A few years ago I convinced a family member to ditch the feature phone and move to an iPhone. My friend is well educated and well off financially thanks to some good investments and a long career. After a couple of years she switched to a Samsung Galaxy whatever.
Why? The iPhone was too complex. Apple technology is too complex? Say what?
The reality is this, unless you’ve been immersed in modern gadgets for a few years, our computing devices have become complicated, complex devices. You might think that millennials know everything about smartphones but ask a few to show you which apps they use.
Apples biggest sellers are the least powerful Macs you can buy. Why? In ever larger numbers, computer users don’t want power, they want ease-of-use. How else do you explain that Apple’s hottest selling Macs are the ones that can do the least? Alright, price, too.
An iPhone is much like a super computer in your pocket, with enough processing power to rival MacBook Air or MacBook models; a phone that is the world’s most popular camera, a handheld device that can run many of the millions of apps available to it.
Yet, what do most people user their iPhones for each day? Text, calls, email, camera, Instagram and Facebook, and after that it gets sketchy; calendar, reminders, browsing, photo enhancement, and then a long tail of individual uses and whatever suits the fancy of the growing crowd of computer toting humans that want easy and ease-of-use vs. power.
What’s the problem?
Is not Apple making all their devices and software easier to work together than Google’s Android and the hundreds of cellphone manufacturers that would prefer you buy a new smartphone vs. upgrading software on the old one? You’d like to think that, but in and of itself integration of apps is yet another layer of complexity that a customer must first learn to use.
Those of us who follow Apple and who own and use everything Apple are on top of the user stack, and nearly everyone else follows– follows with less interest in the growing list of features and nuances than the basics. To be fair, I have to agree that Settings on my iPhone has, well, too many settings. Who can keep up? The Mac isn’t much better with my System Preferences running five categories with eight sections each.
Is it any wonder that the Android and Windows worlds are so similar? Each has a tiny group of techno literates who bathe in the complexity, and the other side of great unwashed masses who just want to use a few basic apps and not be bothered with learning apps or tinkering with settings all the time.
Look how much more complex iOS 10 is than the first few versions of iOS on the iPhone. As much as we decry the dumbed down macOS Sierra, there sure is a lot more going on for Mac users to learn. Just look at all the apps Apple stuffs into each Mac.
Technology should make life easier, but managing technology has become a life unto itself.