No technical blog would be complete without a spiel about the recent iPhone 5 / Samsung S3 releases so without further ado:
I’m a fan of Apple but not a fanboy. I use a Macbook laptop and an iPhone 4 but a Windows 7 PC and enjoy the best of both worlds as long as it works. I’ve really enjoyed using my iPhone over the past 2 years but I along with many Apple users were a little disappointed when the iPhone 5 was announced recently. I think I wouldn’t be writing this post if Apple had just made their screen half an inch wider but everyone has their reasons.
Besides the lack of innovation normally prevalent in any of Apple’s new products there are a few specific factors that have pushed me down this path:
- 4G! iPhone 5 does come with 4G as well to be fair though. Rumour has it the 5 does not support all the LTE frequencies that Samsung does so if you’re on Optus you might get a nasty surprise. (TBC)
- Increased integration with Gmail – I switched to Gmail last year and it was a great move as Hotmail was pretty terrible. I’m looking forward to synching my contacts/calender across web and mobile platforms and only requiring one copy of everything.
- Improved camera software/hardware – Definite irritation with Apple’s current setup and as far as I’m aware the only change with the 5 is to include panoramic abilities; something Samsung had a while ago.
- Google Maps – I understand why Apple have brought in their own Maps to the game but it will take them 2-3 years to bring them up to a level that’s even close to Google’s. I’d rather continue to use Google Maps until then and even after that it will be another feature integrated with my Gmail account that will be useful to have synched (favourites, standard routes etc). Note: Google Maps is not available on the iPhone 5!
- Apple are a little too big for their boots right now – The improvements to their hardware is phenomenal but the once supreme have fallen behind on innovation. I’m hoping a few customers moving away from their iPhone will persuade them to invest more into future R&D. Besides, competition is great for End User, that’s how we got here in the first place!
- NFC – Apple claim there’s no point in it but plenty of people are interested in being able to tap your phone to your friends to share a picture / pay a restaurant bill. This technology isn’t just a gimmick and Apple may have backed the wrong horse in this race. If you’re not sure what NFC is you only have to look as far as your Smart Rider / Oyster card to see an early version of the RFID technology it is based on.
- Physical Connector – It’s been useful that so many people have owned Apple products. Whether an iPod, iPhone or iPad the connector has been the same and if you run low on battery someone near you will generally have one on hand to borrow. Now there is a new proprietary connector that I’m sure will come super cheap on Ebay from Hong Kong but it is yet another connector to buy. The Galaxy S3 uses micro USB just like my Kindle and Digital Camera which means I already have several spare connectors lying around to leave in the office or in my laptop bag.
- Will all my apps be available on Android
- Will purchasing all my apps again be expensive?
- Will the hardware be worse than iPhone 5?
- Will Jelly Bean be difficult to get used to?
- How long will ‘the switch’ take
- Will the phone be too big for my pocket?