This takes me back
Back in the day, i used to be a card-carrying Mac taliban, more than happy to start a religious rant at the drop of a hat. Mind you, this was back in the olden days, when sticking out for the Mac OS made you a true geek. I’m talking Win 95 days, here. My adversary, the typical Windows geek, always said the same thing. For each brilliant feature or program i pointed out on the Mac platform, they would immediately and sulkingly point out that this very same feature (or even better) did so exist in Windows. Only better, without the totally unneccesary bells-and-jingles of the Mac. And what if the Windows version was a copy of the Mac feature? The Mac platform was for losers, anyway. Just look at the market share… and so on and so forth.
I loved these arguments, passionately. Mostly because i always felt i was winning. After all, you had only to look at the Mac to see how it was meant to be done. The finish, the care of details, the classyness… it was just right. And it was obvious that even though they hotly denied it, windows geeks knew I was right.
Now, imagine my delight that those old days of combat between Mac and the infidels seem to be coming back. This time around, it’s Windows who is the underdog and Apple the king of the hill. Everything else, though, seems mighty familiar.
When the new iPhone 3gs was announced, it was demoed with an application showcasing it’s built-in digital compass.
The app, developed by a Swedish company i believe, displays all the design and functionality aesthetic you’ve come to expect from iPhone apps. Solidly classy, to the point, simply just right design. They conform to the Apple guidelines for UI design who state that every detail in an iPhone app should be thought through and function just right. The user should be satisified with every aspect of using the application, from the placement and behaviour of buttons to animations in checkboxes and lists.
Now, the other day, i saw a list of new apps on Gizmodo (who have long since published great weekly iPhone app lists) for the Windows Mobile platform. Now, take a look at this screenshot of a Windows mobile version of a digital compass.
A Windows advocate would probably say ‘-What’s wrong with it?’ at this point. ‘-It’s way better than that fancy Apple version. When i want to use a compass app, i want clarity, not mahogany veneer. I want an un-antialiased standard windows font, a nice clear dropdown menu, and six decimal places in the mystery numbers at the bottom of the app, because when you’re in the wild, you’ll need them six decimals. And hey, brushed metal is way cool.’
Come on, Windows mobile. You’re not even trying, here.