platforms aren't created equal. they each have their own strengths and their own flaws. whether you are talking about digital platforms (such as apple's ios versus google's android) or more traditional platforms (like doing business in different countries), the right answer is never to aim for product consistency across these platforms.
brand, quality, and service consistency should be invariable across all platforms, but that's where products and services should give way to inconsistencies that will make them awesome in each and every platform.
the most global companies in the world have been doing this years. coca-cola uses local water (filtered, of course) and local sweeteners across each of its bottling centers, and don't we all love mexican coke or coca-cola light from france? mcdonalds is an even more extreme example where the menu changes dramatically as you go from country to country, or merely hawaii (and their crazy fascination with spam), to serve local tastes.
while this strategy is much more clearly correct with physical products, a lot of digital products are failing at this -- producing far too consistent products.
across mobile (from phones to tablets, and everything in between), i'm seeing apps dumbed down to the lowest common experience. if for no other reason than more screen real-estate, an ipad has more potential for a better experience than that of an iphone. yet twitter, with a recent update, simplified its ipad app to match the experience of the iphone. i don't know if that was the goal, but the sliding panes and cool gestures were gone -- resulting in an all too consistent experience.
across platforms (from apple to android), i'm seeing unfortunate design decisions that create boring similarities, instead of building on the strength of each platform. taking android, for example, you have the potential to create lock-screen widgets, become the 'default' app (something i'm very keen on), and communicate more easily with other apps. why then aim for the same functionality, features, and design as that of an ios app?
evernote is the shining example that is embracing inconsistency. different platform teams compete against each other, steal from each other, and push each other to create the best experience for their respective audience -- creating product inconsistency of which everyone can be proud. i'm not always of fan of every update, but appreciate how they are focused on platform innovation and platform excellence.
which products do you find too consistent? which are doing a good job at being inconsistent?