Okay, so, I have pretty much zero interest in the new iPhone set to be announced tomorrow, the iPhone 5. After using the new iPad (iPad 3, whatever) for a few months now, I’m right back where I started regarding iOS. It’s a very smooth, responsive, and kind of, sort of easy-to-use mobile operating system that’s not nearly as intuitive nor as consistent as its fans like to assert. It’s also terribly limiting for me in some very important ways.
First, iOS has no local file support, which makes things like editing synchronized offline documents almost impossible. On my Android devices, I have a local folder that’s synced with Dropbox via the excellent Dropsync app, and I can edit documents whether online or offline, save them in place, and they’re automatically synced with my other devices. It’s just about impossible to do the same thing in iOS, with the only real alternative being to use iCloud and iWorks, but for someone who’s committed to Microsoft Office that’s not much of a solution.
Second, I can get most of my important information at a glance on my Nexus 7 home screens, such as new emails, weather, Twitter and Facebook updates, upcoming tasks and appointments, and many others. On the iPad, I have to open each relevant app one after another. It’s tedious and inefficient, and frankly I value my time more than I do pretty animations.
So, for those and other reasons, I’d never even consider an iPhone 5 over the options, and that includes Windows Phone 8. However, this post isn’t really supposed to be about why I’m not going to buy the iPhone 5. It’s meant to express my sincere desire that Apple surprises us all tomorrow and announces a new iPhone that lives up to the incredible hype that’s surrounded the thing all year.
Now, I understand completely that they hype has really never been justified, for this or just about any other consumer product. But it’s impossible to argue that the tech and popular media don’t go well and truly overboard when it comes to hyping the next Apple gadget. It’ll sell many millions of units in an initial frenzy and then a slow burn, and people will line up around the block, but I have to ask: what’s so great about the thing that drives presumably rational people so crazy?
As far as we know today, the iPhone is going to have a larger screen to compete better with Android smartphones, it will have 4G LTE to compete better with Android smartphones, it might have NFC to compete better with Android smartphones, and it will run iOS 6 that doesn’t really introduce anything new and that does seem somewhat aimed at better competing with Android smartphones. In other words, the iPhone 5 might not be innovative at all, but rather looks to be almost entirely derivative, essentially copying what makes Android smartphones so popular.
I hope Apple proves me wrong, and introduces something incredible. Because otherwise, I’m going to think people really are shallow followers of trendy fashions rather than discerning individuals prepared to objectively evaluate the alternatives before plunking down hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a product just because it’s “new and improved”–like laundry detergent.
Am I all wet? Let me know in the comments.