Yesterday we saw the Internet freeze in place while Apple took the stage at their first day of the Worldwide Developers Conference and introduced iOS 6. It’s around this time of year that we get to see what Apple has coming down the pipe, both in hardware and software, and when the rest of the world waits in agonizing slow motion while Apple showcases their products. It’s all dramatic and monumental, something to remember.
Okay, not really. In fact, if you are bored with iOS, it's probably perfectly understandable.
It’s just a keynote, just like every other keynote out there. But, there’s no arguing that it gets plenty of attention. There are all sorts of tweets about lines. There are news stories that go up on all sorts of Web sites talking about how the Apple store is down before the announcement. It’s all standard and routine by now, but it’s fun nonetheless.
Taylor asked you a simple question yesterday: Is iOS 6 the most advanced mobile operating system? There’s plenty of discussion going on over there in that particular article, while people go back-and-forth regarding whether or not Apple’s newest version of their mobile OS is the best out there. The normal comparisons are making the rounds. Is it better than Android? What about Windows Phone? Does it even stack up to where BlackBerry will be later this year?
So many questions, and it all comes down to personal experience and taste.
I can honestly say that I’m disappointed by Apple. It doesn’t have anything to do with their products, or the latest version of iOS 6 by itself. Yes, the newest iOS may not be all that groundbreaking, but it does have features that people asked for, which should do more than enough to keep the majority of owners they have now, as well as bring in new members to the fold.
But, iOS 6 does play a part, and that’s because I wasn’t necessarily expecting Apple to do something different, but more like hoping. I was hoping beyond hope that Apple executives would come out on stage and announce something that shocked everyone. That when they unveiled it, people took a moment, maybe even had to pick up their jaws from the ground, and accept that Apple was changing the game all over again. (Yes, they changed the game in 2007.)
That didn’t happen. Instead, Apple played the announcements pretty close to the vest. They didn’t go out on a limb to change the mobile industry for the better. They didn’t change much outside of their own platform, and I highly doubt that most of the new features that make their way to the mobile platform will have any resonating factor within the other manufacturers competing against the Cupertino-based company.
It’s fantastic that iOS has a new Maps application. It’s great that Siri’s functionality has been expanded quite a bit. And yes, while there are still some missing features from iCloud, the improvements they added were necessary and welcomed. We’ve also got FaceTime over a 3G network (perfect timing, now that unlimited data plans are on the way out, right?), and Maps has turn-by-turn navigation right out of the box (or after an update). All those things are great, but they aren’t groundbreaking.
Apple, for all intents and purposes, played it safe, and didn’t do anything to really disrupt the water. Some people have suggested to me that this could be because the new iPhone is still going to be unveiled later this year, and Apple is saving the groundbreaking attention for the hardware. And that could be true. However, based on the recent rumors and leaks, I’m beginning to think that’s not true, either. Taylor pointed it out quite nicely. I, too, hope the leaks are fake, because the hardware needs to make up for all the letdowns that the software provided.
Honestly, I do believe that Microsoft has the ability to steal some, if not quite a bit, of the attention later this year if they can show the next full stage of Windows Phone, and plenty of high-end hardware options to catch the eye of the potential buyer. While Apple’s announcement was a total failure, and it won’t bury the company by any means, I think playing it close to the vest this year just wasn’t the way to go. With iOS 6, and the upcoming new iPhone, we should have been blown away. We should have been surprised. There should have been more change.
How do you feel Apple did? Did they play it safe? Or, perhaps, has Apple run its course? Let me know what you think in the comments below.