Why Apple's Design is So Good
Apple is one of the world's most renowned design giants. There is much that can be said about them, both good and bad, but I wanted to focus on why their design is so damn awesome.
I have been a long-time Android and Windows user and have recently shifted to Apple's ecosystem (I still have my PC for games though), and after only a month, I have accumulated a lot of thoughts on what I like.
Be aware, I'm not going to be talking about their UI and UX only, there are quite a few things to be said about their build quality and things of this sort too.
iOS 7 and the Revolution
I remember sitting in my bed and doing my homework when it happened. iOS 7 was released and available to download, and I've started doing so right away on my 4S.
Being an old generation and not up to the new design standards of Apple, it looked strange on that device. But the OS, holy hell, it looked like out of this world. Everything used to be so frank, a little blunt, and now... Everything went flat. Colorful. Rounded in every corner.
Many were shocked by the sudden shift, but it was worth it. The same style from an old iOS 7 still hangs with us in version 15, though with many changes under and over the hood.
Bad or good, it was the foundation of iPhones and iPads we know now.
#1. Human Interface Guidelines
You may have used Apple's products for years and never questioned how do they do their stuff. What you might have noticed is how all of the stuff that's on the App Store is so... unified. Why so?
There is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. By a lot, I mean, hella lot. To make it to the end-user, designers must follow a specific set of rules called Human Interface Guidelines. As a design agency, we know what it means first hand.
These guidelines are very strict and every app submitted is strictly and extensively moderated by Apple. By being so precise about what they want to see in your design, they have created somewhat of a barrier between bad user experience and you, that's why their system looks so polished and homologous.
#2. Easy to Learn
Let's start with a quick example here. A lot of my family members have used both Android and Apple devices. I, on the other hand, have always been on the droid side of things. What I always did not understand is why they always said that Android is so hard to just pick up and use. What do you mean, you just do?
However, it is now dawned on me. There are so many Android phones, and every company (excluding Google here) makes it look like a completely different system, loading their apps and pushing their design on you, the end-user. Let's not forget the fact that Google Play is a very forgiving platform, and that's possibly their biggest downside. Not only do you get a mish-mash of Google's design and ideas with the company's that you've decided to go with, but the apps that you download will not be of the same style at all.
With Apple, it's completely different. They make the developers use the style that will be similar and known throughout all the user base. Moreover, if you are new to your iOS or another device, their "language" is so clear that you won't have any problems navigating and using it to its full potential.
To sum this point up, one of the greatest things about Apple is how easy it is to pick their product up and use it straight away. No learning is required. Your age or familiarity with the ecosystem doesn't matter. Everything is done in a way you will enjoy.
What I loved about Apple is how their products work together in a way I have never imagined could be even possible. It is very intuitive and can be discovered completely on your own, that's the best thing about it.
One of the coolest and useful things is how Safari lets you view the tabs from your iPhone on Mac and vice versa. It's not a super new or Apple-only thing, but I have never been so impressed with how good it works. Android and Chrome were constantly in some sort of disagreement with each other and sometimes you had to open a new tab and open the website on your own. Here, they just magically appear.
Another killer feature for me is the copy and paste feature. You copy something on one device and past it on the other. This is truly something, and sometimes it saves a ton of time for me.
AirDrop. It used to be clunky in the past and people didn't use it back when it was first introduced, but now it is known as one of the best features in the Apple ecosystem. Sharing files between your devices and people around you has never been so easy.
Keychain and FaceID are something that should be mentioned as well. I don't know how they got it to work so well, but the joy of rarely entering my passwords (moreover, I rarely have to click Sign In) is never-ending.
#4. Haptics & Feedback
Now that's where the real show starts. I've always wondered why no one cared about such things as vibration, haptic feedback, and these sorta things. There are things besides UI and UX you know. In this area, no one beats Apple. I think that there's no one even close to their level.
Haptics make your connection with the device seamless. There are always a lot of things going on on your screen, and it's honestly a bummer (and pretty confusing) when you don't feel the confirmation of what you are doing.
Moreover, it needs to be said: the quality of vibration in Apple devices is just fantastic. Taptic Engine is so precise and powerful that you want to look at the notifications, you want to turn the volume up. It may sound strange, but I've always kept my Android devices on silent and no vibro, just because it felt awful and was not doing its job at all. I can hear my iPhone buzzing on the opposite side of the bed, but I always couldn't hear my S10+ in my pocket.
Even the little things like swiping and replying to messages on iPhone and MacBook give you feedback. This emulation thing on the touchpad is very handy, and I remember this from an iPhone 6s — awesome idea. No physical button, fewer components to potentially break down.
#5. Build Quality & Industrial Design
Apple is an industrial design leader as well, apart from being a user experience and interface champ. Their minimalistic approach to things is an aesthetic train that goes around my brain every time I use my phone or laptop.
Aluminum and glass unibody devices make a very solid standpoint. Everything is perfect and up to the highest quality standards: that means squeaky buttons and shaky charging ports are out of the question.
The only thing to complain about here is Apple's approach to accessories. Their cables have been upgraded and now come with better materials, but they are in no way sturdy or reliable in a long run.
Another thing is the now very old lightning port for the iPhones. It's type C on one end and lightning on the other. Come on, Apple! Make the change, please, and our lives will be easier. Your MacBooks don't come with type A slots, iPads use type C, and iPhones should as well.
Let's not forget that the USB version is old as well, that's why it's no use syncing your phone via cable. At least, it's not a preferred option, if you have to restore it, you will be waiting for longer than you were expecting.
Something may be left unsaid, but it's an honest impression coming from a new user with a lot of experience in different systems and phones, plus a little UX and UI knowledge here and there.
I would honestly not trade the experience Apple gave me for anything else. There may be something better out there, but I'm settled with my iPhone and MacBook for now, waiting for the new updates to come out.