While I was writing a comment on Alex Schleber’s post about the iPhone 5 event on Google+ I got a bit carried away and ended up with quite a long comment. Therefore I decided to copy it to my blog. Check the link if you are interested, or join the discussion in Alex’s thread or over here if you like.
My two cents: the iPhone 5 is a cool phone. The glass and aluminum body, the larger screen, faster CPU, longer battery life. All very nice improvements. But my guess is that most 4S users won’t be interested to upgrade to the iPhone 5 except for the fanboys and early-adopters. I am an iPhone 4S user and will definitely skip the iPhone 5 since my two-year contract will expire by the end of next year and the new features are not interesting or major enough for me to justify the upgrade. I’ll wait for the iPhone 6, or 5S, or whatever it will be called. In my logic, iPhone 5 customers will be former iPhone 3GS and 4 owners and the people who got tired of the Android experience when they bought a cheap-ass Android phone about a year ago, running Gingerbread, constantly running out of phone memory. People owning a more recent Android phone with version 3 or 4 of the Android OS probably won’t be interested in an iPhone 5. These Android phones can compete with the iPhone 5 easily on features, screen quality, camera quality, etcetera.
iOS 6 is an underwhelming upgrade in my opinion, even more for people living outside the US. Siri is still unusable in the Netherlands and Passbook will probably not be of any use over here either. The new Maps app is nice, but when do I use Maps on my iPhone? Hardly ever. Turn-by-turn navigation is nice, but I use Waze already, which is free too and has a social element. I will test the new navigation features though to see if Apple’s alternative generates better routes. And then there are the new Siri features (yawn), Facebook integration (yawn), VIP mail (snore), iCloud tabs and full-screen browsing in Safari (pffff). I mean: seriously? Is that the best you can do, Apple?
What I would have loved to see in iOS is a better keyboard app in iOS. Take a look at SwiftKey for example on Android. I used it for over a year on an HTC Desire before I switched to the iPhone 4S and I miss it dearly. Apple probably has the worst virtual keyboard app around on smartphones. And then there is the Mail app, which cannot compete with the Gmail app on Android and has been surpassed by Sparrow on iOS with ease of use and functionality.
Furthermore, I have the opinion that Apple should open up iOS a bit more so we can choose a different default mail client or a different browser. We can do that on OS X, so why not give us the choice on iOS too?
End of rant. 🙂