So… why did Amazon’s Fire Phone turn into such a steaming pile of shit, anyway?
Long-but-interesting piece on the “Great Smartphone War“.
Though, let’s be honest: I love Apple. Like, a lot. I’m typing this now on my iPad, with my iPhone sitting on the desk next to me, under a white spaghetti pile of Apple-branded headphones. At home, I use a MacBook. My editor sighs when I complain about Pages mangling the import/export of Word documents. My day job boss rolls his eyes when I decry ugly typography and non-retina screens on our bland, corporate Windows boxes.
So yeah, I like Apple.
But holy hell if this Vanity Fair piece isn’t a bit, yanno. Racist. Because Apple is a US company and Samsung is Korean, and there’s definitely a strong whiff of Us versus Them in this piece. Apple are ruthless but they’re innovative and talented. Samsung, meanwhile, are presented as derivative also-rans, producing cheap, lazy rip-offs of American Excellence™.
It’s all a bit much. So a warning for the bias.
Other than that, though: interesting article.
Smartphones are designed for men.
I’m not sure that I necessarily agree with all of this, in that I haven’t studied the demographic data in detail, but it seems to make some assumptions about the gendering of hand sizes that seem more “conventional wisdom” than empirical fact (says she with the hands as big as or larger than most of her male friends, thanks to some pretty long fingers).
On the other hand, I remember when the iPhone 5 came out with its bigger screen, and suddenly I couldn’t use a whole bunch of apps properly because conventional UI design was to include things like “back” buttons in the top corners, which I could no longer reach one-handed without shifting my grip (deadly on the cross-trainer at the gym, let me tell you).
On the other other hand, most of the design-savvy apps have been moving their control UI around so that this is no longer a problem (Reeder being one where I’ve heavily noticed the change). So there’s that, too.