iOS 7 shines as Apple bests Android, Windows Phone in 'user experience shootout'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Following the public release of iOS 7, Apple's newest operating system is thrown into the fire against its strongest competitors in a battery of user experience tests, and coming out on top against Samsung's customized Android build and Microsoft's Windows Phone.

UX Shootout


The study, conducted by technology consultants Pfeiffer Consulting, was designed to gather and compare quantitative user experience data from users of Apple's iOS 6 and newly released iOS 7, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, Samsung's variant of Android, and BlackBerry's Blackberry 10.

According to Pfeiffer, the test methodology attempts to eliminate as many subjective variables ? like brand loyalty or perception ? as possible, looking only at objective "aspects that have a direct impact on the day-to-day user experience of an average, non-technical user." Pfeiffer hones in on four key points: the operating system's cognitive load, efficiency and integration, options for customization, and user experience friction.

UX Shootout


Cognitive load is a psychological concept that refers, generally, to the number of distinct pieces of information a person must remember and process at once ? for example, a typical 7-digit U.S. telephone number has a cognitive load of 7. To calculate each operating system's cognitive load, Pfeiffer's researchers counted the number of pre-installed applications and user interaction elements in a factory operating system installation.

iOS 7 was bested only by its older sibling in the cognitive load rankings, a difference that Pfeiffer attributes to the addition of Control Center to iOS 7.

Samsung's Android variant came in far behind Apple, Microsoft, and Blackberry's offerings with a cognitive load score more than four times that of iOS 7. Android has long been derided for its user interface complexity, though it is not clear how this metric would have been affected if Google's implementation, rather than Samsung's, had been measured.

UX Shootout


To measure efficiency and integration, the group "analyzed access to key settings, integration with notifications, multitasking, and camera access, among others." iOS 7 and Android shared the top spot in this area, with researchers praising Apple's revamped and "well-implemented" app switching model alongside Android's "mature but slightly overwhelming" options like customizable notifications and shortcuts.

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Samsung's Android took first place the customization rankings with its "dizzying" array of options, while iOS 7 trailed but still handily outperformed relative newcomers Blackberry 10 and Window Phone 8. Microsoft's belated answer to the iPhone was dinged for its lack of support for home screen background images or folders for app organization.

UX Shootout


Apple's entries dominated the user experience friction (UXF) mark, which Pfeiffer explains "occurs whenever a device does not do what you expect it to do - or lacks a key feature that should be available." Control Center again caused iOS 7 to lag behind iOS 6 ? the study found that the feature is "clearly useful," but has "the annoying habit of accidentally popping up" when it is not needed ? though both operating systems still scored around 50 percent better than Samsung's Android, their closest competitor.

Overall, the study found iOS 7 to be the most user friendly of the major operating systems, saying that "Apple has achieved its goal to move iOS into the modern smartphone era. Despite some controversial design aspects, iOS 7 is pleasant and more fluid to use than other mobile operating systems." iOS 6, Blackberry 10, Samsung's Android variant, and Windows Phone 8 rounded out the rankings.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    And that, ladies and gentlemen as they say, is that!
  • Reply 2 of 62
    I feel like this comparison should have been done using stock Android. TouchWiz is garbage. Feature-filled garbage.
  • Reply 3 of 62

    But everyone hates iOS 7. Windows tablets can do two apps at once. This study was clearly Apple biased by having iOS score on top.

     

    /s

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post



    I feel like this comparison should have been done using stock Android. TouchWiz is garbage. Feature-filled garbage.

     

    Must Android users do not have stock Android so that would bias the results to a niche amount of users. Most Android users have TouchWiz, SenseUI, etc. on their phones since they do not root and install a different ROM. Samsung ships the most Android phones so it's clearly more representative to use what most users will have.

  • Reply 4 of 62
    Including stock Android UI would have been interesting, but I doubt it would have changed the results much. For having used both, I'm expecting that it would score pretty near Samsung's version on all metrics. I'm more interested about the impartiality of the study; it would not be good to find out that it was indirectly financed by Apple funds.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    I like iOS 7 so far. I suppose my biggest complaints are with text messages just being harder to read. Not sure what they were thinking with green bubbles and white text. The old color scheme for messages was much easier to read. The phone dialer also just seems a little harder on the eyes. Far too much white and not enough contrast. I tend to prefer darker themes so the previous colors were preferable to me but I do like the new features and the design elements. I just wish we could change the colors to our liking.
  • Reply 6 of 62

    I am not surprised.

     

    Did anybody else recently read about how iOS's Touch response is at least twice as fast as Android's?

     

    The spin from the Fandroids on that issue is mindblowing! One excuse after another, with the most common one being that humans can not notice such a small difference. Somebody has to be either on very strong narcotics or in complete denial to not notice how slow and laggy ALL android devices are. I've been saying it for ages, and now it's being validated by scientific tests and evidence.

     

    I could never use any Android device. It doesn't matter if an eight core model came out tomorrow. It'll be just as laggy, slow and unresponsive as all the rest. And I can definitely notice the difference between 50 and 100 milliseconds, and so can most Apple users. Hell, I can even notice the difference between 1 millisecond and 2 milliseconds, when it comes to audio.

     

    All the specs in the world don't mean anything at all, when the user experience is crap and substandard. This is also why I'd never, ever hire a Fandroid who thinks that their device is smooth and fast, just like Apple's. They're either on drugs or their senses are so dulled, that they would be worthless to me.

  • Reply 7 of 62
    Duh!
  • Reply 8 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post



    I'm more interested about the impartiality of the study; it would not be good to find out that it was indirectly financed by Apple funds.

    Yeah, we better spread seeds of FUD that anything positive about Apple must only be because they could've been paid off to do so. :rolleyes: 

  • Reply 9 of 62

    It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.

  • Reply 10 of 62
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

     

    It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.


     

    It's probably because the users were more used to iOS 6 and they weren't used to iOS 7 since it's new.

  • Reply 11 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

     

    It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.


     

    Probably mostly because the zoom in/zoom out animations for app launch and minimizing are longer than the launch effects in iOS 6. It would be nice if those could be made faster as it really doesn't serve much purpose. In most testing I've seen comparing iOS 6 to iOS 7 it seems to add around a second or more depending on the device which in some cases doubles or more the amount of time it takes to launch.

  • Reply 12 of 62
    I find it interesting that Windows Phone lags behind BB.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    I wonder what version of Android they were using. 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, 4.0, 3.x, 2.x, etc etc.  I know they were using Samsung, but each version of Android on each mfg units are slightly different, which confuses these tests even further.

  • Reply 14 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drblank View Post

     

    I wonder what version of Android they were using. 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, 4.0, 3.x, 2.x, etc etc.  I know they were using Samsung, but each version of Android on each mfg units are slightly different, which confuses these tests even further.


     

    The PDF says they used a Galaxy S4 so at least 4.2.2.

  • Reply 15 of 62
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnnash View Post



    I find it interesting that Windows Phone lags behind BB.

     

    I second that.  From afar, I respect MS phone 8 for its novel take on things but looks like maybe they have some usability issues.

  • Reply 16 of 62
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post



    I like iOS 7 so far. I suppose my biggest complaints are with text messages just being harder to read. Not sure what they were thinking with green bubbles and white text. The old color scheme for messages was much easier to read.

     

    The gradient they applied to the text bubbles decreases the contrast  at the top of the screen, too.

    Slightly increasing the Text Size (under Settings, General) helped me out considerably.

  • Reply 17 of 62
    Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

     

     

    Probably mostly because the zoom in/zoom out animations for app launch and minimizing are longer than the launch effects in iOS 6. It would be nice if those could be made faster as it really doesn't serve much purpose. In most testing I've seen comparing iOS 6 to iOS 7 it seems to add around a second or more depending on the device which in some cases doubles or more the amount of time it takes to launch.


     

    The animations are as fast as iOS 6 on my 5S. But they were a bit laggy on the 4S I traded in. I wonder if Apple did that on purpose to push people to upgrade? ;)

  • Reply 19 of 62
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SiMBa37 View Post



    Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.

     

    The Verge pretty much sucks now too. It's not even a tech site. They keep mixing in political crap, and I'm not interested in their politics.

  • Reply 20 of 62
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SiMBa37 View Post



    Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.

     

    The Verge pretty much sucks now too. It's not even a tech site. They keep mixing in political crap, and I'm not interested in their politics.


    Except that Tim Cook is always quoting them in his presentations, giving them undue validation. It bothers the heck out of me, since I cannot think of a tech site that deserves it less.

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