Apple's iOS 4 beams into unprepared world
Folders? Fine. Multitasking? Meh
First Look Apple's much-vaunted iOS 4 arrived Monday morning a few minutes after 10am Pacific time, and nearly an hour and a half later, we were finally able to complete downloading and installing Cupertino's latest and greatest mobile OS onto our iPhone 3GS.
Yes and no. We first took a look at multitasking and the new folder interface, and the "no" part of our answer has more to do with third-party developers than it does with Apple.
Remember that multitasking — one of, if not the, most anticipated features of iOS 4 — is app-specific, meaning that developers need to add multitasking capability to their apps before users can take advantage of this new feature.
When we accessed the iTunes App Store to find out which apps had updates, we were faced with a dozens of updates to apps we have on our iPhone. Unfortunately, the App Store doesn't date updates, so it was impossible to tell at a glance which were new on Monday and which we simply missed over the past few weeks.
Left: even poorly multitasking apps such as iDisk appear in the multitasking UI
Right: audio controls and a rotation lock are available in the leftmost pane of the side-scrolling UI
So we picked a few of our most-used apps, downloaded their updates, installed them, accessed the multitasking UI by double-pressing the Home button, and chose from recently launched apps in the side-scrolling list at the bottom of the UI. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the app we had most hoped would be ready out of the gate — Pandora — was now quite nicely multitasking-capable. Y! Messenger appears to work just fine as well.
Others were a mixed bag. Kindle relaunched each time we accessed it from the multitasking interface, as did Labyrinth, Fieldrunners, AP, and Mactracker. Bloomberg hopped back to the last feature — search, for example — but not to the most recent search result.
Oddly, it being an Apple app, one would expect that MobileMe iDisk would behave itself, but if you open, say, a Word file in iDisk then switch to another running app, when you go back to the iDisk, that file has disappeared and you're back to the root file list of your iDisk.
As might be expected, the iPod app and Pandora won't play concurrently. And Shazam had the odd effect of turning off Pandora — so it's impossible, for example, to identify a tune being played in Pandora by wrapping your headphones around your iPhone's microphone.
Next page: How 'bout them folders?
Please can we put a stop to these inane 'my [insert name of device] has been able to do this since [insert date I downloaded a hacked ROM for xdadevs]' comments?
Fine, so the N900 can do lots of things. But it's a shite smartphone. The thing weighs more than an iPad.
If the N900 was so fecking great, how come the only place I've ever seen one is actually at Nokia? Mostly because most people don't want to look like a dick holding a small computer up to their faces.
You may love it. You may also love recompiling your own kernel and furious onanism. But please, can you stop with these pointless comments?
Wow... that was quick.
While I accept that the iPhone is really popular and does a lot of interesting stuff, I am always amazed by what it can't do. For example, setting the wallpaper, setting a song from the media library as a ringtone, create playlists on the go and so on. These are things that I assumed pretty much every phone in that class would be able to do. Many phones have been doing it for a long time, so in fact it is conspicuous by it's absence. if I got an iPhone, not being able to do those things would surprise me.
Now maybe people don't miss those things. Maybe they are not important to you. Maybe a lot of people don't use them. Maybe other manufacturers have something to learn here - in that it is worth taking everything out then adding it back later for a premium.
But to be blunt, if you are going to talk about exciting new feature X you have to expect that some people will wish to point out that feature has already been done. Apple often claim to have re-invented the wheel every time that an update is made, other people seem to be frustrated / bemused by the way that people buy into this - getting excited about something that everyone else has been doing for a long time.
What's your opinion the Nokia version of cover flow, on the upcoming N8? Let me guess... the important point is that you iPhone has been able to do that since...
Virtually every smartphone fresh from a box can do everything the iPhoney can and more. No need to hack anything; that is really only required to circumvent what Apple doesn't think you should be doing on the iPhoney.
A good counter
All those "my 'phone has been doing that years" comments are a useful counter to the hype every time Apple adds something that's been around for years but gives it a new name so it will appear they invented it.
And it's not just with the iPhone.. Remember "spaces" ... a crippled version of virtual desktops that Linux had for years?
And then "there's firewire" and "airport" ...
BTW, a neighbour of mine has never used WiFi because, "I never go near an airport!"
I'm tempted to tell you that I've seen your not so beautiful girlfriend naked, numerous times, but I wont.
I'll leave it to the rest of our football team to tell you themselves individually.