Why iOS changed the world (and won't see any big changes...)
Disclaimer: I'm Dutch, so don't comment on language or grammar ;)
Lately (or actually since the 4S has been released) a lot of people have been complaining about iOS and that it 'needs to change', 'feels old fashioned' and 'is behind the curve'. I completely disagree.
When Apple first released the iPhone in 2007, they had a really clear vision. A smartphone that can be used by anyone, from the moment they pick it up. Remember that iOS 1.0 (then called iPhone OS) didn't support 3rd party apps, but it was the most intuitive phone OS out there. In my opinion it even beat ease-of-use for most dump phones like the Nokia's.
I was born in 1986. When I went to college, our computers were running Windows 95, but a lot of programs still used DOS. Windows 95 was a revolution, to say the least. The graphic UI finally became main stream. But people needed to learn how to work with it. The mouse interface, the folder structure, opening programs, everything was new. People really needed to learn how to work with them. I'll never forget telling my mom to 'move the mouse to the bottom left of the screen to open the start menu'. She literally picked up her mouse and put the bottom of it ON the screen.. I had to tell her that the 'cursor' on the screen corresponded with movements of her hand that was on the 'mouse'. This was a problem for many years for a lot of computer users. Windows was anything but 'logical' and required a steep learning curve (and a lot of 'computer tutors' earned a lot of money with it!). Nowadays everybody is used to this kind of input but the current generation just doesn't understand that Windows is anything but logical.
Cue to 2007. 12 years (!!!) after W95 has been released, there hasn't been any innovation in the computer market. Phones we're dumb (text/SMS), smartphones used Windows (with a 'start menu') and tablets ran on Windows XP. Apple introduced the iPhone. A smartphone that was easy to use and everybody that put there hands on it immediately understands how it works.
For me, coming from the 80's, this was amazing. Remembering all the Windows torture and training people had to go trough, a company that produced music players and expensive computers launched a computer OS that people understood from the moment they touched it. No longer the input device was indirect (mouse, keyboard, stylus), you just touch what you want, and the phone takes you there. Kids from 2 years old to Seniors from 90 years old we're able to use this device without any instruction.
Apple saw this. And suddenly they realized that they uncovered the 'secret' to consumer computing. Besides the fact that consumers were becoming more mobile, they really appreciated the ease-of-use of iOS. The iPad has been in the pipeline since 2003 (as the Apple vs. Samsung documents revealed), but Apple never was able to make it work. I think iOS, and especially the AppStore, showed Apple how to make it work.
People don't care about file-managment (geeks do), People don't care about changing every possible thing you can think of (geeks do), People don't care about specs (geeks do). People just want their device to work!
Right now, I have to tell you a secret; I'm completely biased in this discussion. I work in an Apple Store. But people come in to our store, pick up an iPad for 10 minutes and everybody, from young children, to senior citizens now how to use it. For people from my age (or older), can you imagine what would have happened if this was the case in 1995?
My point. iOS works. People don't want home screens with widgets; system ram, cpu and battery use; to watch a movie while texting (really Samsung!?)... They just want a device that doesn't have a learning curve.iOS doesn't have a learning curve. it works. And that is why it won't undergo a massive change within the coming years.
Ps. Remember, Windows hasn't changed for 17 years (!!). Finally Microsoft gets it. I'm really looking forward to Windows 8, but honestly I'm sad that they didn't realized this sooner and Apple had to show them how to do it right....