Feature comforts: Expecting Apple to chase features

Apple doesn’t use a checklist.


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Much like the beatings will continue until morale improves, the misunderstanding of Apple will continue until the company adopts a checklist approach to its product development.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and closet of empty promises, Ewan Spence tells us of the “iPhone Hype Vs Android Reality.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @designheretic.)

Spence’s zinger du jour is that while Android OEMs were busy showing people things at Mobile World Congress last week, all Apple could do was roll out a new advertising campaign.

Which, uh, yeah, is also a way of showing people things.

Apple’s campaign highlights privacy, recyclability and devices that last longer. You know, dumb stuff that no one cares about.

Putting aside that the latter two are partly exclusive (if a handset is still running well, why recycle it?)…

Are they partly exclusive or are they completely complimentary? The idea is to create less waste. If you use your phone longer and then recycle it…

It’s not me, right? It’s him.

The goal here is not to frame the iPhone as the hero, but to frame Apple as the hero.

Keeping your information private, helping save the planet and getting more life out of your phone are features that are to be dismissed when compared to technologies that Spence cares about:

…folding displays…

Exactly. What everyone wants are gimmicky technologies that come on $1,900 phones. Maybe someday folding screens are going to prove to be an important feature. Right now they’re a test case on a phone you can’t afford.

…fast 5G connectivity…

Spence and others spent much of 2018 trying to get people to rend their garments over the fact that Apple wouldn’t be shipping a 5G phone this year. But it’s not gonna matter.

…and transitioning consumers from high-end feature phones to low-end smartphones.

Wait, weren’t you just pushing phones that cost two grand? Like, in the same sentence?

Let’s take a look at another technology that Spence has claimed Apple is missing out on implementing: an in-screen fingerprint reader. Other phones have it! Apple’s behind the curve! It’s forcing you to use Face ID instead of enjoying both!

“Enjoying” is maybe not the right word in this instance. Since we’re speaking of “Android reality”, let’s ask Android Central executive editor Andrew Martonik how that very vital technology Apple doesn’t have is working out for them:

it turns out in-display fingerprint sensors are Not Very Good right now

Oh. Well.

Now, Apple is often better at implementing these technologies than other companies, so an Apple in-display sensor fingerprint experience might be better than one from Nokia. But Apple’s also better at restraining itself from implementing features that make you want to bang your had against a table just so it can check off a box on a list.

Well, other than maybe “Does this laptop have a keyboard?”

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