Saturday, July 31, 2010

Captivate vs. iPhone: Ease of Use

To start off the ease of use discussion, I'll mention that I had been using an iPhone for a few weeks and had gotten used to how an iPhone worked.

At first, I had trouble getting used to the iPhone interface. It took me about three days to feel more or less comfortable with it. I still had trouble figuring out some of the settings, but for the most part, it has a very clean interface and is easy to use. Apple does a very good job of just making things work.

Switching to an Android-based phone, I felt clueless again. It took me about a week to feel relatively comfortable with the phone. (Part of this was my e-mail setup, which will be covered in a later post.) I'm still finding settings I didn't know were there. Google has done a great job of making sure their services just work. It's everything else that you want to do with the phone where the complexity starts.

There is one ease of use point where the Captivate beats the iPhone: notifications. Rather than having a notification pop-up on the screen and having to deal with it right now, the Captivate has a notification area. It displays an icon (or multiple icons) at the top of the screen. A simple flick of the finger and you can see your notifications.

In short, the iPhone has a much better "it just works" Mac OS feel. Android feels more like using a really polished Linux machine or a combination of Linux and Windows. Apple clearly wins this category. It should be noted that different phone manufacturers modify Android. The Captivate ships with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

This is the third in a series of posts. You can find the first article here.

1 comment:

"Nick" said...

I would have said that ease of use goes to iPhone prior to getting the Captivate. However, now that I have it, I find that the Android hard buttons (menu, home, back and search) make the experience FAR superior. The back button alone makes navigating within and between apps much less frustrating (going from twitter to the browser and back again, without closing the app or other tasks like that).

Android has multiple ways to do certain tasks, which fits in much better with the way you actually use the apps I find.

I think the "easy to use, just works" iOS rep is something of a fabrication by Apple. Android took me a few minutes to figure out, which was on par with figuring out the way iOS works. Certain things are hard to figure out in each system, but like I said, I can almost always find a few ways (and pick the easiest in a given situation or app) to do what I want to do, where iOS limits those choices in favor of keeping it "so easy a caveman can do it" to borrow from GEICO.