Apple iOS7: Truly An OS For The Sheeple

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you are no doubt very aware that Apple released their latest major OS update recently; iOS7.

iOS-7

This has been much anticipated and as always, the Apple marketing machine has been pimping this thing out for a while. 

In the hours since its release Twitter went mad with peoples thoughts.  Ignoring the major updating issues and “bricked phones”, social media got swamped with happy iUsers who took no time in sharing their joy at this latest update.

“I’m like a kid in a candy shop with iOS7! The flashlight in the control center is money. #love #apple #fangirl”@munnykhera

“I really like the control center, that’s helpful.”@Captain_Ron

The control center mentioned by these tweets is just one of the new features found on iOS7. 

I have to laugh however.  These “new” features on iOS7 aren’t actually new to Smart Phones at all.  My Samsung Galaxy S3 has had a similar Control Center interface since it came out, for example.

In fact, let’s break down the major changes in iOS7 that people are really liking and do a quick Android comparison.

1) Control Center

Ok the control center is good.  Swipe “up” from the bottom and you now have a screen where you can enable/disable core features etc.  You still need to swipe “down” for your notifications on iOS7.  Android has all this in a single screen.  But no flashlight?  You’re right, that’s not in the Android panel, but hey, you can add that as a widget on ANY screen.

2) Automatic App Updates

This is new to Apple?  Really?  Android have had this as a core feature for a long time. 

3) AirDrop

This is a secure, quick transfer system that allows you to “drop” files from one iOS7 device to another.  What a genius idea, but wait, Samsung Galaxy have had this feature for quite a while.

4) Dynamic Wallpapers

This is another example of Apple behind the times.  Dynamic wallpapers aren’t a new thing at all, so why has it taken Apple so long to get them?

5) Multi-Tasking “App Change” screen

Instead of icons, you now have screenshots of your open apps.  And to close them, just swipe.  A very nice looking interface, but i swear it’s almost a direct copy of the system Samsung have been using for a long time already.

iOS7 may look shiny, and it may sound trendy, but it has very little in way of features that are not already available on other Smartphones.  So why all the hype?  Why are people losing their minds over this OS that is still behind the curve compared to systems like Samsung’s Galaxy devices? 

Lynn La (CNET) reviewed iOS7 and the Control Center as it compares to the Android Quick Settings. She writes:

“Don’t get me wrong, Control Center is a notable addition to the iPhone, and it’s easily iOS 7’s best feature. And unlike some critics, I actually like the new, flat look. But when it comes to letting users have more “control” and more freedom on their handsets, Android remains miles ahead of iOS.”

If nothing else, this all goes to show that Apple iOS7 really is the OS for the Sheeple!

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Pass or Fail: Apple Releases Disappointing IOS6 Update

There has been anticipation of Apples realease of IOS6 for some times, and yesterday the world got their chance to grab the latest update. Sadly, the update was not worth the hype it was given.

applemapsThe biggest changes were the exclusion of a native YouTube app (owned by Google) and the replacement of Google Maps with an Apple owned native App.  We are all aware of the “war” going on between Apple and Google over the operating systems, but to drop the worlds #1 and most used Maps and Video Sharing systems is downright stupid on Apples part.

This topic has been hot in the blogosphere over the last day or so, as can be read about on “the verve“, “NY Times” and “Marketwatch“.

Those who updated their devices and tested the maps have found it lacking in every aspect.  There are entire streets missing in some areas and the “fancy” improvements (as Apple would refer to them) such as fly overs and turn by turn navigation are only good if you have a 4S or 5 product, so they have once again left the 3 and 4 users out in the cold.  Those users with the TomTom app on their earlier devices would argue that it has nothing to do with the devices not being fast enough either, it’s simply Apple’s business plan – upgrade your device or be screwed over left behind.

Those users of YouTube will be very pleased with the App that Google created recently that in my opinion is better than the native app that came on the earlier IOS releases.  There is also talk that Google have created a Google Maps app and are awaiting approval from Apple, so the question is whether Apple will do right by their users and approve it, or risk upsetting them en mass.

Then again, history shows that Apple don’t need to go out of their way to satisfy users, as the vast majority will blindly follow them regardless of how good or bad a product they release.

Pass or Fail?

An absolute fail!  The update may be an improvement in the eyes of Apple execs, but to this iPhone user it is a massive step backwards.  Personally as soon as I can i’ll be dropping my iPhone and replacing it with an Android system.

Other stories about the IOS6 Update:

BBC News – New Apple maps app under fire from users
PC Mag – 6 Ways Google Maps beats Apple Maps

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Did Apple Steal Technology & Ideas? Who Really Stole From Who?

Steve Jobs never liked Android, that much has always been known. It is afterall a direct competitor to the Apple flagship product; the iPhone (and iPad).

Walter Isaacson, in his authorised biography of the recently departed Jobs sheds insight into how deep that dislike really went. An extract from his book reports Jobs as saying “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Very passionate words from a very passionate man.

But who really stole from who?

Apple is in the process of suing several smartphone manufacturers who use the Android operating system, claiming breach of patents. Samsung, one of the biggest Android brands in the world was recently blocked from selling it’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after Apple was granted an injunction. That case is ongoing, and Samsung are in the process of appealing that desicion, as well as filing counter-claims against Apple, involving claims that Apple stole technology created by Samsung.

But take a trip back in time, to when this all started; the original iPhone 3.

One of Apples biggest claims is that the iPhone style smartphone was their design, and all other similarly designed phones have “stolen” the idea from them. This is one of their arguments against Samsung with regards to their Galaxy Tab 10.1 and also the Galaxy S phone range. In fact, most touch screen smartphones right now tend to have the same slick style, but does that mean they all stole the idea from Apple? Absolutely not.

It’s very possible that the iPhone 3 was built on a design ALREADY in use by Samsung on their F700 smartphone (seen below).

Samsung F700 vs Apple iPhone

The F700 was first introduced in 2006 and went on sale in early 2007. The iPhone 3, using the allegedly Apple designed style was released on the market in mid 2007, almost 5 months AFTER the Samsung F700.

A report on the F700 vs iPhone 3 goes into a little depth about the style of the 2 phones. Both have similar style, both have touch screens, both have a single button and both have an icon display using a grid layout.

So who stole from who? The article best sums it up by saying: “The answer: no one is stealing from anyone. Apple didn’t invent icons, nor did they invent the grid in which they sit. They didn’t invent the rectangle. They didn’t invent the touchscreen. They surely didn’t invent the nice looking button sitting at the bottom. And last, but not least, they didn’t invent phones.”

Could Samsung file charges against Apple for the very thing Apple are accusing them of doing? Where does this end? Could Ford take Toyota to court for breach of design because their cars use 4 wheels and an engine? Where does the line between an original design and fair game start and finish?

Greg Hughes, creator of the wifi sync app
Greg Hughes with his Wifi Sync app icons

And then there is the story of Greg Hughes, a third-year computer science student who contacted Apple in May 2010 about an iPhone app he created; a wireless sync system that would allow your phone to sync with iTunes wirelessly. Apple rejected the idea claiming it was a security risk, so Hughes has been selling his app for the last year on Cydia, an online store for “jailbroken” phones.

When Apple recently launched iOS5, WIFI Sync was one of the big selling points that Apple has pimped the hell out of.

Greg Hughes was shocked and upset with the news about the Sync on iOS5. “I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for a year. Apple knew about it as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that they had pinched it for iOS 5.” Greg Hughes is getting legal advice on the issue and plans to follow this up. “At the end of the day you have to stand up and defend your work,” he said.

From hardware to software, Apple have been very outspoken about other companies stealing their ideas, yet it appears that Apple may not be entirely innocent themselves.

Dear Pot, meet Kettle!

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Native Gmail App For iPhone Is Coming (rumor)

Native Gmail app for iPhoneAccording to recent reports, it is rumored that Google are working on a native Gmail app for the Apple iPhone.

MG Siegler reported the rumor, saying “Google is on the verge of launching their native Gmail app, multiple sources tell me. In fact, I believe it has already been submitted toApple for review. If it gets approved, it should be out soon. And I think it’s going to be approved.”

I think it’s safe to say that the very suggestion of a native Gmail app is enough to bring a smile to our faces. The problem is, a native email app for Gmail could be seen as direct competition for the core mail system that is integral to the iOS Platform.

“The native Gmail app will likely bring other key functionality as well: like Priority Inbox and one-click starring of messages.” says Siegler in the report, and goes on to say “Other possibilities include some of the stuff Google is about to roll out for Gmail proper: like contact icons, better threading, and deep searching functionality. Maybe there will even be some Google+ integration, which Google is also hard at work on for Gmail.”

A native Gmail app for iPhone would bring Apple in-line with other smartphone platforms such as Android, who have had a native Gmail app for some time now.

Social Media network Mashable is following this story closely and have contacted Google for confirmation. Watch for updates, as news of a native app would be very big news indeed for Gmail iPhone users.

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A Revolutionary Passes: Rest In Peace Steve Jobs

iSadThe world has lost one of it’s truly revolutionary geniuses.  Earlier today the Apple website announced that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. had passed away.

While I would not consider myself a devout Apple user (I do own and love by my iPod and iPhone), I would like to pay tribute to all that Steve Jobs did for the advancement of technology during his lifetime.  His work not only created the standard for what we now use, but has been a driving force in how we all use technology.  His vision to create products that are usable and elegant will live on.

The world will miss you Mr Jobs. 

May you rest in peace.

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