I know I’ve been relatively mum about the new iPhone 5 announcement. Mainly because I was out of town last week. I know, great week in tech news to be out of town!! Even before the announcement, which based on rumor and leaks, I figured was going to be pretty underwhelming, I had been meaning to make a graphic like this one that Samsung made as soon as the iPhone 5 specs were released. Now that they are, Samsung kinda beat me to the punch. Given my graphics idiocy, theirs looks much better than I probably could have created.
What really annoys me about Apple is their ability to make the world think that the “new” features they are releasing aren’t available anywhere else in the world. This is totally not the case. Just about all of the features that were announced last week already exist in phones currently on the market. The GUI of iOS (GUI is Graphical User Interface, so it’s how the phone looks when you are using it) is still disappointingly exactly the same as it always has been. A wall of apps, which I’ve said before is THE SAME EXACT user interface that Palm used on their Palm Pilot and Palm Treo back in 1998. Sure it looks a lot crisper and it’s got those “patented” rounded squares for app icons, but strip that away and it’s the same. Screen after screen of apps. No helpful information on the home screen, just apps. Which require you to open them individually to actually see what is going on for your day.
Yippie for you, you have an extra row for apps! Amazing! Were you aware that until the app developers change their user interface to make up for the new screen real estate, you will have bars (just like if you were watching a widescreen movie on a standard size TV) so that the app size will be the exact same size that you’ve been looking at with your iPhone 4s?
Now, besides hardware, lets talk about iOS 6. If you have a 4s, besides the new screen size (which probably won’t benefit most of your apps for at least a few months), what purpose do you really have to upgrade to the 5? The 4s will get the iOS 6 upgrade, which has some “new” features. Hardware wise though, it’s slightly faster, thinner and lighter, and has a longer screen. Oh, and you’ll also FINALLY be joining the 4G party. Although, it has been discovered that when you are using the LTE network with either Sprint or Verizon, you will not be able to use voice and data at the same time. Apparently Apple knew about this and opted not to include it, because really, who ever needs to look something up while on the phone… right? Competing phones do not have this issue.
My last little rant ties back into the GUI of iOS. People are saying that Apple “just got it right the first time” and doesn’t need to change anything about the iPhone. These are the same people that say that Apple is completely innovative. If Apple is so innovative, it should be constantly improving it’s GUI to make it even more user friendly. Mark Zuckerberg said that he would want to hire someone who, in the interview, said that Facebook was beyond broken, and had a ton of ideas on how it could improve. Apple just continues to be behind the curve spec-wise (meaning the hardware specs like processor speed, amount of internal RAM (memory), etc), and the operating system hasn’t had a design overhaul in a very long time. Frankly it’s looking extremely stale.
So, since I’ve been needing to explain this to people who ask me why I prefer different phones to the iPhone, I’m issuing a sort of challenge. On Wednesday I’m going to host a Google Hang Out on Air. I’m going to be discussing what exactly it is about Android and Windows Phone that makes it so much easier to use then an iPhone for parents. Tune in, participate on the chat, and I urge you to find something you can do on an iPhone that you can’t do on either Android or Windows Phone (meaning I can accomplish the same result, but may use different tools or apps, so saying buying things from the app marketplace isn’t valid because I can buy apps from the Google Play Store). If you are able to stump me, I will give you a $20 iTunes gift card.
So, gauntlet thrown… prove me wrong!
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Sarah Kimmel has spent the last 16 years of her career as an IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com