A Flaw in Comparing Android and iOS by CNET

CNET has recently made a Prizefight video between iOS 6 and Jellybean. Overall, Jellybean has won because the judges in the video, who are CNET editors, think that Jellybean has a slicker user interface and more feature-rich.I find that CNET editors have failed to understand the true advantage of iOS when they say Android offers more features and therefore it's better. Geeks like CNET editors, of course, would love extra features.

First and foremost, I believe that if Apple wanted to add as many features as possible into every major update of iOS like Android, it has more resources than any other company in the world to do so. Apple has more than enough cash to hire incredibly talented software engineers and make them create hundreds of features that Android doesn't offer. Hence, logically, this leads us to believe that Apple has its own reason of keeping every major update look the same from the previous version with not so many/ noticeable new features. ( they always say over 200 features, but if you really go and look them up, it's not really 200 separate features)

In my opinion, and from my own personal experience, the reasons iOS is kept to a minimum of features and same user interface are this:

  • Most average consumers(referred to as "they" from here onwards) are non-tech-savvy, and thus they don't really care about extra features, even if they are useful
  • They don't like change of user interface. Yes. This is really true most of the time, even when the new is truly better than the old. Familiarity is a huge advantage. An average non-tech-savvy consumer freaks out if just a small thing looks different.
  • Often times, they just want to use their phones, so all they need are basic functionalities
  • iOS offers basic functionalities + slightly advanced features.
  • Extra features give them choices, which are NOT good for them. Many choices confuse them.
The lack of advanced or extra features contributes to the overall simplicity of the operating system. That makes the experience much more seamless and appropriate for an average everyday non-tech-savvy consumer. Apple's mantra has always been "focus" - and iOS is designed specifically consumers.
This is why over 400 million iOS devices have been sold. This is why iOS dominates all kinds of usage statistics. This is why once you use an iOS device, you are very likely to buy another iOS device( even for people who don't use iCloud at all). Because, without even realising, an iOS user becomes so accustomed to the seamless and management-free experience that iOS provides that he or she is afraid to change to any other OS.