The Gift of Precision: iPhone and Android
By Trish Sammer on December 01, 2012
Featured Member Post
In this month of gratitude, today I give thanks for ... enough.
Delivering exactly what's required in any situation with absolute precision ... that is a beautiful and deceptively simple thing.
I am an Android by SashaW via Flickr
Giving people MORE than they need -- because you think MORE must be better -- isn't always a good idea.
I started thinking about this the other night -- as my new fucking phone (don't take that literally -- and yes, I DO wish) woke me again and again. I finally turned it off.
Waz the problem?
The thing kept dinging every time I got an email.
Apparently someone thought that users of the Samsung Galaxy might enjoy that not-so-easy-to-disable default function.
It was more than I needed.
Also? I overslept this morning, even though I set an alarm on the phone. Why? Because the alarm function also requires you to add a DAY for which you'd like to be woken up. Because, you know, you might want to set an alarm for later in the week, rather than for tomorrow.
Again, more than I needed.
Steve Jobs, you amazing dead genius, you
I had an iPhone for more than two years. I loved it. My kids loved it. My toddler could navigate it.
It had all the sleek-but-warm functionality that Apple is known for. It anticipated me. If I had a problem, it usually only took me a tap or two to find a button that was all but labeled with "Trish, tap this button to solve your woes."
My new Samsung Galaxy? Now that's a different story.
What the fark do you want?
Why the switch, if I was so in love with my iPhone? The ex and I may have split long ago but our phones were still married. Alas, their union was finally dissolved as well. I was a free agent.
Make that a poor free agent.
I did a lot of homework to find the best, most cost-effective phone plan out there. I was bound and determined to get a free smart phone. AT&T, who I have been with FOR-farking-ever wasn't going to pony up. Plus, my monthly plan still would've been about id="mce_marker"10 per month.
That's a lot of fishsticks in the world of the Single Momma.
T-Mobile dropped my monthly cost by about 30 bucks and handed over a totally free Samsung Galaxy Relay.
Does that make Steve Jobs Ronald McDonald?
For those of you who aren't phone geeks, you should know that the Samsung Galaxy runs on the Android platform.
Think of it this way: If iPhone is Coke, then Android is Pepsi. If iPhone is McDonalds, then Android is Burger King. Similar in lotsa ways but one has bigger market share -- and there are enough differences in the products that you can tell them apart with a blindfold on.
But for the cost savings I figured it didn't matter.
And let me be clear: The cost savings are FANTASTIC.
It's like he just knew me
In the don't-know-whatcha-got-til-it's-gone category: I miss my Stevie.
That's Steve Jobs.
I feel like he just got me.
It was so easy to love him -- or at least his phone.
I'm a techno-doof. I don't know how to do anything beyond the most-basic technological functions.
But that iPhone was so easy it made me feel like a genius.
My Android? Well, it's got lots of functionality. Apparently. But I haven't been able to unlock it all yet.
Because this bugger lacks the intuitive genius of the iPhone.
I have burned probably close to five hours googling how to set up various things and disable other various things. I've been able to troubleshoot all my problems but shit, it took some work.
I actually looked at my new phone the other day and said, "Please ... show me how to love you."
The audible email notification? I thought I could find that little nugget under "Sounds." Nope. It's under Email Settings>General preferences>Added accounts>[Account name]>Notifications ....
And then get this ... the magic box to uncheck to turn off that never-ending noise is "Notify in status bar when email arrives."
In the iPhone it would've been labeled Sounds>Email Notification>ON/OFF or something similarly CLEAR AND SENSIBLE.
Getting to the point is hard
But there's the thing: Getting to the point in a clear, easily-understood way is harder than it looks.
It takes so much time to be clear and concise, doesn't it?
It's so much easier to do a big, messy brain dump and let the person on the receiving end sort it out.
Don't we do this in conversation all the time? We use thousands of words to say things instead of just getting to the heart of what we mean.
I am unhappy.
I love you.
I need an adventure.
I am terrified.
I find you fascinating.
I feel hopeless.
Let's face it, sometimes we don't even know what we mean, so we hide our emotions in folders and drop-down menus and make the people around us check and uncheck boxes to unlock our true feelings. In fact, we do it to ourselves, too.
Keepin' it simple, keepin' it real
So today, in a completely uncharacteristic move for me and the old bloggity, I give thanks to a massive corporation.
I thank Apple for reminding me of the simple elegance of being direct, clear and precise.
I may not be running a business, but I'm running a life. Seems like a good model to follow.
Trish Sammer Johnston
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