One of my favorite charts is the Pareto. It’s incredibly useful for triaging your life. That’s not an exaggeration. I use it all the time. For example, let’s solve late arrivals to work. Solve the issues with the most occurrences for the most ROI. If one solves the first three issues of traffic, child care, and public transportation, she can reduce the number of late arrivals to work by 78%. As an employer there’s not much she can do to solve the traffic issues apart from making large contributions to the new roads budget and hope that someday the roads will be wide enough to account for all of the traffic that is headed to her office. Childcare could be helped by offering employees a discount at a facility close to her office. Public transportation could be helped by larger budgets as well. This would allow for more frequent cycles for buses, trains, and light rails. The point is that if she solve these three issues, you can reduce late arrivals to work by a very large margin.
I’m sure Apple went through a similar process when evaluating the target audience for iOS1. As an ecosystem, I’d say it covers 68%-80% of the computing tasks in the world. This covers the first standard deviation all the way to the third Pareto point. What do most people in most cases do on their devices whether they be desktop/laptop or mobile?
- Messaging (email, Facebook, text, WhatsApp, etc.)
- General Internet browsing
If you think about your daily usage with any sort of device (laptops and desktops included), these are 68%-80% of your activities. The most common computer users are not developers. They are not tech-y. They want their devices to work. They want them automatically backed up. They don’t want to fiddle with them. For most people in most cases iOS should be your go to when selecting an operating system for your devices. I’m not talking about just your mobile devices. I’m talking about all devices. As I get older, the more I fit into this category. At one point it was fun to experiment with all of the options. At times it still is, but for most people in most cases, iOS fits this description very well.
As an operating system, iOS is behind every other operating system in the world. It’s clearly not as capable, but is that hindrance to using it for your primary devices? You can’t drag and drop. You can just now multi-task on an iPad. Heck, you couldn’t even copy and paste until two years into the iOS product life cycle. Now that it’s growing up and is soon to be in its ninth iteration, we’re getting a more mature operating system. Is that what we want, though? Do we really want a full-blown Mac OS X or Windows 10 on our handheld and ultra-portable devices? If you’re on vacation, do you want to be fiddling with the registry and pLists because your photos application crashed after visiting the Great Wall of China? Nope. It should just work. It should just work all the time. In all of its simplicity and “lack”, I want iOS. It’s what most people want.
From a hardware standpoint, peripherals just get in the way. There are edge cases for all of these, but most people don’t need Das Keyboard. Most people don’t print photos of their daily activities anymore. Most people would throw their mouse in the trash for a chance to touch the screen instead. You can type a bit slower on an iOS device than you can on a traditional keyboard, but no matter. You don’t have to lug around all of the technical baggage that comes with a complicated operating system like OS X or Windows 10. Let’s face it. No one really wants to use either of these. Definitely not Windows 10.
One of Apple’s original marketing slogans was “it just works”. I’d argue that other companies can and should have this mentality when it comes to their devices, but for now iOS is the best competitor in the market. I no longer have a computer for personal use. I have a work issued computer, but I very rarely use that for personal tasks. I use it create Pareto’s and standard deviations. I’m on my iPad Air 2 with ClamCase or my iPhone. Between those two, I can do just about everything. Anything else that I think need to do is not nearly as important as I make it out to be in my mind. There’s no need for an additional device floating around in my backpack that takes up unnecessary weight. There’s no reason to cart around another device that is going to cause undue troubleshooting while what I really want to do is spend time with my family or enjoy a sunset.