One of the things that many people (non-Mac using people) don’t understand about why Mac users are so passionate about their platform, and why the Macintosh experience is so superior to Windows (and, yes, Linux), is Apple’s attention to detail. This is something I’m constantly noticing when using Apple products. It’s something that I’ve noticed for years, and years. It’s not just within the OS, either, it’s all around; software and hardware.
This is a perfect example of that: http://rentzsch.com/notes/applesantiCAPSLOCK.
How many PC manufacturers would think of that?
This is how you normally notice Apple’s attention to detail, completely by accident. It’s usually while making a mistake, or doing something that has unexpected (favorable) results, that you run across the things that make you think “Gee, I’m glad they thought of that” or “Boy! That’s COOL!”
I have a good example of this. It’s something I notice on my iPod quite some time ago, and that is: if the headphone cable becomes unplugged during operation, the player stops. The iPod actually pauses itself when the headphone cable is unplugged. Think about that. The Apple engineers had the foresight to realize that if you accidentally unplugged the headphone cables (by, say, shifting the iPod around in your pocket) you probably wouldn’t want to miss any of what you were listening to when it happened. The first time it happened to me, that attention to detail blew me away.
This is an example of designing things towards the user experience that other companies don’t get (and thereby, people using other companies’ products don’t understand, either). Other companies focus on the features of their product, on how they think their product should be used. Apple focuses on the actual user experience, on how people actually use the product.
There are many, many examples of this all throughout OS X (and with the computer hardware, as well). If any more come to mind, I’ll point those out as well. (And, if there are any Mac users out there who actually read my ramblings want to share, feel free to in the comments.)