¶ App Within an App

I always try to use a stock app that comes with my iPhone, iPad, or Mac if it can do what I need it to satisfactorily. Hence for quick notes I use the built in Notes app on my iPhone quite a bit, especially since I know, thanks to iCloud, that the note will be on my iPad and Mac if I need it. And when Reminders arrived in iOS 5, I eschewed the other app I was using in favor of Apple’s solution, because Apple’s app performed the same function that I needed. Heck, it provided a little more with location-based reminders, which are awesome.

I do, however, have one little annoyance about Notes and Reminders — the way they are integrated into the Mac. On iOS, Notes and Reminders get their own apps. On the Mac, they are relegated to being apps within an app. Notes and Reminders are shoehorned into Mail and iCal, respectively.

I would much rather Notes and Reminders have their own apps on the Mac, with similar interfaces to their iOS counterparts. Notes, on its own, could effectively replace the Stickies app on the Mac.

My problem with Notes and Reminders being integrated into other apps is consistency. A great example of consistency between the Mac, iPhone, and iPad is Twitterrific. The app offers the same experience across all three devices. The user never has to question how to do anything on each device. Learn once, apply everywhere.

Take a new user, give them an iPhone for a bit. Sit them in front of a Mac, and tell them to find their reminders. I bet they’d hunt for a Reminders app. In fact, they’d probably be confused to learn that Reminders is part of iCal. It doesn’t really make sense.

One of the greatest things Apple did when releasing the iPad was to keep the experience familiar and consistent. Lately, the experience on the Mac has started to feel like a neglected ugly duckling.