iOS5: innovating like a boss!
iOS5 is underwhelming, and getting ahead by leaching off the work of others (just like a boss). WWDC2011 this morning brought a number of announcements from Apple. Most of them were pretty unexciting, but the most unexciting, were the announcements about iOS5. Out of the 200 "new features" in iOS5, they picked (presumably) the 10 best to highlight what Apple’s greatest minds have been working on for the last year or so. As far as I can tell, the features are either things they’ve borrowed from other apps available at the app store, or are copies of jailbreak functionality that was only created because it should have been in iOS in the first place.
Let’s take a few of the features:
Apple is now going to aggregate notifications in one place, so that they can be accessed as and when you like, and will be available on the lockscreen. So no longer will they randomly appear while you’re doing something else demanding attention, nor will they equally randomly disappear defeating the point of having notifications in the first place. They will always be available, either on the lock screen or on the springboard. Sounds a lot like lockinfo or intelliscreen to me, but without also providing the kind of information that does not come up in a notification – for example calendar and weather information, or a list of your upcoming tasks.
This allows iOS devices to message eachother. Exactly like Viber in the app store – or BBM on Blackberry for that matter.
Apple has made a todo app. Shall we add it to the thousands already in the app store? It is location aware you say? Yep, so is every other to do app in the app store. Now, if this would allow you to make a to do directly from the email app, I might get a little bit excited. However, that would actually be useful, and I’m not sure Apples in the business of being useful.
This is just the ability to sync with iTunes over wifi. You’ve been able to do this on a jailbroken iPhone for a long time using an app called "Wi-Fi Sync", available in Cydia.
Hardware Camera Button
You can now take photos with the volume up button on the side of the phone. If I recall correctly there was an app in the app store that allowed this until Apple removed it on the basis that it was "confusing". Apple must have clarified this now. This functionality is also available for jailbroken phones, along with using hardware buttons for all sorts of other things.
I don’t know about you, but if that’s the best Apple’s got, then my recommendation would be for them to open source iOS, and let some real developers innovate on the technology. Either Apple is out of ideas, or the fact that everyone will buy an iDevice regardless of features means that software innovation is a wasted overhead.
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