The Tear-down of the iPhone: prologue
I have decided to introduce a short ‘mini-series’ of posts dedicated to reviewing the individual apps on the iPhone. The reason behind this is that for the most part, reviews of the iPhone have generally only skimmed over the apps. I wanted to look at them individually, as if they were separate software releases. I will try to outline the good, the bad, and….the improvements that could be made to each. One thing is for sure: the iPhone has really made me think about what makes good Mobile User Interfaces. It has clearly drawn a line in the sand, that I think many other phone manufacturers will try to cross in an effort to align themselves aesthetically with the iPhone. But as anyone with any understanding of UI will tell: it’s not all about fancy icons, and ‘swooshyness’. It is about the entire bottom-up approach to the device. It means thinking right from the start about how people REALLY use features and services on mobile devices, and designing the complete process around that. It is pure and simple K.I.S.S philosophy. To me, it is no wonder that the ‘mobile internet’ never really captured the publics imagination, when the devices that were used to access this service sucked so badly at the task.
The way I personally view the iPhone is not as a mobile phone, nor smartphone, nor internet communicator, nor an iPod. To me it is simply a PLATFORM, regardless of whether the official SDK is out or not. This is finally a device that can be used to build compelling applications, with a sense of air and grace not seen on any other device (yet). THIS is how you kickstart the much-delayed mobile revolution. And THIS is what attracts the ‘Everyman’ into investing in that future. So now you know why I seem to be obsessing with the little pocket-osx-rocket. And so next post, the first in the series: