THE offline reading function keeps the URL links live on the save paged, allowing you to click through to other areas of the website when you regain signal, something most Android offerings don’t do, instead saving the page as a PDF-like document.
Siri has been given a major, and frankly much-needed overhaul with the ‘voice companion’ functionality extended into new languages and new territories in an attempt to turn the iPhone 4S’s overhyped and under-featured personal assistant up to a useful level.
Given the obsession with Facebook, the need for better integration was a key addition for Apple in its latest operating system, and the iPhone 5 and its older brothers will benefit from a major overhaul of the way in which the social network links up with your handset. The Facebook (and Twitter) functionality feels much more central to the experience this time around, and having the ability to post from the notifications screen feels like an obvious inclusion that works well.
When it comes to the interface on the new iPhone 5, well, there’s not a lot new about it at all. For the uninitiated, Apple’s iOS is designed to be all about simplicity, which is why you’re presented with a grid of apps that can be easily sorted into folders by long pressing on any one and dragging on top of another. This method will also uninstall apps, too, making it a much simpler system than anything you’d find on Android, where you have to jump through a few more hoops generally to create folders and get rid of unwanted software. However, the downside to this trick is the fact that it’s been there so long. If this is your first smartphone (or first iPhone) then you’ll be impressed by the simplicity – but then again, you may wish you had a bit more power under your fingertips.
For instance, where Android is so strong is in its customisation – meaning if you want to have one home screen full of widgets and another full of icons and a third with a massive widget for your music player, that’s as easy to do as just filling the whole thing with icons. With iOS 6 you’ve only got weather and stock widgets in the notifications bar, which is accessed by pulling down from the top of the screen to give information on apps or message that have come through.
It’s similar to that seen on Android phones, but with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), we’re offered the chance to see larger message previews and interact with important parts of apps without having to open them – impressive and a much more intuitive way of doing things!
When it comes to intuition, it is the thing iOS 6 now lacks. Where Apple wowed the world with the simple nature of the original iPhone, the current set up isn’t really that far removed from that first iteration, at least visually. Things like all settings being locked down to one place, meaning you have to jump in and out of the apps to simply do things like alter the amount of days to sync in mail. Ridiculous. Contextual menus have been absent from the iPhone ecosystem for far too long.
(To be continued)