How RIM, Palm and Apple Handle UI

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2008-07-28 Print this article Print

Probably the easiest system on the market to use is the Apple iPhone. The user interface is natural-meaning, most people can figure out how to use it simply by looking at the display and selecting what they want to do. But, while it's clearly the easiest system to use, I've included a couple of examples of where Apple didn't get it right-at least not yet.

Apple needs to adopt more of a Web UI style outside the Web application, with a "back arrow" in the upper left. This needs to be done so that you can always go back a level from wherever you are in the system interface by hitting the back arrow-just as you do using Web browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer. And while the iPhone's on-screen keyboard does present word completion options (very good), you don't get the tactile feedback you do with a physical keyboard. Thus, I believe that Apple will create an iPhone with a real keyboard at some point.

The Windows Mobile platform is currently running on Palm (700w), Samsung BlackJack and Motorola Q, among others. Its UI is okay, but you have to launch applications through the Start key-which is similar to Windows on the desktop, but somehow seems unnatural on a handheld. What Microsoft has done in Version 6 is make a lot of integration seamless so that it does more for the user. However, Windows Mobile just doesn't seem to be as easy to use as the iPhone or Palm-based products.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then IÔÇÖll disclose it at that time.

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