Wednesday, 3 October 2012

iPhone follow on

Since my original post on the new iPhone 5 there has been even more written and discussed on the successes and failings of the new handset. 

In short, yes the new iPhone is better. The screen size is more useful and the majority of apps have already had an update to make the most of the new screen space. The new handset is lighter, slimmer and possibly has a nicer feel depending on peoples personal preference

The one fly in the ointment which doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon is the maps issue. Perhaps apple could have saved some face if they had renamed it to navigation to emphasise the point of why the made the change. Here is a new app to allow iPhone users to access free turn by turn navigation which was missing from the native Google maps app but was present on the android equivalent. This would have lessened the emphasis on the mapping side of the application and its current shortfalls. They could even have kept the Google map app in place in this version of iOS for mapping whilst the Sat-Nav app developed and gathered enough map/search data in the background to make it more functional, then in the next iOS upgrade made the full switch and heralded it as the big shiny thing it would have then been. 

I read a good unbiased and quite well rounded review recently. I have attached a link as it is worth a look: 

One last thing for now, unless something spectacular happens, the next post wont be related to iPhones, so never fear we will be stepping away form the fruit based products. 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Much ado about nothing?

Oh well, the iPhone 5 got its official launch last week to a slightly better than mediocre response. Is this the first of the iPhone launches to miss the mark? 

It certainly isn't the set the web on fire, world beater that certain sections of the media may have expected from Apple. Quite a few commentators, myself included think its OK, but is that it? Apple could have taken the new iPhone and pushed the handset market forward again with a device that would still feel good to own in 2 years time (the length of most current contracts now). Maybe Cupertino's finest have become a victim of their own success and people were just expecting much more from them.
Image Courtesy of Mashable

Ok it has a slightly longer screen which adds an extra row of icons to the home screen but this still feels small against is main and current larger android rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note and the HTC One X.

Better camera features are always well received. In my opinion it's criminal when smartphone makers release a phone with a poor camera, there's no excuse for that. Certainly the iPhone cameras have always been very good and this one steps things up again. 

The new maps app which replaces Google maps with Apples own and brings free turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone is a welcome addition, even though it has attracted less than glowing comparisons to Google maps. 

The other main feature change is one which already seems to have upset existing users, especially those with other pieces of tech which links into their existing iPhone, the new smaller 'Lightning' connector. This change away from the familiar 30 pin connector leaves users who have purchased expensive speaker docks or car kits having to now purchase a £25 adapter to make these work. There have been reports that certain items may loose some functionality and there is the added hassle of having to carry the adapter around, or buy more than one. 

Perhaps its just that the quality of android phones is now generally much higher across the range? There have always been handsets which have had a higher spec or better features than the iPhone but perhaps weren't so well known. Until recently for every great android phone there were many more poor cheap handsets flooding the lower end of the market and pulling down the overall reputation. This meant the early iPhone's could brag of being better and more stable than the early android phones. Now it seems the opposite, that this new handset is almost up to the standard of the best android phones, which means that in 12 months where will it place with any new handsets in the pipeline including the windows 8 phones from Nokia and HTC. 

Users who are now committing to a 24 month contact for their iPhone 5 may feel differently about it when they are a year in and the handset marketplace has changed. There will be more phones with Near Field Communication, or contactless charging to name but two features which were rumored for the iPhone but never made it. 

Already since the launch of iOS 6 on Wednesday the web has been littered with a slew of less than glowing comments on the new apple maps. Luckily iPhone users can still install the Google maps app and similarly a youtube app as this has been removed natively, however the iPad users don't seem to have their replacements yet. Again these features will no doubt quickly improve ans iOS 6 does bring other nice features so its certainly not a step backwards, just a change in direction. 

No doubt we will find out more today as users will finally get their hands on their new shiny iPhone's. It will be interesting to see the early feedback, will it be all people expected and more, or will they think why did I upgrade for this? 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Exciting times ahead

I guess now is as good a time as any to start off on the blogging path. Its been something I’ve been thinking about for a while as a place to share my thoughts on IT, the web and other Tech related randomness from my position as a reasonably technical but hopefully still everyman kinda guy.

The reason that now is as good a time, if not the best time to do this is related to the various events happening at the moment in the tech world. Microsoft will soon be launching their first new Operating System for a few years in Windows 8. Today will see the eagerly anticipated and much speculated on unveiling of the new iPhone. We’ve just had the Amazon launch of the new Kindle tablets and will be finally getting our hands on proper UK versions. 

Hopefully you will enjoy my blog, rest assured I won’t be blinding anyone by technobabble just giving a straightforward view on things with a bit of personality thrown in. Stick around and fingers crossed we will all enjoy it.