25 September, 2013

iOS 7 naysayers: "It looks too much like a Window$ phone"...

The day after iOS 7 was released, I was at a worship and Bible study session with a friend and fellow worshipper that needed help getting used to the new OS. I helped her with some stuff that took a little getting used to, such as the new multitasking interface (which I admit does stifle some long-term iOS users that are used to pressing and holding to close apps, as now you can just swipe up a thumbnail and the app is gone) and the Control Center, among other changes. But then, I asked what about the new OS she didn't like.

"It looks too much like a Windows phone," she said.

"Really? Because to me, it looks more like Android 4.x than it EVER would Windows," I replied.

She replied, "That's what I meant"...

Notice this fallacy here?! Android is NOT Windows!

I'll say this plain and clear: A Linux phone (Android) and Darwin phone (iOS) have fundamentally similar underlying OS structures. It's Windows that actually still has that DOS-like underlying structure. If you were to gain root access on an Android-powered phone and an iPhone side-by-side, you would find the same Bash shell on both of them. Yet on a Windows 8 phone, you would indeed find a DOS-like console looming in there.

It was saddening, therefore, to see everyone in my classroom the following Monday come to the same fallacious conclusion. People are comparing operating systems blindly, or at best, basing their conclusions purely on visual appearance, and that's why they seem to think that because Android is installed on countless devices and has flat design that resembles that of Windows Phone 8, it must be Windows. Sorry to say, it isn't. Microsoft develops Windows (Phone and desktop versions). Apple develops iOS and Mac OS X. And most importantly, Google, that's right, Google, the search giant, the very company whose mapping service Apple dropped for an inferior product in the iOS 6 version of the default Maps app, develops Android and Chrome OS. So don't mix and match. I've had this discussion over and over, and yet nobody listens.

Now that iOS 7 has imitated much of Android's look, that very act of not listening is what is causing all the problems that iOS users are having to begin with. They were just so used to the skeuomorphism that the new iOS is a shock to them. I'm sorry, but skeuomorphism is negative design in every which way. It gets in the way of your content, it stands out, and it's counterproductive. So the iOS community was in the minority when they still liked skeuomorphism, and this is why iOS 7, to me at least, is such a welcome change. Because now, we're all even, and the mobile OS wars are now far more competitive than their desktop counterpart.