Why I Chose The iPhone – It’s Pretty

29Dec09

A little over a month ago, I made the switch from Windows Mobile (6.1) to the iPhone.  To say that I haven’t missed WinMo would be an understatement.  But why the iPhone, when I could have just as easily gone with an Android device?

Because the iPhone is prettier.

That’s right, I said it.  It may not be the most sound or practical reason, but it’s honest.

I primarily chose the iPhone because I found it pretty.  And “pretty” in this respect is actually important.  The aesthetics of something should be an indicator of its intrinsic quality, not a mask to hide its defects.  Nor should poor design get a free pass merely because it’s a container for good software.

Apple gets this.

And to be fair, I had thought about the Droid.  Seriously.  It had good features, decent price, and heck, it was on Verizon.  But, deep down, I knew I’d always be comparing it to the iPhone.  The look, and therefore the appeal, just wasn’t there for me.

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who had qualms about the Droid’s appearance.  Verizon even had an ad (which I can no longer find… odd) that tried to explain away the device’s decidedly un-iPhone-ish look with super-geniusness (“It ain’t no beauty queen, but… “).  I felt it was a cheap knock and a weak argument.

Whenever good design is automatically viewed as “unprofessional”, or portrayed as incapable of being functional, it’s an implicit statement that “pretty” things have no value.  When we start to buy into that idea, something more important gets lost: the notion that we should have both brilliant design and superb quality in our lives.

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3 Responses to “Why I Chose The iPhone – It’s Pretty”

  1. There is no arguing that the iPhone is both pretty and functional. Apple did a lot of things right. My problems lie in their shutting out apps (like the Google Voice app) because it MIGHT cause user confusion (which i feel is a ridiculous argument).

    I still think Android has a lot of potential, and I like open-ness behind it. Also the app approval process is really nice too (like they run it through a few automated tests and if it passes those it’s approved). So I’ll be looking seriously at any Android device that comes out on AT&T but Android still has some catching up to do to come up to the iPhone’s ascetics.

    • I agree with you on Android’s potential. My only real issue with the platform, as it stands now, is that too many form factors are supported; I can’t imagine developers really enjoying all the hardware considerations they currently have to make when writing Android apps (vs. the iPhone).

      As for the extremely tight control Apple retains over app approvals, it’s a double-edged sword for me. True, there have been some fairly public rejections that just look capricious (I am hoping the Google Voice debacle gets sorted out eventually, though. In the meantime, I use the text-heavy web version which is perfectly legit for the iPhone). On the other hand, I think most users see the process as Apple maintaining a stringent process for vetting apps. As long as the market has that level of confidence (no app will brick your phone, interfere with making calls, steal your data, etc.), it benefits users and developers alike.

      And to add a counterpoint, having the Android approval process be composed of “…a few automated tests…” is a little concerning. I would want any app put out for public consumption, from any mobile vendor, to be put through a battery of both automated and manual tests.


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