BlackBerry CEO calls Apple's iPhone user interface outdated

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The CEO of BlackBerry has criticized Apple for failing to overhaul the user interface of the iPhone to keep up with competing smartphone platforms.

Since the iPhone launched in 2007, it's had largely the same interface with a grid of icons making users' applications accessible. While that was adequate with the first-generation iPhone, BlackBerry's Thorsten Heins believes it's now antiquated, he said in an interview with Australian Financial Review (via AllThingsD).

iOS
Apple's first-generation iPhone was revealed in 2007.


"History repeats itself again, I guess," the BlackBerry CEO said. "The rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don't innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old."

Heins admitted that he must "respect" the iPhone, a device that helped make BlackBerry largely irrelevant in the smartphone market after holding a dominant position for years. His company hopes to mount a comeback off of its new BlackBerry 10 interface and new handsets.

"The point is that you can never stand still," he said. "It is true for us as well. Launching BB10 just put us on the starting grid of the wider mobile computing grand prix, and now we need to win it."

Apple's future direction with iOS and its user interface are now a point of interest for the company, as it parted ways with its previous iOS software chief, Scott Forstall, late last year. That role, along with control of the design of OS X, has been handed to Jonathan Ive, who has overseen development of the company's iconic hardware for years.
«13456715

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 291
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,998member
    I tend to agree that the UI of iOS is outdated. Not much as changed since the original iOS. I'd like to see some differences. Maybe Jony Ive can make this happen in iOS 7. No sweeping changes so it makes it harder to use, but just changes to refresh the interface. I'd like to see some new features as well. Except for Siri [I](which isn't a big deal to me)[/I], there really hasn't been anything earth shattering coming out of Apple these days. You can only sit and watch yourself on top for so long before people start to catch up. If you wait until they catch up, its already too late...Its only a matter of time before someone does just this if Apple doesn't do anything to stay ahead.

    ***Waits to get lambasted for this post***
  • Reply 2 of 291
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,578member


    I think that it's visually outdated, but it works.


     


    I'd love to be able to glance at weather info on the lockscreen without having to unlock the phone. Something like that just seems like a no-brainer.

  • Reply 3 of 291
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    Looking at their succes, I'd say: "I like their strategy, I like it a lot" A quote from another CEO, who in my opinion could use some overhauling himself.

    [quote]"History repeats itself again, I guess," the BlackBerry CEO said. "The rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don't innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly."[/quote]

    Well, looks like he does understand [I]something[/I] in life.
  • Reply 4 of 291


    Why mess with a good thing? 


     


    Like the former RIM CEO's, once you start criticizing Apple, your future ain't looking so bright. 

  • Reply 5 of 291
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member
    I hear this from the Microsoft drones and fandroids a lot. it has become a mainstain of their talking points. But specifically, they never mention what is outdated about it? what does not work?

    While not perfect, iOS has a highly intuitive, easy to use interface. It is far better than the horrid Windows Phone OS with is busy flashing squares, text scrolling off the right side of the screen everywhere, primitive block colors, etc... Or androids, iOS copy, with slow motion scrolling, inconsistent experience, unintuitive navigation, etc...

    Apple is not Microsoft who reskins their OS every year as a means to justify its outrageous upgrade cost, or Googles copying of everything Apple does.
  • Reply 6 of 291
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    Retina was quite a big advance in user interface.

  • Reply 7 of 291
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,998member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDMeister View Post


    Why mess with a good thing? 


     


    Like the former RIM CEO's, once you start criticizing Apple, your future ain't looking so bright. 



     


    Because its only a matter of time before something better comes out. I think his point is...you should never rest on your laurels or else you'll turn into a Blackberry. Don't think it can't happen to Apple. 

  • Reply 8 of 291
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,998member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Retina was quite a big advance in user interface.



     


    All it did was make the outdated interface look more crisp. I wouldn't say thats an advance in the UI. It still doesn't change the fact that iOS 6 looks pretty damn similar to iOS 1.0.


     


    Even with OS X...the overall look and feel is the same, but its been updated many times so in my opinion, isn't going stale. This is what I'm going for. 

  • Reply 9 of 291
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    "The rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don't innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly."
    I guess they'd know more about that than anyone else in the industry.

    I've been thinking. Square houses with doors have been the same for forever. Why not have round ones with tunnels? Innovation!
  • Reply 10 of 291
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,745member
    Uh-huh.

    Blackberry's CEO, eh?

    Next.
  • Reply 11 of 291
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,127member
    macxpress wrote: »
    I tend to agree that the UI of iOS is outdated. Not much as changed since the original iOS. I'd like to see some differences. Maybe Jony Ive can make this happen in iOS 7. No sweeping changes so it makes it harder to use, but just changes to refresh the interface. I'd like to see some new features as well. Except for Siri (which isn't a big deal to me), there really hasn't been anything earth shattering coming out of Apple these days. You can only sit and watch yourself on top for so long before people start to catch up. If you wait until they catch up, its already too late...Its only a matter of time before someone does just this if Apple doesn't do anything to stay ahead.

    ***Waits to get lambasted for this post***
    Try this. Go find an iPhone with OS X for iPhone on it. That was the name they used before iPhone OS and iOS.

    Use it for 1 hour.

    Come back and try to repeat your post with a straight face.
  • Reply 12 of 291
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post



    I tend to agree that the UI of iOS is outdated. Not much as changed since the original iOS. I'd like to see some differences. Maybe Jony Ive can make this happen in iOS 7. No sweeping changes so it makes it harder to use, but just changes to refresh the interface. I'd like to see some new features as well. Except for Siri (which isn't a big deal to me), there really hasn't been anything earth shattering coming out of Apple these days. You can only sit and watch yourself on top for so long before people start to catch up. If you wait until they catch up, its already too late...Its only a matter of time before someone does just this if Apple doesn't do anything to stay ahead.



    ***Waits to get lambasted for this post***


    I think IOS 7 will add whatever they planned on adding in IOS7 regardless of Jony Ive/Scott Forestall change.


     


    As of a more broad UI change, don´t expect it with IOS 7. I believe Jony Ive/Apple will make this transition smooth and safe, and not try to wreck IOS with a major overhaul at first go. Expect fingerprint/payment solution in IOS7, with some other minor features here and there. And that´s it. 

  • Reply 13 of 291
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Overhauling the UI for an existing and popular platform is the hardest thing to do in UI design, IMO.


     


    It's fairly easy to create a clean and user-friendly UI when you're working from a clean slate. However, as the platform matures, features get bolted on that the original UI designers never envisioned. These new features are often not 100% compatible with the existing UI idioms and compromises have to be made. This happens to every user interface eventually and iOS is no exception. 


     


    But even a messy UI is sometimes preferable to a UI overhaul. Microsoft has tried UI overhauls several times with Windows and Office and it's always been a disaster. Legacy apps don't fit the new UI idioms and users, who are often not tech-savvy, have to learn a scary new UI.


     


    If anyone can do it, it's Apple though.

  • Reply 14 of 291
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post



    Apple is not Microsoft who reskins their OS every year as a means to justify its outrageous upgrade cost, or Googles copying of everything Apple does.


    Could you please provide some specific examples over the last 10 years of a Microsoft OS that has been reskinned every year so that Microsoft can justify its outrageous upgrade cost?  Windows Phone upgrades have come for free (but who cares), XBox upgrades have come for free, and Microsoft Windows has only had three releases over the last 10 years ("Windows Vista" in 2006, "Windows 7" in 2009, and "Windows 8" in 2012). 

  • Reply 15 of 291
    wubbuswubbus Posts: 70member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post



    I tend to agree that the UI of iOS is outdated. Not much as changed since the original iOS. I'd like to see some differences. Maybe Jony Ive can make this happen in iOS 7. No sweeping changes so it makes it harder to use, but just changes to refresh the interface. I'd like to see some new features as well. Except for Siri (which isn't a big deal to me), there really hasn't been anything earth shattering coming out of Apple these days. You can only sit and watch yourself on top for so long before people start to catch up. If you wait until they catch up, its already too late...Its only a matter of time before someone does just this if Apple doesn't do anything to stay ahead.



    ***Waits to get lambasted for this post***


     


    I agree with pretty much all of this (especially the lambasted part, so easy to get slammed on this forum if you don't toe the line) but at the same time Blackberry is the last company that is currently qualified to lecture others about timely innovation.  Certainly when it's yet to be seen how successful the uptake of BB10 will be. That said, I think there's neat UI tweaks in WP8 (live tiles, for example) and BB10 (Hub? can't remember what it's called but my friend demo'd it for me on his Z10) and not a lot has changed for iOS user experience since inception (other than Siri, like you said).  Not to say it has to change for the sake of changing, but something does feel a bit stale about the current iOS experience.

  • Reply 16 of 291
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member


    this is like: pot meet kettle....Pot says: the kettle is black....ewww. Kettle says: so are you......

  • Reply 17 of 291
    jglonekjglonek Posts: 18member
    One thing that I think absolutely has to be done with iOS7 is cleaning up the Settings. Every time a new feature gets added it gets thrown in there and it's grown into a big mess. Like, why is notification settings for Angry Birds in both the first Settings screen and then in Notifications? Why is there a massive list of apps on the first page of settings at all? Why is VPN in two spots? I could go on.

    Also let us either search for settings or add them to our home screen for quick access.

    Actually I have another example: Go find where to turn on the battery percentage in Settings. Yeah.
  • Reply 18 of 291
    res08haores08hao Posts: 114member
    Heims is a self serving douchebag with a failed business model. Tell him for me we just bought 2 iPhone 5s and no Blackberries
  • Reply 19 of 291
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,446member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post



    I tend to agree that the UI of iOS is outdated. Not much as changed since the original iOS. I'd like to see some differences. Maybe Jony Ive can make this happen in iOS 7. No sweeping changes so it makes it harder to use, but just changes to refresh the interface. I'd like to see some new features as well. Except for Siri (which isn't a big deal to me), there really hasn't been anything earth shattering coming out of Apple these days. You can only sit and watch yourself on top for so long before people start to catch up. If you wait until they catch up, its already too late...Its only a matter of time before someone does just this if Apple doesn't do anything to stay ahead.



    ***Waits to get lambasted for this post***


     


    Funny how these posts criticize iOS and demand changes yet fail to offer any concrete suggestions. "No sweeping changes... refresh the interface... new features" the poster laments. So bottom line, just change it for change's sake so we can say it's innovative? Well, we've now seen how this attitude works out with the Galaxy S4 loaded with features only a few geeks will use. But hey, it's 'change' so it must be good, right? To me the S4 has become the Microsoft Office of the smartphone market, bloated with features the average user doesn't even know about much less ever use. 


     


    The continuing war rages between the tech types and the common user with Apple on the common user's side. Just take a peek at Andy Ihnatko's 6000 word geek manifesto on why he switched to Android and you'll see the contrasting ideologies. Meanwhile even the enterprise is opting for ease of use with iOS.

  • Reply 20 of 291

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bullhead View Post



    I hear this from the Microsoft drones and fandroids a lot. it has become a mainstain of their talking points. But specifically, they never mention what is outdated about it? what does not work?



    While not perfect, iOS has a highly intuitive, easy to use interface. It is far better than the horrid Windows Phone OS with is busy flashing squares, text scrolling off the right side of the screen everywhere, primitive block colors, etc... Or androids, iOS copy, with slow motion scrolling, inconsistent experience, unintuitive navigation, etc...



    Apple is not Microsoft who reskins their OS every year as a means to justify its outrageous upgrade cost, or Googles copying of everything Apple does.


    I agree. I hear everywhere that it is outdated. But never an example of what they mean by it. It's like political parties. Ask them anything you want, they will answer any question! Of course, they answer the question with a practiced party talking point that, usually, has no relation to the question asked.


     


    So, to those on this forum that think it is outdated, what should they do? Any suggestions/examples?


     


    Aside from a Dashboard like screen/space (as in Mac OS X, which I have turned off), what can they do differently?

Sign In or Register to comment.