The results of our “One Size Fits All” poll on phone and PC interfaces are in. Once again, we find that our thinking doesn’t match the majority.
Microsoft got themselves in a heck of a mess when they insisted their users should happily adopt their phone interface on their desktops. This didn’t work out well, with Windows PC users pretty much refusing to upgrade to Windows 8. Since then, Microsoft has backed down somewhat with version 8.1, but it’s too soon to tell how that’s going to work out for them.
Apple and Google have chosen thus far to keep desktop and mobile not only on separate interfaces, but on separate platforms as well. Apple, of course, uses iOS for the iPhone and OS X for their line of Macintosh computers. Google has Android for mobile devices and Chrome OS for laptops. In both cases, the interface and branding are completely different for mobile and traditional devices.
Here in Linuxland, Ubuntu has decided to take a different tack. In this case, as we understand it, the interface on phones will look and feel a lot like their default Trinity desktop, but with changes made to allow for the smaller screen size. With both phone and desktop having a similar look and feel, users should be able to move back and forth between devices more easily.
After we made up our mind on our preference, we asked you what you thought with yet another of our unscientific polls, which we posted on October 10th. “Would you like your smartphone, tablet and PC interface to be the same?” we asked. We offered four choices: “Yes, exactly the same;” “Similar but not exact;” “No” and “Don’t know.”
At FOSS Force, we mostly agreed that we favored the alike-but-different approach, for a variety of reasons that we’ll happily comment upon if you ask. You disagreed. In our poll, which we deactivated just this morning, only 37% of you agreed with us.
The overwhelming majority voted “no,” indicating that you’d prefer phone and desktop to have completely separate interfaces. Only 8% of the voters liked the Microsoft option of an interface for phone and PC that exactly matched. 1% of you were undecided.
So that’s it then. A phone should be a phone and a desktop should be a desktop and never the twain shall meet.