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Why it's OK for the iPhone to have the same UI, and why it isn't for Windows Phone

0. phoneArena 11 Sep 2012, 06:52 posted on

When it comes to iOS, we all agree that the UI of the platform needs a facelift in order to become fresh, more dynamic and functional. But guess what, Windows Phone manufacturers actually need more change in their UIs than Apple...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:21 4

19. BigSupes (Posts: 10; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Justifying Apple's rehashing old the same 'ole, whilst persecuting Microsoft for building a solid alternative that doesn't suffer from OEM bloatware is insane. It's quite simple. Microsoft is doing a pretty fine job of the software, whilst the same can be said regarding the hardware the OEM's are churning out these days. Why not have both parties stick to what they're good at? Are you honestly saying that desktop/laptop/Ultrabook manufacturers have struggled to stand out from one another because they all run Windows? Crikey, that makes for an easy choice when choosing your television set... I mean, they all display whats on tele!

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:24

21. tigermcm (Posts: 693; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)


i like simplicity so thats why i have a windowsphone. the tiles are simple, get to the point and give me info right then. only if i want more detailed info is when i would have to start messing with my phone. it may not work for long for the masses which makes me think eventually MS will let OEMs have custom skins and MS will start making their own phones

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:35 1

25. Jericho (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


i think metro ui will change drastically with windows 9 and xbox 720. And this way microsoft continue to improve its ui.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:35 7

26. igoramadas (Posts: 2; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


And there you have it, yet another biased "anti WP and Nokia" article... it's getting a bit too much now Phone Arena.

It is completely fine with Windows Phones to have all the "same UI". Why fix something that ain't broken? Check the customer reviews on Amazon, especially the Nokias. The vast majority of Windows Phone users just love the Metro / Modern UI. If something is really right with WP, it's the UI.

The biggest and major problem with WP now is lack of carrier and store staff training. Some of them still call it Windows Mobile. And it's gonna be really difficult for Microsoft to convince Android users and geeks that a OS with "Windows" on its name is worth a try.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:41 5

30. Aeires (unregistered)


I'd agree if iOS was an outstanding UI, but it's not. People don't comment that they love the iPhone because the UI is outstanding, they comment because it's fast, smooth, and the apps are polished. Any phone that has your apps scattered throughout multiple screens and has the UI based around a sole home button doesn't sound very fun to use.

When you're using iOS and that's all you've known, you don't see the real picture until you try something else and realize how much more you could have had.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:45

31. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Gosh that WP keyboard looks criminal.
And you can't change it or replace it!
I wouldn't ever consider using that thing

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 09:28 2

68. -box- (Posts: 3749; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


It's the best keyboard I've used on a cell phone, including Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, 4.0, 4.1, SwiftKey, Android with Swype, ios (which was my least favorite), Blackberry, Symbian, and Nokia Anna & Belle. My only wish is that it had Swype like Android, Symbian, Anna, and Belle. Large buttons, well spaced out, almost perfectly situated on my Lumia 900, and with the 900's feedback it's very intuitive. Plus its prediction/correction setup is my favorite, as it's non-intrusive (like apple's, ugh!) and gives you an indication if it believes you've misspelled a word.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:03

75. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)


Actually, you're right about the on-screen keyboard of WP. Phonearea themself said that the WP's keyboard is one of the best, if not the best.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 07:52

32. DKMDROID (Posts: 102; Member since: 09 Aug 2011)


Really well thought of, all valid points as well I remember Google making it a rule that every manufacturer should use the halo theme else the handsets wont get access to google play, I'm sure Microsoft can come up with a similar idea without losing the whole Metro/Modern UI theme that will make more sense, so manufacturers can tinker and differentiate whilst not losing the essence of WP8

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:02

36. speckledapple (Posts: 878; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I think I must take issue with your comparision. iOS does have a considerable amount of polish but it is still based on the grid of icons style that has been around even before smartphones came out. It has maintained an unchanging consistency which is great for developers who want to predict their moves but leaves much to be desired for crafting more than an individual style with more than a case. It has much going for it and they add new features often (though the 200 new features thing is corporate word play) but that may also end up leaving them without a leg to stand on when something more dynamic comes along (i.e. the comparison between Myspace and Facebook at the onset).

Microsoft still has a way to go to be as support heavy as the other two major OSs. But if there is one thing it has going for it, beyond all the others, is that it shows a dynamic set of information all the time and is not held back by limitations of static icons. Whether this is the future is a wait and see but I know one thing, static icons will not be.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:03 3

37. JoeBelfiore (banned) (Posts: 79; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


Dont want that, it will end up as ugly as Android if customization is allowed.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:46 2

53. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7726; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Sense 4.0 and TouchWiz 4.0 are ugly skins? My God if you're against customization, then you truly are brainwashed.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 10:42

74. xtian1103 (Posts: 355; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


sense is ok, touchwiz is... not so good

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:13

41. shuaibhere (Posts: 1300; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Yea it's really a big prob for windows......windows 8 looks same on pcs, tablets and phones..........
actually i don't like ios but still it sports different colours, icons and yes it's more polished UI in the world.......
When it comes windows phone only two colours and every thing is square (tiles) big or small it's a square.......and not a polished UI.....

though everyone got rid of ios UI so apple should change it.....

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:13

42. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 805; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


I have been saying this for a long time. This is one of the many reasons WP will continue to struggle to make any impact, there is simply no proper differentiation in WP.
Yes, OEMs can load a few of their own apps and tiles but that is NOT ENOUGH, more hardware and software differentiation has to be done, when looking at WP phones at a phoneshop they appear to be the same phone just with different brand names, none of them truly stick out..even the Nokias. If anything there is more differentiation between Nokias Symbian range (808PV, N8, E7, 701, 603, E6) than between the entire WP range.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 10:14

72. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Well do you see any differentiation between windows pcs?? and do they struggle? you have dell pcs, ibms, fujitsus and so on and so forth but windows is the same. and thats the point, im a windows user and i know how windows looks and feels no matter what the oem is.... think twice before posting....

posted on 12 Sep 2012, 11:07

103. shuaibhere (Posts: 1300; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


When coming to pc UI...u can personalise your desktop and can differentiate from others.......
But u can't differentiate in much extent with windows phone.......that's the problem.....

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:13

43. tiara6918 (Posts: 1357; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Every ui needs a facelift from time to time(because people will eventually get bored of them), just not one that would completely change the whole concept

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:17 7

45. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Another troll article. good job phone arena, the ios static grid of icons is devine, apple should never change it... -.-

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:48

54. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7726; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Exactly. I can have iOS on my GSIII in a matter of minutes with GoLauncher.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 10:11 3

70. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


But would you want to? For me icons are a thing of the past, im not saying that live tiles are a perfect solution but they are a step in the right direction. While icons are what, 40 years old and do nothing but sit there and be pretty at least live tiles give you some information, just like widgets. only downside to widgets imho is that they are not uniformal so you cant base a os around them. but icons? useless...

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:29 3

48. jove39 (Posts: 1265; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Totally misleading article...when OS manufacturer let hw folks make custom skins...lawsuits pop up...MS should stick to NO UI CUSTOMIZATION strategy!!!

Anyway...Metro ui is quite new...it'll a while for people to get used to!!!

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:52 4

57. infinitemethod (Posts: 123; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


At least Windows Phone 8 has a UI. I can't rightfully call iOS' UI an actual UI, but rather, a nice looking start menu/app. launcher. At least with WP8, the tiles act as widgets, giving information without having to open a single thing. It's 2012 and with iOS one still has to open a weather app. to get the 5 day forecast. But, but, it's so simple.... Yes, simple, but also cumbersome, dated and annoying.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 08:57 2

60. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)


Idk about this. I think If manufacturers can make good enough live tiles that are specific to their handsets, that could be enough to differentiate. Like someone said above, a Touchwizzed WP UI would probs destroy the look and feel of windows phone. We'll end up with some weird Androidy WP UI. I think if OEMs can add features like S Pen or other things that Samsung has done to make heir handsets more functional, that would be more fitting.
As for the same iPhone ui still working after all these years, it honetly comes down to preference. When i use my mom's 4S, it's not super intuitive to me. It's a scattered mess of icons and folders, and that's it. As much as I love android, the UI of WP is the most innovative mobile ui I've used hat just works. It flows seamlessly and it's integration into social networks and Microsoft software is really good. Nobody's even seen what OEMs can do with WP8 yet, so let's hold off on saying "it doesn't just work like the iPhone". Kinda tired of seeing all the negativity towards WP.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 09:17 2

66. Lyngdoh (Posts: 223; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Its better for ios to stay the same else someone will get sued for 'copying' their UI.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 10:12

71. ogy_dogy (Posts: 453; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


heaven forbid they start reinventing live tiles, msoft would be a bil down....

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:05

76. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


well i guess microsoft should let the manuactures have their own app/tile like where they can do anything they want that still based on microsoft's configuration so that updates will not be a problem i like the WP compare to ios i find the UI of ios boring because its been about 5yrs i like the idea of wp8 in its customization but i find the article quite biased except on the 1st part im not against ios or wp but thats my opinion

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:34

80. sloshed (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Why should the phone OS be any different than the computer OS??? Many vendors sale tons of different computers that all run Windows 7 and look the same from an OS perspective. I don't see why the phone OS should be any different. Android is super customizable by vendors and that is a big reason why I hate Android, it's the same, but it's actually different. In a corporate environment this becomes a big pain really quickly.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:42

81. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Should MS allow differentiation to products? eeeeehhhh... a little sure, but not much. Why? Because the more you allow differentiation the longer updates take. The goal of WP was to have a pretty unified system that updated quickly as a whole... Ok, obviously thats already out the door as we have windows 7, 7.5, 7.8, and 8 coming out. So, MS messed that one up initially, but that doesnt mean it cant be fixed going forward. There is also no reason to think that there could not be overlays and still have direct updates, just like PC's do. There is tons of custom stuff on prebuilt PCs, but yet they get direct windows updates from MS anyways. If they just dont allow manufacturers to change the subsystem like they do in Android, there is no reason to think they couldnt achieve parity like they do with PCs which run thousands of hardware combinations and manufacturer bloat.

That's also the one thing I was hoping Google would force with ICS/JB... keeping carrier overlays as just glorified launchers so they could push direct updates.... or at least push them faster and in a more unified manner than they do now. But until Goog fights carriers on their "software testing" slowdowns, that's never gonna happen regardless... And the same goes for MS in that respect. If Apple can push and win, then so can they.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 14:38 1

88. jimjam (Posts: 238; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


Updates are a little too hyped. JB isn't worth crying over if you have ICS. Enjoy your phone with what it came with. Sell on ebay/craigslist and get a new one if slow updates bothers you so much.

Really the joy of android and wp7 etc is the sheer choice. He likes touchwiz,she like vanilla etc She wants a 4" phone and I a 5.5". Isn't everyone bored of carrying the same iphone as the person in the next cubicle or restaurant booth??

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 15:55 1

92. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Oh, I completely agree on choice. However, JB IS worth upgraded to, even from ICS which was already a pretty darn nice leap. Throw a good JB rom on your phone, tell me it wasnt worth it. It was a very surprising upgrade for being a 0.1 upgrade.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:43

82. neil3251 (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 May 2012)


i think with all the oems going for 4-5 inch screens and the candy bar form for their smartphones there is not much variation that can be done anyway so in a way its the C's choice of form factor that is creating the problem i mean look at all the android phones that fill the market there is not much to differentiate there so the OEMs go with skins to do that.
I think that Microsoft has made an impressive and unique UI and it should stick to it. Let the OEMs do something like nokia is doing ,exclusive apps ,variation in form factor ,accessories ,etc

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:58

83. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


lol funny you say that cause i have a nexus 7 which has stock jb and i have the galaxy s3 with the leaked jb firmware...personally i like tw better because it brings better features whether some are gimmicks or not is up to the individual but i like features on tw that come out the box...but i do like the laucher of jellybean which is why i use nova on my s3 which gives me the stock laincher but with better enhancememts and i get all the nice features of tw...for me tw overall is better for you jb is better...no one is right or wrong cause its all depends on the individual user..

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 13:16 1

84. ckapasi (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)


Live Tiles FTW !

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 14:12

85. haseebzahid (Posts: 1813; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


i think they will let OEMs alter that sooner or latter cuz MS works on user demand more often but i think since WP8 is still in development so they want it first in market then maybe allow different things by OEMs

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 14:35

86. jimjam (Posts: 238; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


The same ios UI is getting boring. I had an ipad 1 and iphone 3gs a while ago and sold them off. I decided to see what the latest ones are like and ended up sending them back for a refund. I just got bored by the same old thing.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 15:03

89. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 805; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


ogy...whatever

Its fine to disagree with PhoneArena's opinion, but to call it trolling is plain childish.

Ps. the example you used with PC OEMs is laughable as none of them are doing paticularly well in that industry, as a matter of fact, the ones who have PCs as main source of income e.g. Dell, are in a great deal of trouble, so that completely invalidates your point.

Maybe YOU should do a little thinking and a lot of research before spewing rubbish all over the comments, yeah. ;)

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 16:16

94. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I would be bored with an iphone - same UI every day...forever.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 17:47

95. codymws (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)


I hate to be so negative, but this article is STUPID. Everything on Windows Phone simply works, and the Metro UI sets it apart from iOS and Android. It's unique, fluid, and simple. iOS needs a refresh MUCH more than Windows Phone does.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 19:58

97. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


what is the point on UI customization from every manufacturer? i have all my life looking at laptops, desktops and other windows devices and they all look the same in software terms, why cant microsoft do the same glorious thing to windows phone? that way we can differenciate products for what they actually have and not for what they look like inside a screen, the UI is the software's professional task

i hope microsoft can keep doing this

posted on 12 Sep 2012, 00:31

100. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


i really wish that nokia, samsung, htc will have its own UI coz all WP just looks the same!! no customization!

but thats microsoft... even manufacturers want to skin windows but they cant... all PC running windows OS looks the same!! but yes only with hardware...but its really annoying to see all windows devices looks the same..

thats why symbian and android really look good! but the original android skin still the best! the skinned version of samsung, htc etc make android horrible---laggy,freezy

posted on 12 Sep 2012, 08:20

102. charms55 (Posts: 41; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


An amazingly stupid premise and article. Because no one else makes the iPhone it is ok for it to have a stagnant, 6-year old UI.

Genius. Pure genius.

Then comes the inverse. Just because Windows phones are made by many different OEM, they MUST allow different UI.

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