Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple plays catch up...

Or.... "The all-new iPhone 5"
Or.... "The new iPhone XLT"
Or.... "The innovative new device everyone else was already making...."

OK, so maybe I kid, a little.

But honestly, let's look at what's "new" here.

4" screen - Done 2 years ago, and a new 4"+ phone is released almost every day it seems.
Also, didn't Steve Jobs once say “3.5 inch handset size is the “sweet spot” for mobile phone design; big enough to produce detailed, legible graphics, but small enough to fit comfortably in the hand and pocket.”  I guess things change.  Maybe people evolved bigger hands in the last 2 years. To be fair, different screen sizes work for different people, which is what makes Android and all of its choices so great in my opinion. To each his own, size.

16:9(ish) - Again, Steve Jobs didn't like 16:9. Thought it was only good for movies. Times change I guess. I am a little surprised that their solution to resolution change on older apps is to letterbox. I guess they'll be pushing devs to update to the 16:9 ratio so they don't want to make it too complicated in the meantime.

UPDATE: Something else that's been bugging me about the iPhone is the display. While Apple unquestionably produces a phone with a great display, it still surprises me that they stick with a 640 horizontal line display. With almost all of today's manufacturers producing a 720 line display I find in interesting that they are sticking with 640. Obviously the benefit is transitioning apps to the new longer display more easily, but it just seems like having 720 lines gives you 'more' when it comes to video. Most HD video is 1080p or 720p, so scaling down to 640p implies a loss of some lines of resolution.

Headphone port on the bottom - Not sure that the Galaxy Nexus was the first, but it sure had that last year when it came out. It makes sense too. I'm pretty sure everyone puts their phone in their pocket upside down right?  Only fitting to put the port on the bottom so you can be plugged in while its in your pocket without switching things around.

Panorama photograph mode - Had that on my Galaxy Nexus last year. Check

LTE - Done early 2011.  In Apple's defense, there was no rush to be early to the party... as other than Verizon almost no one has a substantial LTE network in place anyway. No penalty for the late arrival.

Sharing tabs between mobile and desktop - Chrome Browser / Android Browser. Check.

SMS response when declining calls - Android. Check.

I'll give Apple some points for making it lighter, that's for sure. In terms of making it thinner, well its 18% thinner but its 18% longer, so no points there.

Also, while I completely understand them going with a new connector, the adapter they are showing just looks absolutely redonkulous.

UPDATE: The adapter is $30!  Ouch. That's a lot of extra cash coming Apple's way for everyone with an existing dock....

All in all, Apple is finally updating the iPhone to what consumers have been demanding for more than a year now. A 4" (or more) 16:9 screen and, for some, LTE. A lot of the 'new' features won't seem all that new to Android users, but with Apple's focus on litigating, it must leave little time for innovating!  Obviously, no one has touched one of the new iPhone 5's yet, so no one can comment on the performance of the processor, camera, or any of the other software features. They might turn out to be incredible, even if many of the other features are today's standards.


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