Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better… iPhone 5 Hype

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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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, 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


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  • Something the iPhone can do that Android can not… Charge, transmit video and audio all through a single plug. Anyone who has tried to use any other device in their car to play audio knows you need 2 cables, the usb cable for charging coming usually out of the side of the phone and the large 3.5mm plug sticking out of the top. The iPhone can charge and send audio through a single plug.

    Another thing the iPhone can do is delete Apps. My wife’s Samsung has multiple pages of preloaded apps that she can’t delete off her phone (most of them are also apps that she would have to pay for if she actually wanted to use them, which she doesn’t, so it’s can’t use them and can’t delete them).

    I agree that the upgrades on the iPhone 5 are minimal. I do wish that they would add a slot for a micro SD to expand space, but there are 3 reasons why I believe they don’t; obviously money if you could expand your memory with an SD card they would probably never sell their 64GB units; adding size, that SD has to go somewhere; and lastly speed, micro SD cards are limited in their read/write speed, and that may diminish the user experience.

    I like the concept of a 5inch screen but not the idea of carrying it around in my pocket.

    Though my older iPhone doesn’t have Siri or Android’s S Voice, I have had the opportunity to use them both and I must say Siri is MUCH more reliable than S Voice… at least in my experience it has been and like I said that experience is limited, but take it for what it’s worth.

    I’ve heard the complaint about apps grid from Android fans, I’ve heard about not being able to use widgets. I guess it’s just different strokes for different folks; the widgets and disorganized apps are 2 of the things I greatly dislike about Android. My wife’s Samsung crashes frequently when she has a widget on her home page so we had to delete it.

    This may be just my opinion, I am not sure if this is actually the intentions of Apple, but I believe they are extremely concerned about the user experience with their devices. There will be those who are tech savvy and want full control over their phone, but there are a lot of people who like to get in and mess with things they don’t understand, do something wrong and mess up the device, then have to call tech support and then go on to tell their friends how crappy a device it is. As someone else who has spent a significant amount of time in tech support I am sure you have never run into that before ;-).

    I think Apple purposely tries to keep their devices simple. The app layout is simple, the menus and much more intuitive and simple than Android. The interface is much smoother. Take a non-tech person and hand them an iPhone and in 15 minutes they are proficient using it, hand them an Android and in 15 minutes they are calling their techie friends from their home phone asking how to use this thing. I can tell you from first hand experience that is the case for many people because I have gotten calls from at least 10 co-workers, some as far away as Florida, to try and help them figure out how to set up their e-mail to come through their Android and how to get all their contacts linked to their phone etc. I don’t think I have ever had an iPhone user have to ask those type of questions.

    I think ultimately when talking about which is better it comes down to the person using it more than the phone. What do they plan to use it for and what is their level of internal ‘geek’? If a phone can make you a ham sandwich but you will never use that feature… is it still a benefit?

  • Definitely found your article informative. You were able to articulate very clearly to me why the hype about this device is so large. They really do make it seem like anything Apple comes up with is a novel idea (regardless of whether its been done yet or not). And I hate to say it, but as someone who has used both iOS & Android, iPhone users have developed into tech-curious individuals rather than tech-savvy. Why wuld you stand behind a device that limits what you can & can’t do with it (after spending hundreds of dollars on it). Apple to me is a money-hungry powerhouse who could care less how their user-experience is on the device, so long as they have your money.