The Pros and Cons of iOS 6

iOS6 Update
iOS6 Update

So it’s that time of year when Apple presented the new iPhone to the world with a unique keynote (others would call it a sales pitch). Aside from mentioning the new iPhone 5 now that everyone is talking about it, let’s focus more on the iOS update. Even though there are camping lines outside Mac stores in Asia and Australia to purchase the iPhone 5 , the rest of the world is updating iOS on their previous iPhone versions.

There are quite a few features that have changed in iOS 6. The thing that has stirred up a few loud opinions is Apple’s move to discard Google Maps and replace them with Apple Maps. Although indeed there is a 3D mode to view these maps, there is no street view and the UI seems a bit more austere when it comes to hybrid view.

Apple Maps vs Google Maps
Apple Maps vs Google Maps

Another move from Apple is to have removed the pre-installed YouTube app. Yet on the other hand, iOS6 now has a native Facebook app; among other things, this allows for you to directly share your media from your camera roll onto Facebook, as opposed to previous iOS versions in which you had to pull your media from the Facebook app. These changes have driven some to believe that there is an alliance between Facebook & Apple to try to keep Google out of the competition. Now if we all remember the part in which the late Steve Jobs vowed to crush Android because of its “stolen” technologies, well, there isn’t much room for doubt.

Another very interesting improvement is that now Siri speaks other languages, including Spanish. You can also include other voice commands, like Tweeting via Siri.

Tweeting with Siri
Tweeting with Siri

The App Store has a whole new UI and even has recommended apps for you to download. It no longer asks for your Apple ID password. There are plenty of other sutil changes you’ll notice as you navigate through your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If there are any you like or I didn’t mention, please drop me a line and I’ll make sure to include it in this post.

What is your opinion of iOS6? Would you stay with the previous version if you knew beforehand?

 

Facebook’s App Center, Switzerland of Apps?

Facebook’s user volume presents so much opportunities, that a lot of them, perhaps even the Facebook staff or Zuckerberg himself haven’t discovered yet. One of these opportunities was app development and support. It has been done for quite some time now. However, Facebook had much more potential than that. It has now announced that it will become an App hub. This “App center” will be the app shopping mall to go to.

Fear not, Facebook is not in on it to become the new king and major competition to Apple, Google or any other app store out there. It rather is the place to go to no matter what device you have. Just like in a shopping mall you can find hundreds of different stores and brands, Facebook App Center will offer these options.

Once you enter the site, you can select the device you are handling and will automatically be redirected to its main app center; if you have an iPhone, you’ll be redirected to Apple’s App Store; if you have an Android device, you’ll be redirected to Android Market and so on. Not only is it a handier place to look for the latest trends and your favorite apps, but it is also a better place to compare prices (if any), ratings, quality and just how many people are actually using certain apps or not. It is a more critical, user friendly place in which you can better trust your friends’ judgement instead of the biased opinion of their developers.

Now, if Facebook’s App Center doesn’t charge users a penny extra, what does Facebook gain out of it? Just like regular Facebook apps like Farmville and the like, Facebook credits can come into play. Although this won’t mean an extra cost for users, it will mean a commission cut from manufacturers and developers. Impressive right? What will they think of monetizing next? Stay tuned.

Flash, iOS 5.0.1 and other Demons

It was a week full of technological developments and some managed to alter the caffeine levels in people’s blood streams. Between Adobe’s killing-flash announcement and Apple’s new iOS release, things are a bit sketchy for the mobile world.

First things first. Adobe has been the sole benefactor of Flash development since the mid 90’s, yes, that is before the Internet bubble. You could say it has built an empire and monopoly around the technology. But truth be told, innovation is not only about coming up with new versions of the old stuff. Innovation, after all, is about breaking paradigms. Flash was invented and developed to portray and develop animations and video content within the PC world. What came to be the mobile phone development wasn’t quite well calculated by Adobe.

Nevertheless, Flash continued to build its empire in non-PC devices without really taking into account one very important factor: mobile = small. Indeed, mobile translates to small everything: smaller screen, smaller processor and smaller capacity. A certain someone saw this window of opportunity and along came HTML5. Although young in nature, this new technology has managed to shake Adobe to its core, so much so that the company has pulled Flash from mobile and smart TVs just to pursue the big H.

How does this affect the mobile world? Well, if you turn on your Android tablet, don’t panic, you’ll still be able to watch videos supported by this platform. But eventually it will become a dead technology. No development = eventual death.

Ironically enough, it wasn’t that long after Adobe and Apple had announced their kissing and make up. Was this a dirty play on Adobe’s part? Unlikely. As mentioned earlier, Adobe is dropping the technology just to pursue HTML5, which was the only technology supported by Apple itself.

Apple has enough on its hands at the moment as it is. After the big 4S + Siri launch, all of us with the cute new gadget had come to terms with the very fragile battery life it has. If you’re lucky, you’ll cell phone will last 10 hours with a full battery. Reason? Bugs in the new iOS system. Solution? iOS 5.0.1 just to cure the little insect. Outcome? Well… it doesn’t look any better so far. My battery still runs out at the same rate it did before the upgrade, so what did you really do Apple?

After my rather strong argument against Blackberry and then switching to iPhone, I can’t really complain. Low battery or not, it is technology at its purest and most advanced meaning. So, cheers for all things mobile!