Monday, October 18, 2010

eBay apps highlight differences between Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android UI

Windows Phone 7 devices are officially on their way now, and the new tiles and hubs User Interface has a lot of people talking (good and bad). I’ve been working on an app for about a month now (more info soon at phrasememe.com or follow on twitter) and have gotten to play around with the device and have to say it does seem to flow pretty well. It is interesting to compare and contrast the approaches used when designing for Windows Phone7 vs iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. A great example of this is comparing the eBay application for different platforms.

The eBay application for Windows Phone 7 was added to the Zune marketplace today and features many of the new UI design patterns (Tiles, panorama, pivots, user customizations) and phone features (Messaging, real-time notifications, back button).

ebayappwp7

 

The iPhone eBay application has all the same features, and while it strikes me as a bit more polished than the WP7 version I do prefer the web style navigation in WP7 vs the various buttons/tabs used to navigate around the iPhone apps. Once you start using the hardware back/search buttons and Appbar icons you can easily navigate around any application on the Windows Phone 7 because things are very consistent.

iphoneScreens_new

 

The Android eBay application also has the same features, but looks a bit clunky, which is how I feel about most Java based user interfaces.

 

While the Blackberry application has most of the same features, the UI is designed to be used by the trackball or trackpad so it looks a bit different. It is still very functional, but I like the touch optimized UI better.

 

It also is interesting to look at the eBay iPad application and the Silverlight based eBay Simple Lister application for PC/Macs. They do a pretty good job of highlighting the strengths of each platform and are a great way to evaluate pros/cons of each. With the iPad you can really see why Live Tiles make sense over a “Sea of app icons”.  I guess it could be worse. :-P

Anyway, I am excited to see more competition in the wireless space, as it will keep everyone innovating and creating better products.