So as some in my “social circle” already know I finally started cheating on Android and got a JesusPhone 5. Here’s some first impressions, granted, I am being rather critical here, I am actually so far quite happy with the iPhone 5…though if you’re an iPhone 4S or 4 user it might not be worth the upgrade to you, I don’t know enough of the details/differences. I’m pretty sure most of the problems I mention below are underlying iOS things, and have nothing, or very little to do with iOS6.
The device itself is so much better finished than the HTC Incredible it replaced, Apple’s design engineering showing through for sure. I think the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung GALAXY S III are both very nicely designed in terms of the hardware itself, but Apple is as usual, just that much better. The iPhone 5 is a far more responsive UI experience than Android. Actually this has been true in my own experience back to at least iPhone 3. iPhone and iPad both feel so much more responsive to UI input, I don’t know how else to explain it. Android feels like you have to punch it a bit to get it to wake up and do something. iOS perks up smartly and goes, rarely requiring more than a moment to get an action started. Animations in the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 are all pretty much universally smoother than Android based devices. Maybe the Galaxy S III finally gets this right though, I’ve not used one, but my Xoom, my Incredible, the Motorola DROID, all share this perceptively “laggy” UI responsiveness that iOS doesn’t give me.
Unfortunately for iOS it’s applications are a bit…scattered. App Store sucks. I mean REALLY sucks. It’s a chore to find anything, searching is a joke at best. God forbid you want to find a specific magazine app say. They’re all in “News Stand” but you can’t easily restrict a search to the news stand, or a category, or maybe at all, so any search is completely global in nature. Settings are such a horrific mess that it’s nearly impossible to figure out where to make changes to common/important things like, oh, notifications. Because you’d think, quite rightfully, that that would all be in Notifications inside the Settings app, except that, mostly, it’s more or less, not. Notification settings are scattered allover Settings, and within the Apps themselves. C’mon developers, one way or the other. Android is WAY better here because they don’t half-way provide app settings in with the device settings, so each app can/must have it’s own settings. So at least you know where to start looking. iOS 6 they could be damn near anywhere. I also got a bit spoiled by the UI nav in Android, back, home, running/recent apps, are all where your thumbs can easily find them. iOS puts varyingly sized “back” buttons at the top of the screen that are often hard to hit, and the Home button does apparently only two things, goes to the leftmost home screen, or, fires up Siri.
There’s also no way to actually organize your home screens like you can in Android that I’ve found. It unhelpfully smashes everything into the upper left corner of the device instead of letting you lay things out sensibly. The only organizational tool you’ve got is multiple screens expanding only to the right, and weak folders. Guess I got spoiled by the HTC Sense UI here.
Oh and, we can’t forget the whole Maps debacle. I’ll leave that alone.