After saying I’ve learnt from previous experiences downloading operating system updates on release days, I am ashamed to admit that my phone has iOS 6 and my Mac upon which I am typing this has a spangly new install of Mountain Lion 10.8.2. What can I say, I had some time to kill.
Time I needed because it took well over an hour to download iOS 6. I think this is because of the “world and his wife” effect, though it could be my connection as a friend of mine did his at the same time and it downloaded in two minutes, and his connection is usually ropey (bastard) I wasn’t brave enough to download the update on the phone itself, so it was old school dock cable and iTunes all the way for me.
Aside from the time taken all went swimmingly, I had to remind myself to be patient and not start unplugging things before it had completed. I backed up everything (iOS & Mac) before hand. Just in case.
So it’s there… is it different? Is it good?
Well its a little mish-mash to be honest, which is not something I expect from Apple. There are some well implemented features such as “Do not Disturb” which lets you set a time where your phone won’t tell you if someone has liked your Facebook status or if they are calling you if you don’t want. Set the times and you are good to go and sleep, punch the spaniard or do whatever else it is you do.
Maps on the other hand appears to be a dogs breakfast. No I’m not complaining because I can’t get turn by turn on my iPhone 4. I knew that. It looks awful, taking ages to render map tiles (in hybrid view) even on wi-fi, yes I am aware my iPhone in phone terms is looking decidedly like a middle aged man trying to hide a bald spot and flirt with a 18 year old nympho named Mindy, but still. Thats not even the worst of it. A search for Manchester United Football Club points you to Sale United’s ground and according to this BBC News piece, whole villages have moved.
The Man Utd thing is a little unfair perhaps because if you search Manchester United FC you get Old Trafford so worry not loyal Man Utd season ticket holders your iPhone/iPad will get you from Surrey to the theatre of dreams… when you have done with the Madejski Stadium it will also get you to Old Trafford. However you would expect a search for Football Club and “FC” to come up with the same things. Whole villages moving, not acceptable.
I currently am not impressed with the new App Store. I think (or hope) this might be a familiarity thing. At the moment it feels like they designed it for the iPad and then thought “Oh shit iPhone… doi” To me it feels like you have to slide around just a little too far, on a bigger screen maybe one just slightly taller this would be…. oh Apple.. I see what you did there. You want people to get iPhone 5 so everything is designed for iPhone 5. Gotya. However I haven’t had to sign in with my Apple ID to download app updates yet, which is less hassle, but less secure. Hmm.
I like being able to tweet direct from the notification screen. I like being able to send people a message if they are ringing me and I can’t answer, in just two taps. iMessage under iOS 6 plays very nicely with Mountain Lion now, with all contact methods (emails, apple id, phone numbers) being lumped in together to provide one conversation chain from device to device. iPhone 4 is not compatible with any of the siri improvements or the panoramic photo modes so I can’t comment.
This is a free upgrade, and provides many new features some of which I haven’t used yet, some I’ll never use. The maps app is the one that will hit the headlines and be one for the Android Army to use in their “iPhone sucks” arguments. I am confident that Maps issues will be resolved, but for a showcase launch of a new app on a new OS it should have been so much better.