Monday, March 04, 2013

The iPhone 5: Boring or Reliable? – A factual Rant

Apple iOS

At first, the iPhone was revolutionary. It changed a market forever, created a new category, and brought with it a great interface. It's now been six years, and some say iOS, iPhone's operating system, has become a bit tired, but others, including myself admittedly disagree, saying that the familiarity is part of the draw, and the consistency is unmatched.

As a technology writer, I've definitely seen both sides of this. One of my best friends, an Android fanboy, teases me on my stagnant operating system. He shows his latest and greatest Android phone, and asks “Can you do this?”. Often though, it's a feature that's not quite vital, like NFC (near field communication) based file transfer.

Here's my response to him, and all those out there like him who complain that iOS is tired, old, and just plain boring. When I got my 85 year old grandfather an iOS device, he mastered it in a week, and he's been enjoying it over his computer for the past two years.

The fact that the OS is so simple that anyone can master it is not a drawback. It's a benefit. The fact that whether you're one, or 100, deaf, blind, whatever you may be, you can use iOS. One Apple-produced video showcased a blind man given the ability to hike thanks to a specialized app that led him through the forest. He now hikes all the time. iOS is enabling.

To all those that call Android much more "free and open" than iOS due to a few hack-ability aspects, think of the 99% of people who aren't hackers. How free and open is your platform when it changes so often, and so radically that millions don't even know a feature exists, or how to use it?

iOS is certainly a bit tired. It's had the same look and feel for six years, adding only the notification center and other minor elements, but through third party apps it has evolved so far beyond what it began as. Remember that in the era of devices like Blackberry, you were stuck with the phone you had. Nothing ever changed. With the iPhone, new and innovate apps come around on a monthly basis, democratically selected on the open market.

When you say iOS hasn't changed in its' history, think of the new possibilities that have emerged. There was Angry Birds, bringing popularity to the casual game. There was instagram, bringing social media to the photograph. iOS has 700,000+ changes in the form of apps, but unlike Android, they leave you the choice as to how you want your phone to change, and provide you with consistent upgrades in performance without confusing you with the latest and greatest interface changes.

In conclusion, the iPhone and iOS itself is not boring. It's consistent, and reliable. It's an agent of choice, letting you choose what you want in your phone, and it's a constant, offering regular updates more consistently than Android phones, delivering an excellent experience out of the box, and with every update. Which operating system you choose to use is your choice, but iOS is great for a consistent, open experience, and it's time we nerds stopped denying that.

Author: This article was brought to your by Greg Kanith for the company Ace Case who supply iPhone 5 covers to a worldwide audience via their ecommerce store.