So here as promised is the follow up article reviewing iOS 5 beta. In this article I will be focusing on the negative aspects of the new software. Before I get started however I do want to address some of the comments that I received from my last post.
I can appreciate how with the title given to the article people may presume that I am an Apple fan. Whilst this is indeed the case, I am also open to other platforms and I currently use an Android phone (Xperia Arc) as my own phone. I have also had extensive use of Android tablets, Windows Phone 7, Blackberries in various different guises and I use a PC every day. I feel that this gives me a thorough understand of Apple’s place in the the mobile software sector and I am in no way biased towards iOS devices.
With that housekeeping out of the way lets crack on with the cons of the latest iteration of iOS.
Ease of update
For anyone has had the opportunity to use developer-focused software, this is something that you will have experienced. When software updates appear, you may have to jump through various hoops to get the device working correctly. Whilst the benefits out way the issues it is incredible frustrating to have to effectively wipe your device and start from scratch on order to do the updates. In addition to this as I am testing for a developer and not the developer my self I have needed to have my UDID registered in order to test the device on the new versions. In order to actually get the software onto my device this has involved me downloading new software from the web for both my iPad 2 and also my Mac as otherwise this will not allow you to use iTunes to sync correctly. As I have already stated the benefits for me do out way the cons however I wish it were much simpler. The good news is that this will not be the case once Beta testing is complete and you will be able to update over wifi on the device and just update iTunes as you would normally.
I did unfortunately notice that on the beta 4 software I did get a bug that would manifest itself constantly. What happened was that it made the top eighth of the screen lose it’s alignment this was a huge pain as it meant when trying to enter something into a search field in any program I had to be very careful where I was pressing the screen. It reminded me of the days gone by when resistive screens where the norm and you had to recalibrate your screen once every few months. I can confirm that on the fifth and sixth version of the beta’s this is no longer an issue.
Not all features enabled
I have also noted that the feature that are the headline features do not all work straight away. An example was the Twitter integration as this did not come online until version three became available. The same can be said of iCloud which even now is not as far as I aware fully operational yet. You may recall that I mentioned that the Reading list function of the browser would be able to match up your lists over the air with all devices, this is not something I have seen evidence of yet and this is partly due to the lack of iCloud not working fully at the time of writing. I also had issues getting my apps to re-sync OTA after doing the most recent update and had to rely on a cable sync to get all my apps back on. I have seen that iCloud is still in beta testing on my Mac as well so I am presuming it is close to be available.
iTunes match not available in the UK for launch
This is something that has already been written about by others and I a, a bit dismayed that it will not be something that we Brits can use straight away but hopefully be the new year we will be good to go, as soon as someone has lit a fire under the music labels to get them to allow it here. Here is a link if you want to know more about this http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/icloud-complete-guide-50004014/
So those are the things that have been giving me a little bit of trouble with the beta testing however I am finding that the platform is stable and works well at the moment and it has to be very close to ultimate release now. I do have to advice that due the beta nature of this software I cannot recommend that it is used as your OS if you need your device to just work in the way that we expect our iOS devices to work. This is something that if you are wishing to play with then you need to be aware of as it could cause some major frustration to you as a user.
The new version of iOS defiantly brings some very welcome changes to the device and it will help it keep it position as a market leader, but Apple need to be careful not rest on their laurels as if they do then the rug will be pulled out from under them by either Google or Microsoft as these two other platforms are rapidly catching up to the high standard that has been set here. In some cases Android is already better than iOS but it is also let down in others, I also believe that Microsoft will be a real threat in the very near future. Don’t forget though there are plenty of others waiting in the wings for there time to shine (dare is say it Web OS).
What this means is that this is a great time for us the buyer as it gives us a vast range of choice of platform but for me iOS is we’re it is at for now.