When I wrote that Apple was going back to basics in Lion for Macworld, I felt Launchpad was a smart way to help regular users sidestep the Finder—a thing they, and Apple, never seemed to like much anyway—and just get to work, but I didn’t have much personal interest in it. Now I totally get it.
Every time I have to explain one of OS X’s bizarre, (sometimes arguably) buggy behaviors or windowing idiosyncrasies to my father in law, I dearly wish the iPad had been out when he was in the market.
Exhibit A: Open Mail, find a message with a zip attachment, and double-click it. Nothing happens? Oh something happened. Archive Utility opened to work its magic on the zip file, but you missed its appearance in the Dock if you blinked. Don’t see anything else? Of course you don’t, because Finder opened a new window to reveal the spoils of Archive Utility’s victory behind Mail and didn’t bother to tell you. No Dock bounce, no Finder brought to the foreground to show you the folder.
"Yeah, it’s just… uh, sort of the way OS X opens these kinds of files."
"Hrm, yeah I don’t know… maybe it’s just a bug."
"Oh don’t worry about the four folders you just created by double clicking that file so much to get something to work. We can just delete them."
"No no, you didn’t do something wrong, Apple did.”
The number of times I’ve had to make excuses for OS X to my father in law is obscene. I am so glad Apple hit the reset button with iOS.
Lot to talk about and wrap your head around, including some ways I think Apple is really dropping the ball when it comes to keeping up with the competition and making iOS a great experience.
Kevin C. Tofel—an Android user and cross-platformer at heart—sees a lot of value in Apple’s approach of unifying as many of its software experiences as possible between OS X and iOS.
Simplify the tools and make users feel at home on every device, and they’ll spend more time using your products and buying apps and accessories to tweak for their needs.