Thoughts on Apple Design

Why Apple’s tech is so much better than everyone else’s.

Many disagree with the plain statement. Many more agree wholeheartedly. Apple makes the best tech on the planet. The best looking, the most functional, the most friendly. The kind of technology that, when first exploring it’s aspects, gives someone delight due to the smallest of details. It’s charming, intricate, easy to use, and invokes a relationship unlike any other.

Have you ever seen someone fall asleep cuddling a Microsoft Surface tablet? I haven’t. I have however seen people snoozing away with their iPad Mini underneath them, running silently while contently pumping Mozart and Foster the People into their dreaming minds. How many times have you fallen asleep with your iPod or iPhone? For me, I won’t even attempt to count. It’s a lot. Like, at least 9.

Credit to PhoneArena

The difference between, say, an iPad and a Surface tablet, isn’t very complicated. The Surface is a black slab of rubbery cornered computing power. Yes, I contend, at first glance it is pretty. But then you flip it over… Then you turn it on. And it becomes infinitely less pretty. The iPad, however, is a silvery hued slate of anodized aluminum, matte to the touch. You flip it over, you don’t see a window. You see an apple. AN APPLE. With a bite out of it. Who thinks of that? How cool to have something so ordinary, beautiful, and healthy on the back of a tablet! A shiny, chrome apple. Distinct yet subtle. What does the Surface have on it? A line for a stand and “Surface” written in something akin to Arial.

Apple and Kobo vs Microsoft and everyone else
Credit to The eBook Reader (Youtube)

Apple creates its designs with the relationship in mind. Every step of the way, Jony Ive’s team is wondering “Will people want to use this everyday? Will they be embrassed to use it? Does it look good? Does it feel good?” Other companies don’t put as much thought into this. LG, for example, creates a curved phone. What’s the purpose? To look cool? It doesn’t. The closest approximate to the way Apple designs is Kobo, a Canadian eReader company that 90% of Americans have never heard of. Kobo makes beautiful devices with design in mind. The Nook=bleh. Kobo Aura=oh yeah. Apple and Kobo design devices that make you not want to put them down. Ever. They become your constant companions, your precious friends. The iPad is so thin and light, you forget it’s in your bag. The rounded edges and thin bezels give the sense that nothing is wasted. This device feels like it’s meant to last a lifetime. People feel comfortable with these aspects, and thus feel comfortable with the device.

Credit to MaximumPC

Lastly, there’s the OS. Where Windows 8 is saturated in a garish manner, solid so it feels condensed, and square, iOS 7 is bright and colorful, translucent for subtle effects, and organic. Each has its issues, but when placed against each other, iOS 7 pulls ahead. It’s just…more friendly. Less confusing. It makes people happy, whereas Windows 8 frustrates many (no constant start button, Microsoft?). Android is no better in terms of frustration. I have the original Nexus 7, and while I loved it at first (being my first tablet), over the months I’ve noticed all the annoying parts of Android. Errant touches and unresponsiveness throughout, and annoyingly skeuomorphic icons that just suggest some flatness. It’s like getting a 99 on a test. Really? You couldn’t go one step further? In iOS, it doesn’t feel like that. The worst thing in iOS was the off center “1" on the Calender app, and that’s barely noticeable to most people (if they even care). Android crashes and is ugly, Windows has lost so much functionality and is too unfamiliar, and iOS is colorful, new, and has an off center 1. Who wins here? I’ll let you decide.

Point is, Apple creates ridiculously great things. The relationships people form with Apple products is ridiculous, but understandable. They look and feel nice physically. They work well. They’re secure and mostly problem free. The OS is friendly and easy to use. Apple does things right when others do everything wrong.