Is It Time for Apple to Change Its UI?

MICKey asks:

Did you get a chance to experience the new Sony Xperia Z? If so, what are your thoughts on it, and could you possibly do an unboxing? I do not think I have ever seen you do anything on Sony products.

Seeing all the advancements in UI that exist at the moment such as Ubuntu and Sailfish, do you think it’s time for Apple to revamp its UI? I love my iPhone 5 and live within the Apple world because it works for me, but sometimes I feel jealous at some of these features such as the live data lock screen in Ubuntu OS or how easy it seems to multitask or set ambient themes on Sailfish OS and so on. Do you think Jony Ive is the answer to that now that he has more say over iOS?

To your first question, I’d have to say not as of yet. We have discussed Sony products many times in the past, including a review from one of our frequent contributors of the Sony Tablet S, a precursor to the Sony Xperia tablet line. Impressions were not very positive at first as updates to current versions of Android came very slowly. Sony has a lot to offer in terms of hardware and general product quality, but I’m wary of any Android device that doesn’t have any promise of receiving quick updates as new editions of Android are made available.

I’d love to do an unboxing and review if we can find a sponsor to help make that possible.

Your second question regarding Apple revamping its user interface (UI) is a good one. I love a good UI, no matter how “new” or “old” it is. I just want it to be functional and adhere to outstanding UX principles.

A new UI doesn’t imply a better UI, though.

ChangeI’ve spoken to this several times before in YouTube videos, but iOS isn’t as “boring” as some people claim — they’re just bored with it. There’s a clear difference between the two words and their usage, mind you. It’s okay for you to be bored with something. That’s your prerogative.

But Apple has different stressors than you do — namely, bringing millions of people along with every single change it makes. Too much change could be like going from zero degrees to boiling for users — jarring, confusing, and potentially unnecessary.

My parents, for example (average users, I assure you), hate change in every way when it comes to computing. Should Apple release something new that forces it to shift its comfort level with iOS, it will more than likely reject the change. That change could force users to another platform. Mind you, a complete lack of change could do the same thing if other systems are able to address a user’s needs better in a demonstrable fashion.

So Apple’s in a quandary. It will evolve, but if it doesn’t evolve at a balanced pace, it risks alienating the users that come back to it over and over again for a good experience.

Sure, I want more out of iOS, but Apple’s not going to give that to me at the cost of millions of customers.

Image: Brainstorm Cartoons