Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
The problem is the fanboys of all stripes that insist there's only one best phone. That everything else is dreck. This all or nothing mentality is exhausting. The need to insult others that don't hold the same opinion as you. And you're all idiots if you don't agree with me. !!!
LOL - thanks for that. Refreshing to find someone here who doesn't take all this so darned seriously.
As Henry Ford actually said, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black".
Apple's decision to lean toward a one-size-fits-all design (and no, I'm not talking about the physical device size, but the product design in general) isn't a bad one; obviously it's made a lot of people happy and made them a lot of money.
But it's not the only way to design something.
For example, is it truly categorically better to have one physical button that performs multiple roles, or to have separate buttons for each role? The simplicity of Apple's single button is certainly attractive at first glance, but if you watch new users many get to Settings easily enough when setting up their device for the first time, but have difficulty understanding that they need to use that one button to return to the Home screen. And while that one button sometimes takes you Home, at other times it works more like a Back button, and sometimes does something else.
This ambiguity is avoided by having multiple buttons, each with its own distinct purpose. I don't know of any formal usability studies that have been doing which might "prove" one is better than the other, but personally I think it's fine that users can choose whichever they're more comfortable with.
With the OS itself, rather than reducing that experience to a wall of app icons, an alternative is to let the user customize the experience for their own tastes and needs. I don't know what Blackberry may offer in this regard, but Android does this through Widgets.
I know many here aren't fans of Widgets, and its true that some Widgets can be written in unoptimized ways that can reduce battery life, which may be critically important for those who live in areas without ready access to electricity.
And I wouldn't say that supporting Widgets is necessarily better, but neither is disallowing them.
On Android, Widgets are a choice. Currently, those who find them useful are required to choose something other than iOS, but I'd wager Apple will add support for something very much like Widgets by iOS 7, so those who don't want them can continue to not have them, but those who do will no longer be required to choose a non-Apple device.