As an Android site, we mainly report on Android news, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a good look at our upcoming competition. After numerous iPhone 5 part leaks, we finally have a photo of an iPhone 5 fully assembled. The big question now is: How will it compete with Android for the next year?
Considering that this is the legitimate photo of the next new upcoming iPhone, there’s some controversy concerning Apple’s next new handset. I have both an iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus, and after using them both for a prolonged period of time, these are my thoughts.
Yes, Android is fragmented like hell. Jelly Bean has already been released and some devices are still playing catch-up with Ice Cream Sandwich. The iPhone 5 is reportedly to finally bring a bigger screen since 2007, somewhere along the lines of 3.8-4.0 inches. This means that developers will have to update their apps to support the new screen size (and possibly resolution), which will definitely take a while. Apps like Tiny Wings weren’t updated to iPhone 4/4S Retina quality until this year, and some major apps such as Pocket God are still not updated to support Retina.
iOS 6 presents Apple’s turn-by-turn navigation, which I have to admit, look pretty good. However, Fragmentation will again exist, as Flyover and 3-D maps will only be available for iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and newer devices. Older devices such as the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 will still receive iOS 6, but they won’t get the full feature pack.
And then we have that 19-pin dock connector. While Apple will probably create an adaptor for you to use your existing accessories, the new 19-pin dock connector will surely raise some eyebrows. For those of us with multiple Apple accessories, doesn’t this mean that we will have to buy a large amount of adaptors? Will it sync data faster? How much will these adaptors cost? For years Android has stuck by the same micro-USB connector for manufacturers all over the world. I’m not saying that the new 19-pin dock connector is bad, as Apple desperately needed to upgrade their existing connector cable, but this will certainly create some problems.
That’s not to say Android doesn’t have its problems with accessories. Since there are a ton of Android devices out in the wild, manufacturers have to create specific accessories for each device. With the iPhone, manufacturers can just pump out one design and call it a day. This new dock connector won’t really affect manufacturers, but consumers who have bought expensive accessories such as Bose dock stations.
Design (Hardware and Software)
In my eyes, the overall design of the device looks the same as the iPhone 4 and 4S, with some minor tweaks here and there. The two-toned backing, new 19-pin dock connector, centered Front Facing Camera, and larger screen are all something that we’ve seen with the Android industry. If Apple continues their tradition, the iPhone 6 will have the same screen size as the iPhone 5, as well as that same old physical home button. Who knows what kind of fancy form factors we’ll see with Android then? I mean, Android already got rid of hardware capacitive keys starting with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android has gone through many UI/UX software changes over the past couple of years. Android 4.0 brought the most radical new experience, with Android 4.1 bringing even more “butter.” However, iOS has mainly stayed the same over the past few years, bringing some changes such as Camera accessibility through the lockscreen. iOS still uses that 4 x 4 page layout in iOS 6, and there’s no news as if Apple will allow 3rd-party developers to build custom widgets for Notification Center.
That’s not to say that iOS 6 isn’t smooth. It’s smooth, even in beta. The UX still kills Android 4.1, but that’s because it has much less features compared to Android. You don’t have the option to customize your homescreen as well as Android, and you don’t have the option to use an alternate launcher. There’s too much to list. Of course you can accomplish this by jailbreaking your iPhone, but you can also accomplish these tasks without rooting your Android device.
However, the iTunes ecosystem is something that is too big for Google to overcome (for now). Apps optimized for iPad severely outnumber the number of Apps optimized for Android tablets (including the Nexus 7), and the Nexus Q…well I’ll just leave it at that.
Apple will still have a record-breaking Q4 this year, and for years to come. Why? Their devices just work. A major disadvantage about Android is that there are an unlimited amount of crappy, laggy, devices out there that can’t complete everyday tasks without crashing or randomly rebooting. This frustrates people, and they look towards the iPhone because it does what they need to do throughout the day. As recently reported, the iPhone seems to be the higher pick for businesses, and that’s because of what I just said: it works. But for us power users, the iPhone is like wearing a diaper while having a toilet in front of you. (Wow, did I really just type that?)
Apple will need to introduce a killer new feature with the iPhone 5, just like it did with Siri for the iPhone 4S. Although most people don’t use Siri in their everyday life, it’s the reason Google Now exists today. Siri presented the technology world with something new, something that people haven’t seen before. Apple makes great products, and I respect that.
AndroidSPIN readers, what are your thoughts on the iPhone 5? And don’t just say “iPhone Sucks.”
This article is purely my opinion and thoughts. This is just a discussion.
Images from BGR