As most iPhone users are probably aware by now, iOS 5 is now available for download via the updated iTunes 10.5 as of today. Many users are flocking over to get this download and it clogged up their servers that some even stating an over 8 hours + download time.
In case you’re not familiar with what’s new with iOS 5, Apple cited 200+ new features for this major update. While most Apple fanbois are super excited and completely in awe of these features, I am going to write this post about why the so-called “unique” features are not exactly the breakthrough innovation that many blogs seem to be covering.
Click on to read more about this Android fangirl’s rebuttal on these “over-hyped” features.
1. Notification Center
Traditionally, whenever you receive a notification on your iPhone, you get a pop-up. Firstly, yes – pop-up notifications are so 1995. Secondly, it’s also very disruptive (when you’re reading an email, you get a pop-up in the middle of your screen to tell you a friend commented on your Facebook post) and annoying (every other second, you get a pop-up to tell you an email or Facebook status update).
To improve this annoyance, Apple introduced Notification Center which is basically a slide down window shade of all your notifications, alarms, reminders, etc. instead of a pop-up window disrupting your current use.
(Left) iOS 5 Notification Center *Image Source : SimonBlog.com* (Right) Android Notification panel *Image Source : The-Gadgeteer.com*
Errr…. Android users have been enjoying this very service ever since the inception of Google Android OS. We have always been able to slide down the “window shade” to view, click on and clear our notifications.
I wouldn’t say that Apple is catching up. I would say that they tried to find a solution for their customer’s annoyance and couldn’t think of a better way to do this than to copy what works on Android. *snicker*
Which is why I wonder if Google patented this feature. Because there sure are a bunch of patent wars going on lately.
I read an article here that states that iMessage will be the beginning of the death of SMS/MMS. I cannot disagree more.
Basically, iMessage is an iDevice to iDevice messaging service, very much like Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Yes, we all know that BBM was one of the major reasons why Crackberry users stick to their Blackberries. iMessage are messages sent over data connection instead of your SMS channels. It’s basically IM in the modern form.
But it only works between Apple devices.
iMessage is no killer. There are loads of other existing technology that already does this. Firstly, there is a decade old IM (think Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, etc). OK, so IM might already be dead coz not many people still uses it.
(Left) iMessage *Image Source : PhoneArena.com* (Right) WhatsApp Messenger *Image Source : MrGadget.com.au*
Secondly, Apple to Apple device only? Man, that’s a restriction. There are so many wonderful cross platform solutions out there. Look at Kik Messenger – which was growing so fast that Blackberry got scared it will kill BBM so they blocked it in their Marketplace).
There’s also WhatsApp – which seems to be the defacto messaging app for everyone I know who has a smartphone. In fact, WhatsApp is the only app that supports all the major OS out there. There’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and even Nokia. Hell, if they started with a HTML5 web app, that would cover feature phone users as well. Then, it’s everybody in the world with a browser on their phone can message each other using data.
So, why use iMessage at all when you can only talk to your Apple using friends. Oh yes – so you can discuss who has the bigger love for Apple. Yup. OK.
3. Deep Twitter Integration
OK, Winnie. Breathe….
When I first heard about this announcement in WWDC, I thought…. WTF?
So, it seems you can now tweet directly from Safari browser and share to Twitter from any app within your iPhone.
Err… I hate to be an Android fangirl again here. So, I will just state that even Windows Phone 7 users can already do this, pre-Mango 7.5 OS upgrade.
Sharing on Android opens up to any app you like. *Image Source : GroovyPost.com*
On my Android phone, I can share with whichever app that opens up sharing. I can share on Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Dropbox, Flickr, Blogger app, Google Reader, Google+ and the list can go on….
Also, Apple highlights that you’ll be able to “view Twitter profile picture and username from Contacts”.
Again. Really, Apple? I have that function on my HTC Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. Yes. Windows Mobile 6.5, not Windows Phone 7!!!
HTC Contacts allow you to link your contacts with Twitter, Facebook (and now LinkedIn) and auto-updates their Status Updates, Tweets and Profile Pictures. *Image Source : TechRadar.com*
4. Over-The-Air updates
Up until today’s iOS 5 update, iPhone users have to plug in their device to their PC / Ma, launch iTunes, ensure it’s an updated iTunes version and check for new iOS updates, backup their device, download new OS update and install through this cable connection between PC and iDevice.
Over-The-Air update basically means updates will be sent to your phone and you don’t have to connect the cable to your PC / Mac anymore.
Confession, I haven’t used the cable to update anything on my Android phone EVER! Cable I use for charging only.
Another point I want to make. You know how back in the day (a few years ago), you would buy a phone and you would call up your Mobile Operator to send you the GPRS and MMS settings to your phone? Then, they would send the settings to your phone depending on your phone model? Yeah – that’s called Over-The-Air (OTA) update.
From those non-smartphone days, OTA updates have always existed for years! So, for Apple to boast about the ability to update ad sync without cables NOW??? Come on, you’re a little late to the party no?
The biggest gripe I have on the iOS 5 announcement is the launch of iCloud.
Amazon has cloud storage and sync. Android has the entire Google ecosystem (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Contact, etc) cloud storage and sync. Windows Phone 7 has support for Windows Live SkyDrive.
You would argue that Apple had MobileMe before iCloud that backup and syncs, too. Then, I would counter that MobileMe users had to pay USD$ 99 per year for that service before iCloud.
All the other OS users have been enjoying the cloud storage service for FREE for years!!!!
Another prime example of Apple finally catching up to the market. NOW they realise that they have to offer cloud services because everybody else is already offering them but us.
Innovation? I think not!
The other 200+ new features…
Well, I suppose out of the other features announced with iOS 5, there could be some worthy updates and really cool features and services. I am not talking about their Greeting Card app here. I am also trying to refrain from talking about Siri Voice Assistance. *breathe*
So yeah – you can call me an Android fangirl, You can also call me an Apple hater. I just felt like I should vent, from a non-Apple user point of view how the supposed “highlighted features” of iOS 5 is really nothing much to shout about. I get extremely annoyed when I overhear conversations of Apple fanbois talking about them like this is the first ever innovation by Apple and there’s nothing else like it in the market today.
So, I just want to write this post to rebut (and bash Apple a little more) and then shout…
YOU’VE ALL BEEN SOLD!!!
Feel free to include your Apple fanboism comments down below.