Friday, 18 January 2008

Still loving my iPhone

I'm pretty notorious for having a very short attention span. I'll jump passionately in to a new service or toy with both feet, love it for a couple of weeks until something else takes my fancy. Julian, as you can see from his derisory comments on : iPhone - Smartphone for the Normob?, has been of the opinion that my iPhone purchase would go the same way.

Well I'm still loving it and the latest updates announced at a MacWorld have made it better. It really is a device that fits into my personal life.

Yes the camera's not great and the data coverage can be irritating but it's so well thought out and put together that I still keep coming back for more. I've even got used to the keyboard.

This year will see a slew of copies from Nokia, LG, Samsung, et al and it'll be really interesting to see how these manifest themselves. I think the challenge for them will be to not try make it backwardly compatible, interface wise, with the rest of their estate.

One of the key reasons the iPhone is such a success is that Apple have taken decisions about how you want to use the device on your behalf. Their team of UI designers have worked out the best way for it to work so you don't have to.

The temptation when developing software is to give user full control, lots of features that they can take advantage of. You never can tell what a user might want to do so make sure you've got your bases covered. The danger with this approach is that you end up with a sea of options that confuse the user rather than empower them.

I liken this to the multiple camera options you get (at least I assume you still do) with Sky Sports coverage. So you can watch Wayne Rooney scratch is rear or John Terry yelling at his team mates while the rest of the game is going on.

This kind of service doesn't appeal to me at all. Why should I make decisions about the best angle when a highly paid (assumption) highly experienced sports TV producer is there to make the decisions for me and make sure I don't miss the best bits.

The iPhone has been a liberating experience for me. Usually with a new device I'm desperate to dive in and configure, load things, try things out and I just end up getting frustrated and ultimately fall out of love with it. Apple's designers have prevented me from doing that while making some great decisions about how the iPhone should be used.

This time I'm using the device in the way it was designed and our relationship is stronger than ever.

No comments: