As Apple attempts to reduce the learning curve…

Wed, Mar 23, 2011


With betas of OS X 10.7 Lion now in the hands of developers, we’ve seen a decent number of iOS style features migrate their way into OS X. Indeed, Apple isn’t shy about its strategy here and Steve Jobs himself said as much when Apple previewed OS X Lion for the first time a few months ago.

Technightowl writes:

It appears that Apple’s ultimate goal is to meld the iOS and Mac OS X as much as possible, so you can switch from one to the other without having to think about it. Indeed, they’ve already done a fair amount of that sort of integration with input devices. The basic feel of any Apple standalone keyboard these days is near-identical to the one on their notebooks. The Magic Mouse inherits some of the touch capability of the Mac portable trackpad, and I haven’t begun to consider the Magic Trackpad…

The point of it all is that it’s clear to me that Apple wants to reduce the learning curve from device to device, and increase the comfort zone. That explains why some iOS features are being transported to Mac OS X Lion, for better or worse…

These days, Apple expects you to figure out the basics on Macs and mobile gadgets with minimal instruction. It should “just work” is the mantra…

But are these all welcome changes?

Using a mobile device is an inherently different user experience than using a device running a full fledged modern OS. What may work swimmingly on the former may be convoluted on the latter. Of course, we always run into the trap of preferring a UI we’re used to over what may objectively be a more intuitive interface. Still, scrollbars in OS X that appear only when one clicks on a document and trackpad scrolling that work in the “opposite” direction may take a while to get used to. As far as we can tell, Apple will give users options to revert back to the old setup so there’s no reason to worry just yet.



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