Friday, September 21, 2012

iOS 6.0 or how lost am I?

It's time to poke a bit of fun at Apple, the saviours of the universe.

I've been fooled in the past to update as soon as possible.  When you're running Mac OS X, it usually becomes reasonably steady at the 10.x.4 version and iOS at the x.2 version, which never happened for version 5.

I feel for all of those who were enthusiastic enough to wait for the appropriate time and started downloading the update.  Of course, all of them are having some sort of problem now.  When 6.0.1 arrives (3 weeks from now?), I'm sure I'll be having some sort of problem because I'll probably be tired of waiting and want to download it.  (Update 2012.10.18: No 6.0.1 so far.)

Of course, if there are security updates, we on version 5 won't see them, will we?  That's a !@#$ shame because our devices are just as valuable, and mine (iPhone 4S) is still being sold in a modified form.  When I updated my second generation iPod touch to version 4.1, I only did it because of the security updates.  It certainly wasn't because I wanted decreased performance.  Version 4.2.1 more-or-less resolved things but not well.

I've seen all sorts of talk about the maps being a problem.  Strange, isn't it?  I didn't really have any good luck with Google maps on Android and Apple's app to access Google's maps was no prize either.  Mapquest and Telenav have my interest but Telenav's app is problematic compared to the app on my last 4 feature phones.  However, Google puts things on the wrong block or on the other side of the road, so what's worse? (Update 2012.10.18: I've learned that Apple are using vector graphics and only about 10 % of the data to accomplish their maps, giving us all a chance in areas with no 3G access.)  Update 2012.12.04: I tried the Maps application during a trip to Florida recently and was amused to see I-75 turned into some local road.  Waze was not really good, either.  If I'm sitting at a red light, am I "in traffic"?

I downloaded the YouTube app a while back and it works well, so I expect the Google maps app will work equally well.  (Update 2013.10.29: the Google maps app works reasonably well.  I've only used it once for navigation, although it made some odd decisions. Apple's maps app has been good, though confused in more dense areas.)  According to some Google big wig today (Sept. 25), they aren't planning any app.  That goes against what another said weeks ago.  They could have killed it but to say that it wasn't planned?  Apple's stock price is being hammered on the news.  It's sad that Apple are developing more and more like their competitors.  I appreciated the company for its fit and finish.  Throwing rubbish onto the street and hoping we like it is nonsense, and it stinks.

Were you in line today to buy an iPhone 5?  I read that someone in Australia bought the first one available in a brick-and-mortar store already.  I really don't see the reason to wait in line, especially hours or days.  It's a phone.

I also got the e-mail from Apple, and I saw their press release about amazing pre-order sales figures the first weekend.  Good for them.  When the iPhone 5S arrives, I'll take a look at that, as my contract will be nearing completion.  By then, the iPhone 5 features will be settled and the performance will be improved.  Maybe, it will actually be shock resistant, so I don't need a case to make it 4 times as thick, just to not have it break on a fall. (My Otterbox Defender did a great job when the phone tumbled out of my hand, leaving my motel room.)

Funny how none of my flip phones ever died from a fall and the worst was the Motorola Star Tac with a crack around the antenna housing, but apparently, they all did that.

Seeing what HTC has put out recently, I might buy another Android-based phone, if I can find a display around 4" maximum.  I really don't want to buy a bag of some sort to hold the thing.  I want it on a holster in my pocket.  Of course, if it's only half as thick as the Otterbox Defender case I have, I might be able to handle a longer phone.

Good luck to all of the phone makers, but more than that, good luck to the consumers.

Update 2014.12.05: Here I am with iOS 8.1.1 and there are still navigation issues.

I believe that the TomTom maps need a lot of improvement, even in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I often use navigation from a distance to return to stores I already know, but would have it help me avoid traffic backups.  By the time I'm close, I can generally quit navigation because almost certainly, it will tell me to make a U-turn, even though there is a proper entrance to a strip mall.

I can't speak to any of the other map vendors, but I remember using Telenav's app on my flip phones and it had me take a few U-turns that were unnecessary.

The one problem I still have with my iPhone (5c instead of the 4s now but the 4s did it also) is compass confusion.  It will turn the map at an intersection when I'm stopped.

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