The freshness of os and ux

The iPhone is a wonderful bit of technology. When it arrived, it ushered in a new take on what a phone could be. Improving on what was already done and leading the way for what could be.

The iPhone on a Verizon 3G network is currently a reality. An option I have been waiting to go with for over two years. Now that it’s here, I find myself wondering about the freshness and direction of iOS and it’s user experience.

The applications for iOS are superior in my opinion. The ecosystem for iOS is tight (and some argue too closed) and elegant. I’ve become very comfortable with iOS development and much prefer it to Android development.

But it feels stale in comparison to Android. There are some different controls in Android that I haven’t seen in iOS that I enjoy… running on a beefy enough device to make things snappy.

Perhaps it might be due to the fact that because Android is a newer take on what a portable device experience could be, it feels and looks fresher to me. The iOS experience is excellent… but have I seen basically incremental changes to it over time that have grown a bit… boring?

When the XBox 360 changed it’s UI for a more square presentation, I immediately took to it as fresh and different. How much longer do we need to suffer pointless rounded corners? It was cool years ago when it was actually hard to implement.

Now that it’s so easy for designers and developers to deploy, it’s over-used. It looks tired and old. TIghter radius corners or square now look fresh, clean, and organized. Funny how that stuff can come full-circle.

I mention the 360 because they shook things up a bit. I’m not so sure that Apple will do that any time soon. The fact that I can adjust the visual settings for Android allows me to change the feel of the experience. Apple got it right, but allowing some level of customization for such a personal device is something they should tackle. Or else… it starts to feel polished but bland. I want my device to stand out a little bit.

Would I root an Android device? Nope. I wouldn’t jailbreak or root anything to be honest. Do I care about tons of apps on my cell phone? No. A few really useful ones are all I require. Social networking integration is pretty awesome. Weather, time, and all that on a single screen is welcome.

I’m losing sleep on whether to jump on the Verizon iPhone 4 train (either early February or wait until this summer for a new iPhone version), or go with a really sweet Android device instead.

What to do? What to do…

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