Daring Fireball: Making Our Hearts Sing

Matt Birchler, “The Shocking State of Enthusiast Apps on Android”:

I recently commented on Mastodon, and I think iOS is way ahead of Android when it comes to third-party apps. You can pick the best app in the category for Android and I think he will be the 3rd to the 5th best app in that category for iOS.

I know it’s harsh, but I think it applies to basically every category of apps I’m interested in.

Many respondents said that the Android app is better than the iOS version. I wanted to be open-minded, so I asked which apps they would recommend to see how Android is ahead of iOS. They recommended a text editor with his UI similar to Notepad++ rather than modern writing tools.

Birchler’s Mastodon post was in a thread that started with a question about the best Android Mastodon client, but I didn’t realize he wrote this article until today. Birchler continues his review of Android RSS reader named Read You. This seems to be the best feed his reader on Android. It’s kind of you to say that Read You doesn’t even make it onto our list of the best iOS feed readers. Just wondering if anyone in Android knows what a feed reader is. Birchler’s review is more than fair. He’s not picking one app in one category. It’s fair to say that Read You shows the state of Android.

Android enthusiasts hate to hear it, but from a design standpoint, Android apps suck. They may not be bad from a functional point of view (but they often are), but they are aesthetically unsophisticated and poorly designed even from a “how it works” point of view. enough. (For example, Read You doesn’t provide unread counts for folders, has an oddly sparse layout, and the only sync service it supports was discontinued in 2014. Also, including the ability to launch It requires a dreadful number of system privileges to run, and as I wrote yesterday, the cultural divide between the two mobile platforms is widening rather than narrowing.Since buying my Nexus One in 2010, I’ve been We’ve stepped into the Android market, but the production value gap between the top apps in a given category is greater than ever between Android and iOS.Apart from the deplorable state of Android’s tablet apps, this is talking about the phone app.

Michael Tsai found a thread on Hacker News with two short threads discussing my post from yesterday. Here and here.1 A representative comment from a skeptical Android user of mine:

What exactly does he want from these apps? How can one objectively compare the “panache” of one app to another? What are the steps you can follow to program ‘comfort’? These complaints seem very wishful and unsubstantiated.

After that, he left Kubrick’s quote. We are totally in the realm of mysticism now. This is not an attempt to compare or measure anything fairly. […]

If he praises some apps and intends to dunk others, I think he should use measurable standards to compare. Just saying “App X feels good” is like saying “App X has better chakra energy”. What should the developer do with that feedback? The whole article could have been summed up as “I personally like these apps and I don’t like them.”

It’s like asking for a “measurable standard” by which to evaluate movies, novels, songs, and paintings. Here’s another quote from Kubrick.

art is the operation word. Either you know that software can and often should be an art, or you think what I’m talking about here is akin to astrology. One thing I learned a long time ago is that people who prioritize design, UI, and UX in their preferred software choose to prioritize other factors (such as raw feature count and ability to tinker with the software). It means that you can empathize with and understand. at the system level or the software is free). But it doesn’t work the other way around. Most people who put other things first don’t understand why everyone cares so much about design/UI/UX. because they don’t recognize itAs such, they see the enthusiasm of iOS and native Mac apps being hypnotized by Pied Piper-style marketing.

I think what has happened in the last decade or so is that both users and developers self-categorized so that the two platforms didn’t reach some sort of equilibrium, but instead the cultural differences grew. . Those who see and appreciate the artistic value of software and interface design are overwhelmingly obsessed with iOS. People new to Android. Of course there are exceptions. Of course, there are iOS users and developers who envy Android’s more open nature. Of course, some Android users and developers are aware of how crude his UI is for the platform’s best apps. But we are left with two completely different ecosystems with completely different cultural values. (To re-use my example from yesterday) There is nothing quite like the Coke vs. Pepsi situation on console gaming platforms. Cultural differences are polarizing and articulate on mobile, much like national politics.

It’s no coincidence that Steve Jobs’ last words on stage included his monologue about Apple’s existence at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. March 2011:

It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. Technology fused with the liberal arts, technology fused with the humanities, is what makes us excited.

make your heart singThat’s the difference.

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