A review of the iPhone 5
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
With the iPhone 5 being announced on September 12, fans of Apple and smartphones in general were eager to see what new features will be unveiled.
The previous iPhone, the 4S, was revolutionary in bringing in new voice recognition software called “SIRI.” This software allowed the person to talk to “SIRI,” which uses voice recognition to carry out the user's commands. Users were eager to find out what this new iPhone 5 would bring.
The answer was, “not much.”
The hardware portion of the device does sport some changes, with higher resolution thanks to its new processor, called the Apple A6.
The new screen is slightly larger, and the phone itself is more lightweight than the older versions, although it isn’t really easy to tell upon first glance. The operating system, however, is what brings this to a new low.
Called “iOS 6,” it has been plagued by problems from the start. A less detailed map designed by Apple with GPS navigation by TomTom has replaced the maps app, formerly provided by Google.
While the GPS feature is still there, the app does not offer details of buildings or any shaded areas, such as parks, that are available on Google Maps. It also has fewer directions for public transportation services, which means that the new app won’t support directions for buses like MTD.
Since Google owns Apple’s competitor, Android, it is not surprising that Apple decided to change the maps feature. Apple has since apologized about the new maps application and has stated that they will correct all of the problems.
The Google-owned YouTube app that was prevalent on former iPhones has also been removed, although a standalone app of YouTube can still be downloaded. There are also bugs in the music app, as it can continue playing during phone calls.
Overall, the new operating system would be neat, but it is not really finished yet. Perhaps after a couple of updates, it might be able to get the job done. One wonders whether this operating system would have been released in this condition had Steve Jobs still been at the helm.
The fierce competition of today’s smartphone market leaves little room for these types of mistakes.
Among the competitors standing to capitalize on the iPhone’s flaws, the biggest is the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Released this past May, it has become one of the best-selling smartphones of all time, being run on the Google-owned Android operating system.
To some, when compared to the IPhone 5, the Galaxy S may seems to be a copycat of the IPhone, since both of them have 4G capabilities, have voice recognition, and both 16GB phones cost the same price without the use of a network.
However there are some extreme differences. The Galaxy had 4G capabilities first, it has a much larger screen than the iPhone, almost covering as much as the phone itself, and it also runs at a much smoother rate, especially when a person is multitasking on the smartphone.
So is the iPhone 5 worth it for those who are looking for a new cell phone? Well, that depends on what that particular person wants. The hardware is a neat touch, since it does not weigh a lot like the older iPhones, and has a faster processor.
The problem, however, is the timing of the release. The Galaxy S III was released just a few months ago and has all of the features of the iPhone, and then some.
In the long run, personal preference is the deciding factor: iOS, or Android? Without its popular iOS and existing fan base, it would be difficult to imagine this phone garnering much excitement.