Simply put, why apple has such great products? Because they've got an amazing checklist to which they convey extraordinarily. Above all, that's why. To me at least.
It's not to say it's perfect. It's hard enough to pay around U$600 for getting a development license in Brazil and having to FAX and go through a 3 months process! Terrible!
But, for their products, the checklist is just as good as it gets. Like any other huge successful company, such as McDonald's, Coke or the Vatican's Church. They got everything covered. Right Pope? (see pic at side below)
Yet, I can't find on the web attempts to replicate their checklist. For anything!
In this instance, I was just trying to get a good podcast player on Android, and not even the top paid ones (I haven't tried them all, such as DoggCatcher or PocketCasts) seem to get any close to apple's checklist. I've tried BeyondPod, Podcatcher, ACast, the soon discontinued Google Listen, and the current runner up for me, Podkicker.
So here I'll be a little hypocrite and try to convey a simplified one (a true one must be detailed):
- Easy Accessibility, you know, for blind people or people who prefer to go blind. This is the first thing missing everywhere else (maybe can't be done since it should be intrinsic to android)
- Playing Management, amazingly enough, couldn't find a single player which can speed up or down the playing speed and just one could go back 30 seconds. Also none had some kind of easy seeking like iPods do. And hey, none of that is hard to implement at all! I know because, as a developer, I've done similar stuff. It's just about the checklist!
- File Management, not amazingly enough, they all get failures at this, including apples. Managing files and syncing them isn't an easy task. Dropbox (referral link) excels at it, but that's another subject. Most of them, including iPods, have issues with trying to download again a failed download.
- Playlist Management, moving items back and forth, choosing what to play, eventually doing it automatically... Many items could go here, iPod gets almost every one right. The rest doesn't.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI), can't compete too much with apple here, but many get close enough. Use gestures, make things as simple as possible and with as much hidden text as possible. Use icons instead, add a small description and a help to elsewhere.
- Podcasts Caveats, some add info (plain text, for us users to read) in places you can find in any iTunes / iPod, but can't find in any other player. No idea what the standards are, but if there's any, it should with be who started it and do it good: iPods.
And that's all just from the top of my head...
Now, extrapolate all that to the whole iPhone and you might get an idea why Android is still trying to catch up... Even though, to me, it already did excel in other ways enough for me to drop the iPhone (for an Android Phone and an iPad).