Simple: Because They Don’t Get It.
I’m not about to go off on a the-iPhone-is-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread rant. In fact, let me state, right here, right now, for the record, that I am not a user, and on my last birthday was offered one as a gift and just couldn’t do it. I TRIED, by the way. I went to an AT&T Store, explained to a very nice associate that I needed to be left alone to play with one, was set up to do so, spent nearly an hour, and walked away hating the iPhone.
Anyone that knows me knows that I like gadgets. But I don’t like them in the way that most people would think. I like gadgets when they make my life easier, better, or more fun, not because they are cool, and to be honest I haven’t come across too may things that strike me that way lately.
Is this because I’m old and curmudgeonly? I hope not, but can’t promise anything.
The iPhone is undoubtedly very cool. And I’ve had a chance to play with iPod touch devices—which work exactly the same way and do everything the iPhone does except make phone calls—many times. They are just plain . . . neat. VERY cool. And sure, I like what they can do for you from time to time: Need a restaurant? Directions? Something that makes having the Internet in your pocket and accessible from almost anywhere as easy as possible? The iPhone is the way to go. But I hate the iPhone, and here’s why:
The iPhone is still too hard to use because there’s no easy way to rearrange your application screens.
Anyone who’s used an iPhone for a while and downloaded apps to it knows what I mean, and will be happy that Movement now exists. Click the link, look at the picture on their front page, and you’ll understand instantly what Movement does. And it will make sense.
And you can’t use it unless you hack your iPhone in a way that’s too hard for most users, might be illegal, and certainly puts you at risk of turning your iPhone into a paperweight.
Apple could fix this. There are rumors floating about that they might, but every time I use an iPhone—or a Macintosh computer, since I’m being honest—all I feel is that I WISH I LIKED IT. Apple creates amazing stuff, makes it as easy to use as they think makes sense, and then stops, because “they know best” and we, like children, are not supposed to question their parental wisdom.
That was fine in a world with few choices. But in the world we inhabit today, a world where change happens so fast you can miss it, where we have hundreds of television channels, unlimited free access to magazines and newspapers that used to cost money, choice of the computers, phones and software we use, REAL change happens when you make the change clear, and make the change easy.
Change is everything. And it doesn’t stop with a pretty user interface. Take that, iPhone.