POST A COMMENT

89 Comments

Back to Article

  • simi13 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I could swear I am on 9to5mac.com (I read anand and that daily), hahaha. A very nice review, though. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    It does fail to mention a glaring omission in the OS, though: repeating, AUDIBLE notifications of MISSED CALLS.

    This was inexcusable in version 1, but after five or six years, Apple's phone still lacks an important, common-sense feature that was found on cell phones in the '90s. Aren't people sick of missing time with their friends and families because they didn't find out they called until the next day?

    Your phone is on its charger on your dresser, and you're taking a shower when someone calls; the phone gives one little chirp immediately after the call and never again. WTF? If you missed the call, it stands to reason that you're going to miss a single noise right after it. The thing should (OPTIONALLY) notify you periodically that someone called, until you cancel the notification.

    Even more bafflingly, Apple added repeat-notification controls for TEXTS. So if there's an emergency in my family and my parents want to get in touch with me, we're assuming they'll TEXT me? Brilliant, Apple. You have to wonder what kind of retards make these decisions over there.
    Reply
  • eallan - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I hope Apple adds the option for people that want it, but man, that is one specific complaint.

    I don't think I've ever wanted the feature. Just wake your phone up after a shower? Whats the big deal?

    I think that may be the most rare complaint about iOS. Hardly makes them "retards" for not adding a specific niche feature. Relax
    Reply
  • Booster - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    "I don't think I've ever wanted the feature. Just wake your phone up after a shower? Whats the big deal?

    I think that may be the most rare complaint about iOS. Hardly makes them "retards" for not adding a specific niche feature. Relax"

    Sorry man, but it IS a big deal. Who in the hell would want to wake his phone periodically? Don't you realize how stressful this is? You'll never get to 'relax' knowing someone might have called or texted you etc. You'll be constantly checking out your iPhone and over time this will drive you crazy. Not a small matter by any means and surely not 'niche', since every freaking user suffers from this.

    If iPhones were really that good, they'd have a dedicated LED indicator for missed events and sufficient options to customize alerts, but they would be off by default so idiots wouldn't complain that their iPhone is bugging them. Leave it disabled by default, that's fine, might even add a warning before activating alerts, but this feature just needs to be there, man.
    Reply
  • Bob-o - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    > If iPhones were really that good, they'd have a dedicated LED indicator

    Agreed. It was only last weekend, when my neighbor was showing off her new 4S, that I realized you couldn't just look over at the phone to see if you have a txt/email/voicemail waiting for you. Something my Treo 650 used to do just fine.

    As great as new phones are, it is amazing how some of them have taken steps backwards in many little ways.
    Reply
  • robco - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    That's all well and good if you're home alone, your phone rings, you aren't available, you find out when you return. However, I do recall back in the day, being in a public place, someone's phone rings in their purse or jacket, they're off in the bathroom or in a meeting or something. Not only do you have to listen to their phone ringing, but then you have to listen to the audible beep every so often and that can get quite annoying. Convenient for you, not always convenient for those around you.

    Honestly, get into the habit of checking the phone when you've been away and out of earshot. One quick tap on the sleep/wake button will let you know if you've missed something. Otherwise yours is the phone people are going to want to smash with a sledgehammer because it's beeping every few seconds.
    Reply
  • Booster - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    "Honestly, get into the habit of checking the phone when you've been away and out of earshot. One quick tap on the sleep/wake button will let you know if you've missed something. Otherwise yours is the phone people are going to want to smash with a sledgehammer because it's beeping every few seconds."

    I'm more concerned with my personal psychologic wellness rather than with what irritates the others. Then again, why not include the feature but disable it by default? Morons won't even care to enable the cornerstone feature of any mobile device, but those who care - they will.

    You probably don't realize how retarded the 'quick tap' concept is, how extremely inconvinient for the user. Why should he or she pimp the damn square button every now and then? There is just no excuse for not really caring about end users.
    Reply
  • snuuggles - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Hmmm, I think you are too-quickly dismissing a valid point. I mean, there are actual laws about car alarms that go off repeatedly because they are so amazingly annoying. I think your repeated noise idea is along the same line. A dedicated light might be a better compramise.

    Honestly, you seem a little unhinged, I somehow doubt that adding this single notification feature will allow you to have better "personal psychological wellness."

    Maybe you should get rid of the phone if it's that important. Unless you are a doctor or the president, being reachable isn't *that* important.
    Reply
  • kezeka - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I am in medical school and I can personally vouch against doctors wanting to be within earshot. If we aren't on call (you would have a pager for this) then there is no reason to constantly check the phone. There are instances where I can see it being necessary.

    That said, I leave my phone completely silenced all day, every day and just check it periodically to see if anyone has tried to contact me. If they have, I call them back. It isn't worth breaking your concentration to be completely on top of things (insert link to any number of articles suggesting the human brain is horrible at multitasking here).
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I actually am with MobiusStrip here. Different people use their phones in different ways, and I'd appreciate a more aggressive reminding of missed calls.

    A similar problem (which I reported as a bug a year ago, but which is still not fixed) is audible notification of text messages. Suppose you have your phone connected to a BT headset or headphones, and a call comes through. The phone is smart enough to realize that it should still ring the phone speaker because you may not actually have the headset or headphones plugged in. But it does not extend that same level of intelligence to other notifications, most obviously text messages --- but I think also Skype or Viber calls.
    Reply
  • willstay - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Exactly. Few of my friends complain that if they miss that email chirp, and that email notifications do not show upfront, they are going to have to actually run the email app to see if there are new emails (or remember unread counter from previous).

    LED notification is better suited for this kind of notification. Unfortunately my phone doesn't have one but comes with amoled screen and there I found free app that actually displays contact pic of person I missed call/text/email/yahoo/viber/whatsapp from. A quick glance from afar and I know if I missed anything.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    While I sympathize with your issue, I've been an iPhone user since 2007 and not even a single time has this been a problem for me.

    The fact is, my phone lives in my pocket even while at home. If I'm the shower, the phone is on the counter in the bathroom, usually because I'm listening to music or a podcast on it.
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I for one will never, ever install one more piece of Apple software on my "PC". They can thank itunes (and quicktime) for that. Buggy, almost malware-like acting crap. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Go away troll. If you don't care for Apple, don't bother commenting on an Apple article. Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I totally agree with you. What we need is segregation, a separation of Windows and Mac users. Screw the Linux users cause really they suck anyways. I'll go as far as to suggest we segregate idiots from average to knowledgeable users as well. All future reviews and articles should specify exactly what type of users should be allow. We all know people don't cross-platform use PCs, less know about them and the apps.

    Doing it this way it would be way way more fair. I'm serious, lets do it!
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    LOL why? Maybe they will rethink their magic and make it more magical! I'm so glad to get rid of my 3gs for a GS2.

    I've owned computers for almost 20 years. In all that time, I have never, ever used software that blatently prevented simple common sense functions. I guess it is Apples form of computer DRM.
    Reply
  • simi13 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I only use iTunes for music, on Windows. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Well... itunes is pretty godawful. Reply
  • Bansaku - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Uhm, I have been using iTunes, Safari, Quicktime and Software update in Windows since XP, and have found it to be 100% stable, NO bugs, and works like it does on my iMac. I call BS, Troll! Reply
  • kylewat - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Quicktime is pretty annoying. Not sure it is malware like but very difficult to disable. Then again; you don't have to install quicktime. Reply
  • anubis44 - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    MobiusStrip, your point is well-taken. It would be nice for Apple to make incessant missed call bitching an option, but I take issue with your attitude. Only an a$$hole needs other people and machines to prod them in the a$$ every 5 minutes to do things. Try taking responsibility and check your godam phone for messages after your shower/bubble bath/whatever. No wonder the Chinese are leaving the West in their dust. With such lazy a$$holes like you being broadly representative of our spoiled, self-entitled civilization. Try being pro-active and less reactive in your life and you'll see amazing things happen before you know it. Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Have you guys noticed any weird issues with WiFi sync? It seems that whenever I would unplug my phone, iTunes would start freaking out because it couldn't find the phone. That's pretty obvious why... it's no longer on the network since iOS only keeps WiFi alive while plugged in. It would constantly pop up an error about being unable to find my iPhone or iPad.

    Not to mention leaving "Open iTunes when this device is connected" would cause iTunes to constantly open up... even when closed. Turning this off caused my device to enter some weird limbo state with iTunes. Plugging it in gave me an error, "Another iPhone has sync'd with this computer." The only options were to restore or setup as a new iPhone. A little Googling revealed that the only option was to hit setup as new iPhone and quickly unplug the cable.

    It worked, but now my device just comes up as "Apple iPhone" instead of how it used to.

    I really don't like iTunes.
    Reply
  • kezeka - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I just straight up cannot get it to function with my iPad 2 and MBP. I have tried pretty much everything I can think of without any luck. Not that it bothers me that much, I would just like to have it working to simplify the syncing of the two. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    There are two things you might want to try.

    (a) Shame on Apple for not making this clear, but you have to go to iTunes and, while the phone is plugged in, toggle the "Sync with this phone over WiFi" checkbox. It is not set by default, and when you try to sync on your phone, the phone gives a useless error message rather than telling you this setting needs to be toggled.

    (b) You have to ensure that your phone in on the correct wifi network. If you have a modern Airport base station and have a guest network setup, you must ensure that the phone is NOT on the guest network --- best is to tell the phone to forget the guest network. This makes perfect sense --- the whole point of the guest network is to contact the outside world, without allowing you to contact machines on the local LAN.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Guys, I think devoting graphs to gains of 0.1s is... mmmm.... we French say "sodomozing flies". I think the coclusion is 1- don't do graphs for irrelevant sutff (especially, not lots and lots fo thm) 2- a 0.1s improvement is not forth more than a "slightly speedier" comment in passing, and 3- those times are so low to start with, lobel them "very good", and talk about some interesting ?

    I know benchmarking is fun and all, but we're well past the point of irrelevance.
    Reply
  • dingetje - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    hmmm we dutch say f**king Ants.
    it seems u french are way more pervy than us ;)
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    In depths of northern England we go for sheep - but I think that is a lifestyle choice rather than pithy phrase describing graphs!! Reply
  • Samoht - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    interesting.. in danish it's called flyf**king. Maybe the translation from french to danish didn't carry all the way over ? Or maybe we do not need the specifics;-) Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    What they show is that there is no difference, which is kind of their point. Reply
  • grkhetan - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I didn't know AnandTech did software reviews... I have been coming here every day since the last 3-4 days to see the iPhone 4S review, but finally I see here is an iOS5 review. But even this was high quality as your hardware reviews are -- I love how you go into detail of everything and don't cut back on prose. With hardware your reviews are unmatched in the industry considering your technical depth.

    Anyway, nice review and great coverage. However, when is the iPhone 4S hardware review coming out?
    Reply
  • Blaze-Senpai - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Go read an iPhone 4 hardware review; it's basically the same thing. The only (physical) changes are minute and you'll get different bar charts. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I disagree. Anecdotal reports better antennae reception in the 4s over the 4. Also the internals are almost completely different between the 4 and the 4s. Reply
  • Andrew Rockefeller - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    ...but then again, I come here for the info that I don't/can't get elsewhere. Is there really any need for yet another review on a spec bump? What magical new insight could be added to the dearth of info already available??

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=iPhone+4S+review
    Reply
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Well, reliable comparisons of battery life and antenna performance would be good start. Reply
  • LordSojar - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    It's the Android notification system we've had for years with a few minor tweaks. Wow, Apple sure is revolutionary.

    Why isn't Google suing them again? Oh right, because Google aren't a**holes... my bad.
    Reply
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I thought Android was "open" and even GPL/Apache licensed? Hard to sue anyone doing what the license allows them to do, really. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Oh please just stop already it's getting old. Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    "Why isn't Google suing them again? Oh right, because Google aren't a**holes... my bad."

    Presumably because Google don't have a patent on the idea. Why not?
    Maybe there is prior art? Maybe Google just didn't get a patent?

    Either way, throwing out random statements as you are doing is not informative. The law has its flaws, but it's not just a popularity contest. If you have something useful to say about the legal issues go right ahead, but what you have said is not helpful, implying as it does that Google would never sue over patents. To take an example, if someone started copying pagerank or the adwords system, I expect Google would be suing them the next day.
    Reply
  • Yann Bodson - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    The music app new design is inspired by the old Braun vinyl players.
    http://www.wearesuperfamous.com/wp-content/3511586...
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    There is a lot to admire about the new OS, and to be fair to Apple, the iPhone has been the class of the field since it first came out.

    Problem is that the field has raised their game. The rest of the field has no hang ups about making sure their phone works well with lots of software not just "Apple approved" products - particularly Microsoft products (I am not going to start on the Flash argument - lets just say it is an example of the closed universe that Apple wants).

    Simple fact is the overwhelming majority of businesses run Microsoft products and in particular Outlook and exchange servers. If Anandtech cannot the iOS 5 calender to work with Outlook consistently what hope is there for the rest of us.

    Great as a home phone, fantastic for kids. No better than B+ for business

    More positively I really like the Apple philosphy of getting all their mobile products working the same way, there will be loads of people with mobile phones and iPads and an MP3 player of some sort. I would take issue with the idea that make OS upgrades "PC free" is a novel concept. The iPad 2 probably has more processing power than the office machine I used 7 years ago, so the concept that freeing updates from the PC is revolutionary is feeble. The real question is why did it take so long to achieve such an obvious step.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    Funny because many of here at this Exchange shop use iPhones with our work email just fine, calendar and all. In fact, it works quite nicely.

    We have our choice of company phones and it's extremely rare for anyone to pick anything but an iPhone. I'm sure that would be different if it didn't play so nicely with Exchange.
    Reply
  • myxiplx - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Just a note, my 3GS is far more responsive since installing IOS 5 than it's been for years. It's not just application launch times, popups, and notifications are a lot snappier, there's a definite reduction in the lag that's been creeping up over the last year. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Wow, I have found it lags a bit more than ios4 Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I'm still running iOS 4.0 (can't upgrade easily due to jailbreak for tethering) and its not all that bad once you disable Spotlight search. I'm hoping they have an untethered Jailbreak for iOS 5 soon, though. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    Surprised you missed this large flaw. iPads will not receive iMessages sent to your cellular number, just iMessages sent to the email addresses setup in the iMessage account.

    This is a huge flaw. What has already happened to me is people using their iPads have missed messages for many hours since they were addressed to the cell number and this then isn't devlivered to the iPads.

    Why would apple miss this huge functionality gap? It means now I have to remember to send iMessages to email addresses to be sure the person will see it in a timely fashion.
    Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    That explains why I never saw any of the "iMessages" that a friend sent me the other day. I was wondering why they didn't show up when I poked around the Messaging app on my iPad. I assumed all you had to do was sign into the same iMessage account to share everything. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    That's all you have to do for things to work, however there's a catch that I mention - both devices have to be configured to have the same iMessage "Caller ID." This is why the default Caller ID is set to the iMessage "Apple ID" email account, and also the other catch is that your sender has to then be talking with that contact.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • kylewat - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    This simply is not true. It's ridiculously easy to have it sync with the iPad you just have to have the contact information in settings correct. ie Have your phone number in the settings. Reply
  • windywoo - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    If Apple is just now implementing features that have been around on other phones why do their products always get such high scores in reviews? Why is it acceptable for Apple to trail in features while Android handsets will be marked down if there happens to be a flicker in the animations? Don't tell me it's because Apple does it so much better because that's subjective at best, and to my mind dishonest.
    All the features implemented here fix major usability flaws in iOS that really contradict the general view that Apple's products are the easiest to use, but for some reason Apple has got a pass from reviewers like some favoured, hobbit haired child.
    I would like to see fewer double standards. We are talking about a capitalist, profit driven corporation, I think they can stand to be handled a little less gently.
    Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Here's why

    http://dinnerwithandroid.tumblr.com/post/115710967...
    Reply
  • windywoo - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    That article is a prime example of what I'm talking about. Subjectives passed off as objectives. Until recently the android browser was ahead in any benchmarks yet he claims it's slow. And in any case, Android gives a choice of browser if there are any rendering errors. Safari is not without its own flaws, and when it does go wrong you're stuck, because Apple doesn't allow other browsers.

    He finds Widgets useless, but doesn't appreciate that other people might not and Android allows them the freedom to spend battery juice on trinkets like live wallpaper if they so choose. Why is it that Apple users always consider it an advantage to have Apple make decisions for them and will pay over the odds to be nannied?

    The market argument is almost entirely irrelevant. Let's leave aside the fact that he can't have looked very closely if he thinks there is no software on the Android market, the same argument used to be addressed at Macs. Apple fans would claim then that the quantity didn't matter so long as the major functions were there. Apps are a con anyway. If consumers weren't so gullible, many of them could be written as web apps, making platform irrelevant. But consumers are dumb. They like being fed nuggets of code like junk food.

    He lists the good things at the end so why does he consider them less important than what he sees as faults? The answer is of course, fawning subservience to the mighty Apple.
    Reply
  • Phynaz - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Who told you Apple doesn't allow other browsers. I've tried at least three alternatives, and my current browser is Atomic. Reply
  • name99 - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Let me just point out that obsessing about numbers can be counterproductive. Let me give you an example:

    No phone reviews (yet, anyway) measure the speed of the file system, the speed of launching apps, that sort of thing. But we all know from desktops that, for most purposes, what makes a machine feel fast or slow is not the speed of the CPU, it is the speed of the disk.

    So, suppose one is using a phone where most of the storage is an SD card (which are, or at least can be, quite a bit slower than the internal flash storage iPhone uses). That's not going to show up in benchmarks like Linpack, or Sunspider, or how fast the GPU is --- it's not going to show up on ANYTHING that current reviews benchmark.

    Now, does this make any sense? The single most important determinant of perceived performance is not being mentioned? You can either close your eyes and say "la la la, I don't care", or you can face reality and accept that slowness in IO leads to general complaints about "feels sluggish".

    And, look, it is STUPID of Android fans to ignore these complaints. Presumably you want your phones to feel fast, right? So what is more likely to get manufacturers to install faster flash in their phones?
    - a bunch of people saying "what performance problem? The speed of our phones is perfect in every way. Heck, don't change anything ever"
    OR
    - a bunch of people saying "yeah, the phone is nice in a lot of ways, bnut damn it feels slow when I perform the following operations"
    ?
    Reply
  • _tangent - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    That blog illustrates Apple's greatest achievement in technology: convincing people that choice only serves to complicates matters. The browser comparison is a perfect example. There are browsers available which perform far better than the stock android browser. On an SGS2 (7 month old handset), firefox comprehensively beats the new 4S is JS benchmarks. Yet the blogger behaves as if visiting the market and downloading a third party browser is a complication too far for the average smartphone owner.

    I wish people would stop evangelizing the dumbing down of technology. There's nothing wrong with engaging your brain a little to get the best out of your tech. Too many people are bought into Apple's belief that we're all a little too stupid or too busy to think. iOS is to technology what pop is to music: instant gratification for very little investment of time or effort. But ultimately the same rules apply to everything: you get out what you put in. And on that topic, the author of that blog can't have put much effort at all into looking for apps, because i have never struggled to find quality games/widgets/etc on the android market.
    Reply
  • kylewat - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    _tangent,

    I believe you represent the worst in IT evangelism. The reality is that simplicity is what people want; and choice does serve to complicate matters. It is probably hard to understand how complexity makes things harder because it allows people to get involved. When people get involved 'complexity' creeps in. It's very difficult to fight. Apple's achievement is getting rid of complexity.

    How often does a good project good bogged down by feature bloat? You go to a certain new product because it is sleeker and simpler, yet does everything you want. Then someone starts adding 'features' and a few years later the product is slow and complicated. Someone has started making a new product that is small and fast.

    This is what enabled Apple to enter any market they have entered. The mp3 market was complicated; iTunes made it easy to share music (especially on university campus' for anyone who was alive in the early 2000s.) and the iPod caught on.

    The same thing has happened to basically every major invention. Over time, simplicity and best practices trump 'choice' which allows people to get in the way.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    Do you know what my friend's favorite thing about switching from Android to iPhone is?

    How much better the browser is.

    So much for benchmarks, eh?
    Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Products like smart phones, tablets, and computers are multi-faceted beasts. An overall evaluation of each is what reviewers typically strive to determine. Apple is not perfect by any stretch, but taken as a whole the products are quite good. What you perceive as media bias, is actually just Apple making great products. Reply
  • windywoo - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    No, what Apple make are products which are simple, and pleasing to the eye. They "just work" because they restrict the user in how much they can do, and therefore limit the amount of mistakes they can make.They usually trade off on other features such as customisation and flexibility. Then they add in the missing pieces as they go along. Why is this Apple method so beloved of reviewers? Why handle them with kid gloves for such obvious flaws that have just now been fixed? No-one applauds Fisher Price for simplifying things. Do Apple really deserve such praise for putting stabilizers on a bike and then taking them off when their users are suitably indoctrinated? Reply
  • tbutler - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Because, just maybe, Apple designs products primarily for people who are willing - and often even *happy* - to trade maximum customization and flexibility in return for simplicity, fewer hassles, and limiting the possibility for mistakes? Heck, I've been using computers since the late 70's and consider myself a fairly experienced user, and I still like having a platform I can just pick up and use with a minimum of fuss.

    To answer a point further upthread: Benchmarks and feature checklists are suitable metrics for people who view benchmarks and feature checklists as the primary reason for using a platform. For those who think UX trumps raw performance or features*, not so much. And how do you quantify UX?

    *(A feature with a UX that makes it more trouble to use than the benefit you get from the feature is a null feature in my book.)

    For example, let's talk about the PlayBook, which I was able to grab for $200 recently. To back out of an application and return to the launcher/task switcher, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This leaves your finger in a good position to either swipe between apps, or tap an icon to launch. Offscreen controls are typically located in a toolbar you reveal by swiping down from the top of the screen; again, the gesture leaves your finger in position to do what you want.

    Compare this to Honeycomb, where the home icon and app drawer controls are on complete opposite corners of the screen; the same sequence requires going to the lower-left corner to return to the home screen, upper-righte corner for the app drawer, then back to the center to select an app.

    One platform feels fluid, with one action naturally leading into another; the other feels interrupted, with your finger jumping all around the screen. How do you reduce this to metrics for a review? Measure the number of inches your finger has to travel across the screen?
    Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I have just read the one linked article and I must say I have to agree quite a bit save for the "Sharing" experience. I do have a Gingerbread phone and only an iPod Touch on the IOS side (besides my main phones are a Palm Pre for the "business" stuff and a Nokia 6310i for the phoning part).

    The Android phone, while allowing for a hell of flexibility, just feels clumsy compared to the other smart devices: animations are not fluid, the UI of all non-Google applications feel like design by blender; about every single app looks vastly different and most don't provide any classy feel, save for Wunderlist, which must be the most wonderfully crafted Android application out there.

    Apps get swapped out erratically while other uninteresting tasks stay in -- why the heck does CSipSimple get swapped out several times a day while Maps launches itself? Managing running apps is a royal PITA on Android while it is supposed to be a "don't care".

    The Android market is utterly swamped with crap; it's about impossible to find decent apps and even more so without annoying ads all over the map. There really needs a separate right "Displays Ads" rather than "Full internet access". Also the market is not really helpful in finding good apps compared to the App Store. I've literally hundreds of very good apps and games, about 90% of which didn't cost me anything, on the iPod while I'm really struggling to hit 10(!) solid ones on the Android device.

    Then there's the standby time. The Pre and the iPod have SIP accounts XMPP registrations over WLAN up for over 2 days, the Pre even with UMTS on. The Android phone will need a recharge after less than one day, without cell or GPS reception on yet it has the largest battery of all devices.

    Then there's usability issues, maybe caused by vendor modifications (but fragmentation is also another con rather than a pro), like when you plug in USB while the phone is locked is will display the USB selector but you can't select anything until you use the hardware buttons to get to the hidden lock screen and disable the lock first...

    I was about as psyched to get the Gingerbread thingy as much as I was to get the Pre and and my iPod but I really hoped for a *lot* more than I received. There're so many inherent problems in the Android platform that I'm certainly not going to let me lure into trying Android another time soon...
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Repeat alerts indefinitely until read or dismissed.
    Set ringer based on location and date/time.
    Set WiFi & Bluetooth based on location and date/time.
    Reply
  • name99 - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    I agree. Have you reported them as bugs to Apple?
    I've submitted maybe 30 bug reports and feature requests regarding iOS5 and iCloud over the past few days.

    Having worked at Apple for ten years, I know: engineering is DRIVEN by bug reports. If you submit a bug, especially if lots of other people are submitting the same bug, it's pretty likely to get handled before the next release. Feature requests --- maybe handled --- sometimes they agree, sometimes not, sometime it's just a low priority.
    But random rants on blogs --- unlikely to change anything unless some Apple engineer happens to read your comment and think "fantastic idea".
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    "Repeat alerts indefinitely until read or dismissed."

    This is a feature, not a bug, to everyone else in the world that doesn't want to hear your phone make noises endlessly because you aren't in the room.

    "Set ringer based on location and date/time."

    Agreed, this would be nice.

    "Set WiFi & Bluetooth based on location and date/time."
    I find this unnecessary. I leave both of those on 24/7 and always make it through the day on a single charge. Push notifications and location uses far more battery than those two and having them turn on/off based on location is going to cause more battery usage than just leaving them on all the time.
    Reply
  • ddarko - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    "Unfortunately, iTunes Wi-Fi Sync asks that your phone be connected to a power source for the feature to work. This shouldn’t be too hard to grasp considering the massive power drain issues people would have inevitably faced had it not been otherwise."

    A quick but notable clarification in the review which gives the impression the wi-fi sync function requires a device to be powered to work. It needs to be plugged in to work automatically once a day. However, a device can manually be synced over wi-fi without being plugged in. Go to settings -> general -> iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and hitting the Sync Now button.
    Reply
  • darkpaw - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    On the last pic in the find my friends section, you blurred out the account name at the top,. but not where it appears again at the bottom of the screen. Reply
  • teetee1970 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    You mentioned the newton force etc to take a picture. You can actually take pictures now with the headset using the up volume button. So you could hook up to a tripod etc or set the phone down somewhere and click away as fast as you can press the buttons on the headset. You could probably use a bluetooth up volume button too. Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I've yet to have WiFi sync actually automatically sync my phone when plugging it in for the night. Perhaps iTunes must be left running on the computer, but that kind of defeats the purpose of automatic sync; I'm not going to leave a bloated app like iTunes running 24/7 just in case my iPhone decides to sync.

    If this is a requirement, WiFi sync will be largely useless for me until they can at least have a service launch iTunes on the PC when the phone wants to sync.
    Reply
  • ddarko - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Yes, iTunes has to be running for the wi-fi sync to initiate automatically. No, the iOS device won't launch and then quit iTunes.

    One other thing I've noticed is that leaving iTunes running with wi-fi sync enabled is an enormous power drain on the battery on my iPhone 4. I've noticed my fully charged phone will be down to 40% charge by the morning. Of course, if you leave the iPhone plugged in all night, it will still be fully charged in the morning but apparently, there's a lot of power-draining activities going on between iOS device and computer during the night. This is one reason I've decided not to use auto wi-fi sync since I don't want to keep iTunes running and unnecessarily using power overnight. I still like the wi-fi sync option a lot but I manually sync wirelessly and then quit iTunes.
    Reply
  • Geigco - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I was a Palm/WebOS junkie since it came out.

    "A company that executes consistently may not be competitive on day 1, but after a couple years of progressive iteration it may be a different beast entirely." sums up what WebOS failed to do successfully.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Thanks for including results from previous iOS versions to see the evolution in performance as well as the analysis of iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 performance.

    http://www.barefeats.com/iph4s01.html

    I was wondering why GPU benchmarks weren't included? The results at Barefeats show that Apple seems to have much improved GPU drivers in iOS 5 compared to iOS 4.3.5. Devices seem to show around a 25% improvement in GLBenchmark for instance. It would be good if you could validate this result in GLBenchmark and GLview as well as add in the iPhone 3GS which Barefeats is missing.

    And do you know how GLBenchmark's online results database reports it's scores? For each device, in the details they seem to list multiple GPU driver and OS versions, which makes me think they are using a running average of submissions. Seeing performance changes with OS version, that would make he GLBenchmark online database very inaccurate. It's great that you are able to run the benchmarks on your own devices so that the results are unambiguous.
    Reply
  • MyTechLife2 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I haven't seen many comments about the disadvantages of using iMessage. Here's some I've noted:

    iMessage costs more when not on wi-fi. I pay a flat $6 per phone for everyone in my family to have UNLIMITED SMS/MMS. Or if I use iMessage while away from Wi-Fi, it counts against my LIMITED $15/200MB per phone data plan.

    Also, I've found SMS to be more reliable than data service in congested and rural areas. Try posting a Facebook status update or any other data service from a crowded football stadium, vs. using SMS. SMS always wins.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Most people don't have it like that. But then again, most normal people use Whatsapp. It has really been a revolution for me and my friends.

    P.S. I have 50 sms free per month, and 1GB of traffic.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    iMessage packets are very small though. You would have to send on the order of 8000 iMessages per month to use even 1% of your 200MB plan. I'm guessing concerns regarding data plans are also the reason why Apple implements compression for iMessage MMS's when even one client isn't on Wi-Fi. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    That's true, however we've measured and talked about the size of iMessage messages - read/delivery reports are 53 bytes (which is literally almost entirely just overhead from JSON and APNS), and messages range upwards in size from there up to 853 bytes before being fragmented across a few different APNS.

    By that math, it's going to take 245,856 maximum length (853 byte) iMessages to eat up your 200 MB data plan.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    iMessage defaults back to SMS if it hasn't been sent after X seconds. In theory, this means you shouldn't have to worry about congestion because Apple thought of this for you. Reply
  • FoTacTix - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    I was hoping for a battery life comparison in the review. Maybe I missed it? My battery life seemed to be much worse with imessage turned on on my Verizon iPhone 4. Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Great review!

    The most important update for me was mirroring to the Apple TV, and I think Apple would sell millions of Apple TV's if they promoted this.

    I enjoyed airplay before, but now that it works with every app is incredible.

    I enjoy being able to put everything through my stereo and TV. Things like Pandora, MOG, videos, games, etc. is so nice and very easy. Garage Band is actually fun now that I don't have to plug into my stereo. No other product can come close to this. I have several Apple TV's now throughout the house and can control everything from my iPad.

    It makes me wish that they made a 16x9 iPad. (But with my TV's I'm able to do a little stretch so it's not so bad)
    Reply
  • jsd6 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    You can easily delete items from Reading List - swipe to delete on iphone/ipad, click the "X" icon on desktop Safari.

    You can do Wifi sync without being plugged in - it just isn't automatic. The wording on the iDevice is definitely confusing. As soon as your device is within wifi range of your Mac, the device will show up in iTunes as if it were connected via a cable. You can click Sync on iTunes, or initiate it from the phone. I've actually found to be too slow for my tastes so I stick with the cable. At least now the phone is still usable while the syncing is happening. That's a big step in the right direction!
    Reply
  • Galatian - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    The one thing that really made me angry about the iOS update was the removal of the multitouch gestures for iPad 1 owners. I mean it worked in iOS 4 through an Xcode developer account, so Apple can't even say that the hardware is not powerful enough, like they do with Siri.

    What is even worse is the fact that they changed their website AFTER the update has been releases and people started complaining on their support forum. Now the American site states it is an iPad 2 feature only. Strangely enough the UK, Canadian, German, ... still quote the general iPad.

    Also the change log for iOS 5 update never mentions this to be an iPad 2 only feature.

    Apple has been known to artificially outdate their products, but they have down so quietly. This time they actually announced something and are now quietly changing stuff so it fits their business model...dumb move if you ask me.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    I agree there was not a good reason to do that. I wouldn't want to be without multitouch gestures on an iPad. I never use the home button except to turn it on. Reply
  • lurker22 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    So there is no fix?

    I have to remember to send messages to people using their email address in order for it to be sure and deliver to all their iOS device? Which means I have to know what phones all my friends use which is nuts.

    Why doesn't iMessage just route imessages sent to a cell number to all the values associated with the apple ID?
    Reply
  • name99 - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Truth is, there are a HUGE number of rough edges associated with iCloud and all the related services. A different set of examples would be the duplicates of events in calendars, or the duplicates of contacts in Address Book; and there is no consistent mental model for how data is supposed to behave "in the cloud and on devices". Mail behaves one way, calendars and contacts another, iTunes music a third --- and I don't think any human understands how Notes are supposed to behave.

    My HOPE is that this is all teething troubles --- Apple was faced with a deadline --- they needed to get iPhone 4S out by a certain date --- and iCloud was rushed before various bits were quite ready. If this is so, hopefully we'll see the worst discrepancies resolved in iOS5.1 and OSX 10.7.3 in three months or so.
    And if not --- well, that is NOT a good sign. Apple's whole value proposition is, of course, "it just works". And while Android seem unlikely to compete on that front soon, it is possible (not inevitable, but possible) that MS might actually get it right in Win 8, right enough at least to become the new press darling, the company whose cloud offerings make sense, unlike Apple whose every product behaves poorly and inconsistently across the cloud.
    Reply
  • unixfg - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I don't really understand your claim here:

    "So regardless of how and where you’ve gotten your music from, if its there on the iTunes Store, it automatically gets legalized and added to your account..."

    Do you mean to imply there is no distinction on Apple's servers as to the source of your Music? I know the AAC files you buy have a tag linking it to your account, and can't imagine they wouldn't keep track of the source.

    That aside, I don't see how it would "legalize" anything. I'm a huge fan of your articles, and hate that this is the first time I've felt the need to register and comment, but...

    <citation needed>
    Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link


    Unfortunately, iMessage still isn’t a clean break since it’s limited to the confines of iDevices (and not even the desktop, yet), and it’s no way to make friends to tell people they’ll need at least an iPod Touch to text you.


    It's worth remembering that Apple also did not say, on day one, that FaceTime would be available on desktops. In fact they announced
    - FaceTime for Phones in June 2010.
    - FaceTime for iPods in Sept 2010.
    - FaceTime for Macs in Oct 2010.

    I'd say, given the FaceTime experience, there is no reason to assume iMessage for Macs won't appear as soon as Apple feels the time is appropriate. (Who knows when that will be, but it will probably be thrown into, to spice up some Mac related announcements, rather than just appearing silently in OSX update 10.7.3).

    The limitation to the Apple world may be a bigger hassle longterm, at least in terms of wanting to avoid SMS charges. I guess if you have lots of non-Apple using friends, you need to stick with Viber and suchlike.

    The REAL attack on the telcos comes when
    - FaceTime offers a voice-only mode AND
    - Apple offers VoIP transport to foreign numbers (like Skype does)
    My guess is Apple has plans for both of these, but they'll be introduced at the point where the Telcos no longer have the power to screw Apple over (which Apple probably feels requires a larger critical mass of customers than they have today).
    Reply
  • alpha754293 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    How does the new iOS affect battery life? Reply
  • techloverLA - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Hello,

    I own a Mac that recently got the iCloud upgrade. I turned it on and registered a new .me ID just to try it out for fun. Later when I turned it off, it gave me the message that "turning off iCloud will delete all iCloud data from the Mac. User can still access iCloud data with other iDevices." That scared me a bit, as I thought all my calendar/contacts on my Mac will get deleted. I logged on to iCloud.com and found nothing has been sync'd, so I went ahead and turned iCloud off. Nothing happened to my existing data on Mac. However this makes me wonder, does turning off iCloud wipe off data from the advices? I don't own an iPhone, but am considering one. However I don't want to have to delete data from my device should I choose not to use iCloud. Do you find that true in your test? Thanks.
    Reply
  • RosiePerkins - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    I think that if you are so pedantic as to worry about mising calls constantly. Or enough to be thrown by the fact there is no 'repetitive and annoying' alerts, then you should either get into a habit of constantly checking your phone. Which you would be if people were ringing you so often that you always miss calls or text messages.

    You're being rather lazy by expecting a feature in an already highly advanced phone to compensate for you not wanting to hit the wake button. If you are then unsatisfied with the way you have to wake your iPhone now and then maybe you should reconsider ever having it leave your person. This way there is no need for features that would cause stress for every one else around you.
    Reply
  • IndyJaws - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    Thank you for one one of the most thorough recaps/reviews I've seen on iOS 5 - excellent work!

    One thing I'll share with others at the risk of looking stupid...I couldn't figure out why iTunes kept launching on my 2 computers for no reason at all (phone was not connected at the time). I'd shut it down and it'd start back up, seemingly randomly, from time to time. Silly me, I had iTunes configured to sync to iCloud, but to still launch iTunes when the iPhone was connected. So...the wireless sync would kick in (at intervals much more frequently than I would have expected), causing iTunes to launch. Clearing that checkbox fixed the issue. Just an FYI in case anyone else runs into the same issue - I'm sure there are others, but not willing to admit it!
    Reply
  • mashimaroo - Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - link

    Mirroring in the iphone 4s and ios5 makes doing presentations on my iphone so much easier. I can simply connect it with a vga connector or a/v connector to my aaxa p4 pico projector and im good to go. I can use whatever docs goodreader or keynote. i can even play games with it and stop staring at my tiny phone screen. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now