Good points. At some stage, I’m going to have to try an Apple product.
I’ve been using an iPhone nearly exclusively for 3 years, first a 3G, then an iPhone 4. I own an iPad, and a MacBook for my home computing.
After losing my iPhone and needing to replace it, I realized I was becoming interface monolingual, and it was probably hurting my thinking.
One of my biggest regrets is that I don’t speak anything other than english – I’m convinced this limits my ability to think outside of my ‘cultural box’.
I think that, as much as I love Apple products, doing all of my personal, and much of my professional, computing in OSX and derivatives, has disconnected me from a realm of possibility.
I use a windows machine at work, and have for the 4.5+ years I’ve been a Mac owner, so I still have some idea as to the desktop reality of non-Mac users.
But only owning Apple smartphones is a dangerous thing for someone who needs to think in terms of different user experiences and expectations. I might like the simplicity and user interface of iOS, but that doesn’t mean I can get away with being ignorant to the behaviours and options open to an Android user.
So, I replaced my lost iPhone with a samsung galaxy s2. It’s a great phone, totally different, and yet very similar (at least, similar enough to incite a lawsuit for copying apple’s industrial design). And I’m enjoying the feeling of learning a new user experience ‘language’, and seeing what assumptions and metaphors I’ve been ignoring completely, because I didn’t have the gestural or behavioural breadth to really understand that there were optional at all.
The underlying suggestion, of course, is that people working with technology and communication should intentionally avoid letting a set preference, or a belief in what is ‘best’ limit them from being fluent in different OSes, different hardware configurations, and different software choices.
You never appreciate the decisions that have been made, or not made, until you can see what happens when you head down other paths.