Wait. What? It can't vote, right? After all, aren't macOS and iOS the most usable and user-friendly of the world's most popular computer interfaces?
Google secret iPhone settings and you will be treated to a list of pages showing the same things. Hidden features. Secret settings. Tips and tricks you do not know. If iPhone, iPad and Mac are so user-friendly, then why are all the secrets?
Color me as a Mac user for three decades and an iPhone user since the beginning, and still I get some tips and tricks and features and settings I didn't know about. Why not? I scour every new iOS and macOS version to find new ways to improve usability.
This is what I think. iOS is more complex than it needs to be for the average iPhone and iPad customer. Too many visible features, settings and options can make it overwhelming for the customer. That explains why Android's smartphone customer base is mainly in two groups. The nerdy technologies that love to fiddle with all sorts of features and features, and the rest of the non-iPhone humanity who just wants the basics; camera, phone, text, pictures, Facebook, email and some games.
As a recent example, Jacob Kastrenakes complains that 3D Touch on iPhones has been a completely unknown and unnecessary feature.
A friend recently gave me their iPhone to look through some photos, and I tapped in to pop an open one with 3D Touch. What I had done surprised them ̵1; not because of the photo selection, but because they had never seen this feature before on the phone they had been using for months.
Jeffrey : " Jesse, do you use 3D Touch? "
Jesse : " What is 3D Touch? "
I asked around and my unofficial, unscientific survey of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues gave a similar result. Only two out of 10 knew what 3D Touch is doing, and the other eight were surprised when I showed them how it works.
And even the people who knew it was there had no way of telling which icons supported it without just 3D pressing everything to see what was happening.
There is a usability problem, Apple. Features can be cool to view and tell in a key event that introduces a new product, but not every person on earth is watching these or checking out details on the tips app or Apple's website.
Apple does a crushing job explaining such useful features to their customers.
Apple expert John Gruber commented earlier this year that it was "confusing that there is no visual indication of what can be touched 3D," while linking to a single design proposal that suggested a way for Apple to move forward, if it really wanted 3D Touch to take off.
3D Touch came to iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, but not to iPhone Xr that receives something similar called Haptic Touch that clicks when you press and hold a button.
Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller:
Engineering is the hardware to build a monitor that makes it [3D Touch] makes it incredibly difficult … If it's just a demo feature and a month later, nobody really uses it, this is a huge waste of motor ringing talent.
It's 3D Touch, a feature that is very cool, very useful, but not at all obvious to anyone or even experienced iPhone customers. That is not the only problem that the aforementioned secret tip and search results for hidden features in Google will attest to. Apple works remarkably well to create excellent usability features and remarkably capable of showing customers how they work.
Yes, it's a usability problem, but it's something Apple could address if executives, engineers, designers and executives would leave Cupertino more often.