Why is apple opposed to simple customizability?

Discussion in 'iOS 6' started by Italianblend, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Italianblend, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

    Italianblend macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

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    #1
    This is not an anti-apple thread - I enjoy my iphone and pad.

    I would just like to have a calm discussion about apple's lack of customizability in their ios. Why is apple so opposed to simple things like changing the colors of menus, or changing the colors of your text messages, etc.? These things would not tax the chip inside (or am I wrong about that?). We have been seeing pretty much the same setup for a while. The colors are the same, the menus are the same.

    I'm just searching for the reason. Is it performance issues? ( I can't imagine that color changes would tax the processor). Are they just being stubborn and holding on to their "identity?" Do they not want to seem like a competitor? Do they not want to open that pandora's box? (If they start adding simple customizibality, then perhaps the users will demand more, which would eventually lead to performance issues)...

    What is it? This is almost 2013 and I think we deserve a little personality for our phones.
     
  2. jnmiah macrumors member

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    #2
    they just want the interface simple. they don't want to make it complex yet. when apple is about to go down then maby they will add customization.
     
  3. Terrified macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #3
    I think the more pertinent question, given the huge number of sales they make, is why would they add these things? I'd wager the number of people who were going to buy an iPhone, but didn't because they couldn't change a menu colour, are very small indeed.
     
  4. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I think it's related to the reason why MySpace didn't grow, and Facebook (so far) has done well. Basically, most people suck at design. Give them free reign to change the design of something and while they might enjoy the process of customization, they essentially end up with a steaming pile of poo.
     
  5. Italianblend thread starter macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

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    #5
    That is a good point, I didn't think of it like that.

    Still, the customization I am talking about is minor, minor stuff.
     
  6. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    True, there are some customization bits I'd like to have. Such as pick out new icon styles. (Similar to how I can customize ringtones and wallpaper.) But it occurs to me that more extensive modifications will lead to greatly diminished user experiences - there have been a number of users convinced something was wrong with their phone, when it turned out the issue was some module from jailbreaking that didn't uninstall properly. Any customization of the phone's OS that involves executable code not supplied by Apple would really hurt the iPhone's usability.
     
  7. wombat94 macrumors member

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    #7
    I believe it is simple economics.

    When you sell a consumer product, the support costs after the sale are a significant portion of the cost of doing business.

    In a complex device like a smart phone, the simpler you keep the overall experience, the less the general public needs support. I'm not talking about "my device stopped working" calls... I'm referring to "I can't find my alarms app" calls or "I can't read any of my text messages" calls.

    Every bit of customizability increases the percentage of people who get themselves into trouble by "customizing" their way to a less than ideal experience (even if the device is technically still working properly). Those people call for support, visit the Genius bar, etc.

    With 400 million iOS devices out in the wild, each bit of extra customizability will significantly increase the support costs because it take time for the support staff to figure out that "I can't find my alarms app" is because the user hid it from the springboard and "I can't read any of my text messages" is because the user customized the text to be white on white, so they get notifications of texts but when they look in the messages app, it appears to be blank.

    I use these as two examples that would likely happen in iOS if customizability is opened up. I work in software design, and as someone whose user base is only about 3000 to 5000 users, most of them are not capable of using multiple options to achieve the same task. The ones who are most dangerous are the ones who THINK they are "power users" but don't really understand the system. This is on a fairly simple, single-task business related piece of software.

    Multiple that problem by 100000 and you start to understand why there has to be a VERY GOOD REASON to allow more user customizability into the iOS interface.

    In a way, I think the Pandora's box idea is correct. Are there certain things Apple could open up to customization and not cause a problem? Sure, there are. But the tipping point to support overload is, I believe, actually VERY VERY early down the path of allowing some customizations, so the benefit of allowing any at all, and then cutting them off, is really negligible.
     
  8. Prototypical macrumors 6502

    Prototypical

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    #8
    This is true of Android as well. Yes, some of the customized Android devices out there are absolutely breathtaking. The ability to create dramatic looks is endless. But in reality, the majority of "customized looks" end up looking absolutely horrible.

    Apple has spent a lot of time, money, and effort designing their signature "look." They don't really want Honey Boo Boo Child's mom changing the design into a pink & purple, polka-dotted, sparkly hot mess. That's what the phone case aftermarket is for.
     
  9. Italianblend thread starter macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

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    #9
    Oh, I forgot to mention font choice. It would be so much easier on the eyes if we could choose between say 4 font choices for messages.
     
  10. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I can't thank you enough for this, well said.

    I am in software too and I specialize in BI/ CRM applications, both applications offer SDKs (Tools) with great range of flexibility; you wouldn't imagine the things developers come up with; just shuv all fields and text and confusion and clicks on one page, not knowing that their target audience are rarely computer savy (Sales reps, account managers, etc...).

    In my most recent project we did a 'new' application (simplified it and TOOK OUT a million customizable options), and you can't imagine how well received this project was. Folks get excited about customizability; colors; flash, options, mouseovers, etc... but don't know the real implications of it.
     
  11. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #11
    Apple is not opposed to simple customization. Proof: In iOS 5, Apple added the ability for developers to "skin" their apps (known as the UIAppearance protocol). But currently, they seem to be limiting it for end-users. Maybe someday they will extend this, maybe not.
     
  12. dojoman macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Customization is overrated. I have GS3 with lots of customization, it gets to a point you just want to use the damn phone. There are lots of launcher tools on Android market and they are so disorganized and bogged down that it's just busy work customizing to death.
     
  13. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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  14. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #14
    Hah. That's almost unbelievable.

    BTW, anyone else remember the OS 9 themes? Even the built-in ones were pretty bad.

    jW
     
  15. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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    #15
    Ouch! And i though what I posted was bad. :p
     
  16. WishIWasHere macrumors regular

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    #16
  17. MozMan68 macrumors 68000

    MozMan68

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    #17
    I thought letting me organize my apps into folders and moving the position of other key apps around on the home screen WAS simple customizability?:confused:
     
  18. Dinh macrumors member

    Dinh

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    #18
    You don't have to if you don't want to.
    If you 're good at it you can create something brilliant in android.

    Take a look at this:
    http://mycolorscreen.com/
     
  19. MozMan68 macrumors 68000

    MozMan68

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    #19
    Thank you...perfect example of why customization should be frowned upon....
     
  20. shawnwich macrumors 6502

    shawnwich

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    #20
    There's a few reasons mentioned here, related to people being bad at it, and for cost measures.

    But also - it's a marketing tool.

    Pick up two android phones today and play around with them - for the most part, you can barely tell it's the same OS. Most Android owners who aren't young, or into technology don't even know they're using an Android, or that it's the same OS when they switch from an HTC One to a Galaxy S3.

    Pick up any iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac - you instantly know you're on an apple OS. It's distinctive, and familiar. Every iPhone owner knows they're using an iPhone.
     
  21. Appleseeds macrumors regular

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    #21
    Wow.:eek:
    Thanks Apple.
     
  22. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #22
    Because Apple developers spend a lot of time designing their apps to with custom UI. I doubt they want users putting in garish colors and doing other odd things.
     
  23. fiveainone macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2011
    #23
    Because people are dumb. iPhone is dumbed down for the mass population. Have you seen a 58 year old mom trying to use a PC? It's way too complex for them, they've missed the boat on technology. Yet, I see them use iPhones everywhere. Why? because it's simple and you can't really mess up the software. Heck most people don't even know you can upgrade iOS on their iPhone4 :rolleyes:
     
  24. madsci954 macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Please do not show my wife this. She would kill to have this on her phone (and I use that phrase literally)
     
  25. matttye macrumors 601

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    Lincoln, England
    #25
    You know that those screens are just designs that people have made to suit THEIR needs, right? You could create your own design to suit YOU. You wouldn't have to use any of theirs.

    Not sure why anyone would thank Apple for not letting them customise their device as their own!
     

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