Jun 12, 2011

iOS5 – A Lame Catch-Up Or A Final Blow To Competition?

So what do you think of iOS 5?

The cynical will say Apple is simply catching up with the competition (mainly Android and BlackBerry). On the other hand, who else has all of those new capabilities, on top of a superior user interface and over 80% of tablets market-share?

I'll help you with the answer: No one does except for Apple.

iOS version 5 does not innovate, but for tablets market it may mean a final blow to competition (that is, until something new comes in of course…).

The Mobile Spoon has collected the features that seem to be taken inelegantly from other platforms. You will be able to find Android and BlackBerry of course, but also Windows Phone, Windows Mobile (yeah! even that goofy thing!) and others:

Notifications Center (Source: Android):

Android Notifications Bar can now be found in iOS 5. Weird sentence, but If there is one thing Android does much better than iOS is handling notifications, alerts and different kind of popups which are all presented in this drop down curtain. iPhone was never great with notifications but now it has a very similar drop down curtain with all recent alerts and notifications.

notifications-320-100 features_notification_overview

Improved Lockscreen (Windows Mobile 6.5):

iOS new improved lockscreen mechanism was a must have change. Here, again, the idea was first introduced by another company – in this case: Microsoft. Windows Mobile 6.5. includes a similar mechanism for unlocking the device while at the same time jumping directly to the location of the on-screen notification (see image below). Apple took this idea and enhanced it. There is no other modern mobile OS that can do that these days (yes, I know I just mentioned Windows Mobile – but it's not modern…)

mobile65lock_lg ios-5-lock-screen

BTW, Jailbroken iPhone users are familiar with this concept which was available through Cydia for over few years now (using apps such as LockInfo for unlocked phones).

Gestures-based Multi-Tasking (Source: BlackBerry PlayBook):

When I just saw the new gestures I immediately thought to myself… hey, I've seen that before… the source of this one is the QNX multi-tasking style, which can be found in RIM's latest PlayBook tablet…

I'm actually very happy Apple stole this one: iPad's multi-tasking is horrible, I just hate this double click on the home button – it's slow, not fun to use, everything which is not Apple style. The gestures seem much more elegant, intuitive and fast.

ipad_gestures

Thumb Keyboard (Source: Motorola Xoom):

Another Android feature which can be found in the Xoom is now part of iOS for iPad. This one is a good feature, but again, not too original…

Xoom-ThumbKeyboard

Camera Improvements (Source: Windows Phone 7):

Camera improvements may be required and important, but the biggest change is that you can now access the camera directly from your lockscreen (Just like… Microsoft WP7, isn't it?) or use the volume key to take a picture…

In Windows Phone 7, Microsoft demanded that the hardware vendors will include a hardware button to start the camera from any location. This is one of the coolest WP7 features (especially when you have tons of small kids you want to picture whenever you get excited about them doing something banal every kid does…). This feature doesn't mean it is that simple to take a video (for non-WinPho7 experts that is…) and now it's not only Wp7, it's iOS too.

Twitter Integration (Source: Microsoft Kin's Social "Spot"):

The ability to submit just about everything to Twitter reminds me of Microsoft's "Spot" which used to be part of the social networking features embedded in the known Kin phones (which were a huge failure eventually as you all know…). The "spot" allowed you to easily share content in twitter and facebook by dragging a special dot into the sharable area.

Screenshot20100412at10_11_14AM

 

Reading List (Source: InstaPaper):

Reader/Reading List is a nice feature, however it's clearly the same as using InstaPaper.
Once again, Apple added a good capability, but without innovating too much.

Location Based Reminders:

Location based reminders – while this may sound as a great innovative idea – there are plenty of Android apps that are doing just that, and for quite a while now: location based alerts and reminders are great if you need your phone to notify you in case you are passing by location that relates to one of your tasks (or personal "Todo's"). I've personally experienced a few Android apps which will send you those kinds of notification if you just ask…

features_reminders_location

 

iMessages (Source: BlackBerry Messenger):

Last nail in RIM's coffin? This killer feature will probably make many iPhone users happy while creating a crisis between Apple and the cellular companies… Still, probably one of the most important new features in iOS 5.

features_imessage

 

OK, so just to wrap it up, a lot of new features – all of them can be found in such way or another in at least one leading mobile operating system which is not iOS.

 

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