the app launcher. I keep wondering if they do nothing else but to wonder around the desktop screen on their computers.
  6. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    You make "boring" sound like a bad thing. It's not. The purpose of an OS (and UI) is NOT to draw attention to itself. It is not the end, but a means to the end. It is to help the user get to their apps, but more importantly, data.

    The intuitiveness of anything depends upon an implied frame of reference. What is intuitive to you may not be intuitive to someone else with a different life experience. If you are tech-savvy then you have a different frame of reference than the 2 yr old or grandparent who has little to no experience with computing devices.

    The numerous reports of non-techies picking up an iPad and using it with little or no assistance is evidence that up to this point in time, Apple is doing a UI better than their competition.

    iOS is far from perfect. And there are inconsistencies that can be frustrating. But it is proving to be (relative to the alternatives) doing more things right.
  7. bpaluzzi, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2010
    I know, right, if only Apple could hire some of the world's best interface designers and come up with something better... oh waittttt...

    I've noticed a marked increase in the number of expert programmers, designers, and UX professionals on this board lately. Pretty impressive!
  8. Marli macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2011
    I agree, iOS is boring and outdated. They just had first mover advantage. That will disappear as time goes on. Just like many other names in the past.
  9. Tritons macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2011
    I own HTC Desire, Desire Z and few other Android devices. And right now I'm waiting till iPad 2 will ship to me from UK. I have used Android and iOS a lot and the thing is that I like iOS so much better because of how simple and smooth it is. My next phone will be iPhone and not Android because of iOS and my tablet will be soon in my hands. iOS isn't as customaizable as Android is, but it is so much smoother and it has so much better apps. iOS is best mobile OS today, and I'm not fanboy, I use two Android phones every day.

    Sorry for my bad english.
  10. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    Most iPad users don't spend time in forums spamming their blog link.
  11. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Perhaps, but it's not guaranteed. What's "boring" to one consumer is admirably "consistent" to another. Like the OP I was amazed to watch my six year old with virtually no prior experience use an iPad in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, my Android phone's UI is highly customizable. It looks almost nothing like my wife's. I appreciate that in a device only I use; I find it a disadvantage in a device I share with others in my household.

    Apple has a number of incentives NOT to introduce innovations in the user interface too rapidly. Some stem from the relatively large installed base of existing users who are accustomed to a specific look and feel. Others stem from the fact that a highly customizable user interface can present challenges to smooth performance at a given level of CPU performance and available memory. (Much of the "lag" in some Android devices stems from the overloading made possible by a highly customizable user interface.)
  12. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    Exactly what UI innovation is there in Android? If you prefer another launcher, then sure but that doesn't mean an OS's UI is superior to another. Too many Android apps are just badly designed in their UI even when don't provide any customization. Again, you're confusing the launcher with OS UI.

    That's utter hogwash. If it's all about customizabilty, why can't the Android apps without any customization provide the same level of smooth touch response?

    Here's a guy who actually makes and sells Android devices, see what he says:

  13. sectime macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    Yeah how luddite of Apple to make a system that anybody can quickly learn and use. Seems they know their customer base pretty well. I can see how that would not work for you... with that giant brain and all:cool:
  14. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011

    In the first place I didn't say one OS's UI was "superior" to the other. I said that one offers more flexibility in presentation than the other. That comes at a price.

    One such "price" is the availability of widgets in the Android environment that are made possible by the true multi-tasking features of that OS compared to the pseudo-multitasking of the iOS. It's a convenience to have real-time updated widgets on a screen. It also costs cpu cycles. Eliminate widgets, eliminate background updating and an Android device with the same specs as an iOS device will perform comparably.

    Likewise, a true multi-tasking OS (like Android) where a multitude of foreground and background apps can run simultaneously inevitably involves "garbage collection." The much simpler multi-tasking available in iOS where only certain (and very few) apps are "privileged" to run in the background is much simpler to manage and is less of a burden on the CPU.

    Apple places a very high priority on a "smooth" user experience. That doesn't necessarily mean "fast," it means "predictable." If the same action takes the same amount of real time, time after time, a user believes the system is performing appropriately. If that experience varies, a user is likely to believe that "something's wrong" when the OS is heavily burdened.

    I don't have a dog in this silly "fight." I completely understand why Apple made the choices it made. They manufacture hardware. They have an incentive to provide a consistent, satisfying user experience at the lowest possible cost in terms of hardware components. They want to resist demands for faster processors and more memory (which is in part why they resist even discussing detailed specifications.)

    Google doesn't depend on hardware sales. (Though they do demonstrate the capabilities of the Android OS with the Nexus smartphone.) If they produce an OS with enhanced capabilities, it's up to hardware manufacturers to keep pace. Thus, they can implement true multi-tasking with all that that implies without being (too) concerned that it places a heavier burden on hardware performance.
  15. fertilized-egg, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    The Android launcher/desktop does. The apps..not really even if they are technically less constrained. The problem with many bad Android apps isn't their flexibility, just badly designed UI.

    *installs clean ROM on my Android phones*
    *turns off all the background stuff*

    Nope. Still not as smooth as iOS.


    I'm not a programmer but no that's not because of multitasking, but rather it's because the way Android runs off Java VM.

    I have a feeling that you don't really understand the meaning of "true multitasking." Both iOS and Android are "true multitasking" OS at heart and they have processes and services running in the background when necessary.

    Download an app from appstore, go to browse websites and play an MP3 in the background. Is that a "fake" multitasking? What would "true" multitasking be different? It's how they deal with the 3rd party software and APIs that differ. Android doesn't allow apps to "truly multitask" It's less restrictive than iOS but it's nothing like the desktop OS. If you use Android, you'll see that it still suspends apps and kills off background stuff to make use of more memory.

    If iOS wasn't a preemtive multitasking capable OS and only had cooperative multitasking,your point would make more sense but the Darwin kernel is capable of it.

    And to make things more complicated, sometimes iOS is more capable than Android for multitasking of apps - I can play Youtube video and even AirVideo in the background with my iPad while I'm doing other stuff, but not with my Android phone. As soon as I quit the Youtube player on Android, it stops playing. That's "true mutitasking"?
  16. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    jsh1120's "multitasking" rhetoric is just what he's been told on his Android forums. Like most fanboys, he doesn't have any actual knowledge of how it works on either iOS or Android.
  17. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sorry, buddy. You're right. You're not a programmer. I'm sorry to be dismissive but you simply don't understand the details of multi-tasking and why Apple's implementation is so highly restricted (e.g. limited to "privileged" apps) as to not really qualify for the designation.

    This isn't the place to provide a computer science education. Suffice to say that iOS restricts the demands that apps can place on it for reasons already noted. As far as "understanding what true multi-tasking" is, I suspect I was working with UNIX before you were born.

    If this were an Android forum where the iOS version of "multi-tasking" is dismissed as marketing hyperbole, I'd argue (and have argued) that it is quite sufficient for the requirements of most consumers (e.g. playing music while browsing the internet). The fact that it does not allow most apps to run in the background is technically a violation of the meaning of the term "multi-tasking" but for an average consumer (which it sounds like you are), that makes little difference. Their demands are limited and so is iOS.

    P.S. Again, I'm sorry to be dismissive. If you want to discuss the intricacies of Java VM and Android's Dalvik implementation and JIT compiler, let me know. But I suspect that you're assuming Apple's perspective is unaffected by their corporate interests. That's always risky.
  18. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    <sigh> If you'd ever read my posts on various Android forums you'd find I've been accused of being an Apple "fanboy" by people with as limited a perspective as yours.

    Youth is more often certain than perceptive.
  19. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    Well..if you know your CS and if I remember my computer architecture CS course, you know that multitasking in its nature is "fake," it's an illusion to the user. It's merely scheduling of different tasks for the CPU and that's where the old argument about cooperative multitasking not being the "real" one. In terms of CS lingo, how does iOS fail here? Doesn't it support preemtive multitasking or not?

    My point is here two folds:

    1) both iOS and Android support true multitasking at the kernel level
    2) they both restrict multitasking for apps. Less so for Android but still it does.

    Since you're so adamant about Android being a "true multitasking OS," you can answer my question: if it's a true multitasking OS, why can't I run my Youtube player in the background?

    OK.. notwithstanding the fact that my daughter is staring at me typing loudly, with all your wisdom, why does my Android phone still provide less responsive touch UI than iOS when every background is turned down and widget is off?
  20. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Not sure. You're comparing an Android phone (which one?) to iOS? Has it struck you that you're comparing a physical device to an operating system? Or are you comparing an unnamed Android device to an unnamed iOS device?

    Does each have onboard storage or does your Android phone use separate SD storage? Do both devices use the same cell network? Do both even use a cell network? Is email configured identically in the two devices? Have you done repeated trials with each device and timed them? What exactly (in measurable terms) does "less responsive" mean?

    Frankly, I find these sorts of comparisons simply silly (or inappropriately "religious"). They almost always involve so many uncontrolled variables that it's virtually impossible to determine what exactly is being compared.

    I have no doubt that you can find an Android phone that is "less responsive" than an iPad. Mine is. And my sports car is considerably more "responsive" than my station wagon. I don't immediately assume that is because one has a rotary engine and the other has a turbocharged conventional engine. Even worse, I don't assume one engine design is "better" because the two automobiles perform differently.
  21. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    jsh1120, please quit "moving the goalposts" and avoiding the questions. You're trying to talk your way in circles. Really unappealing.
  22. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    in my opinion, I think iOS is very easy for non tech savvy people to use yet it's powerful enough for the average nerd. I like to jailbreak my iDevices and trick them out to my liking, but I know a lot of people who use iOS simply because it works without you having to mess with it and it's pretty intuitive. You literally touch what you want and that's what you get. This is great for people like my girlfriend who are not good with gadgets, or people like my grandfather who have never even touched a computer.

    I see a lot of older people coming around to technology because of the user friendly way Apple has laid it out. I see people in their 80's using iPhones and iPads where as 5 years ago those same people probably would have had an aneurism if you tried to show them how to send an e-mail from a desktop.
  23. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    The *basic* UI of iOS is a hit, in my opinion. The simple icons and clean layout. Sure, they should spiffy it up with widgets (if they do it how they do it in Lion, that would be great), and so forth.

    However, I agree that the multitasking bar is an gigantic failure. It is ineffectual, ineffective and confusing.

    I hope Lion's Mission Control is a hint of things to come for iOS multitasking. They finally fixed notifications in iOS 5, hopefully the multitasking UI will be fixed/the focus in iOS 6.
  24. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    And that is why we have an abomination called "Finder", the most inefficient file mover i have ever used
  25. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    It's become obvious this forum is an outlet for adolescent rage for some. Not interested. Grew out of it several decades ago.

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