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iOS 7 wins mobile OS user experience shootout

Yoni Heisler, @edibleapple
October 11, 2013
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Pfeiffer Consulting recently put iOS 7 through its paces, comparing it to a number of other mobile OSes to gauge which OS has a step up on the competition when it comes to the user experience.

The operating systems involved in the study included iOS 7, iOS 6, Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10. Now seeing as how there are innumerable versions of Android out there, the study focused on Samsung's implementation of Android since it's currently the most popular Android handset maker.

The study focused on four variables: cognitive load, efficiency, customization and user experience friction. Each variable was afforded equal weight. Also note that the tests were measured from the viewpoint of an average, non-technical user.

When the dust settled, iOS 7 reigned supreme with a 73.25 score followed closely by iOS 6 with a score of 70. Next came Android, Blackberry 10, with Windows Phone 8 pulling up the rear.

The report reads in part:

What separates the Android user experience from iOS 7 is not functionality, but feature-bloat and sloppy user interface design. In terms of user experience, less IS more.

But there is another issue for Android, and that is market fragmentation: The loyalty of Apple's users is such that the company can be certain that millions of users will upgrade to a new release -- and Apple's marketing is working hard to increase the desire to do so. Android, by contrast is terrifyingly fragmented, with most users only upgrading when they change device. This is a problem that will be almost impossible to overcome -- and can only get worse over time.

Overall, the entire study provides an interesting read and is worth checking out in its entirety. There is also an interesting discussion regarding the study's methodology over here.

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