The Blog of Ken.

from September 12, 2012

A Few Notes About the iPhone 5 and iOS 6

The iPhone 5 isn’t the only thing Apple announced today. If you already have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, there’s new stuff for you, too. iOS 6 This is the latest operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. If you have an iPhone 3GS or newer, iPad 2 or newer, or iPod Touch 4th Gen, you can upgrade to iOS 6 next Wednesday, September 19. Newer devices have more computing power, so some features of iOS 6 won’t be available on older devices. But everyone gets a new Safari, new Mail, new Maps, the ability to share anything on Facebook, and a cool new app called Passbook which holds all of your electronic tickets, gift cards, and even boarding passes!

Apple has dumped Google Maps in favor of its own built-in technology. It has a huge database of “points of interest,” and it’s integrated with Yelp reviews. If you have an iPhone 4S, or an iPad 2 or 3, Maps also has amazing 3D “flyovers.”

If you have an iPhone 4S or iPad 3, you also get Siri-based turn-by-turn directions. You can also ask Siri on the fly to redirect you to a nearby restaurant or gas station. And the map app is monitoring local traffic. If it suddenly sees an accident up ahead, it will attempt to reroute you around it.

Oh, yeah. That’s right: If you have an iPad 3, you’ll now have Siri. She’s learned a few new tricks. She can open apps, she knows all about sports, she knows which movies are playing locally, and you can now tell her, “Find me a sushi place with a table for four at eight.” And using the Open Table app, you can make an actual reservation.

Siri also knows how to post to Facebook. You can say, “Post, ‘I am talking to my iPhone’ to my wall.” And it’s done. On any device, you can share or “like” almost anything to Facebook. FaceTime now works over a cell connection if you have an iPhone 4S or iPad 3. So, yes, if you have an iPhone 4S, you now have a Dick Tracy video phone. There are lots of other new features and enhancements. These are just a few I found interesting. To be clear: If you have a current iDevice, you get iOS 6 for FREE, next Wednesday. The iPhone 5 If your contract is up, or will be soon, the iPhone 5 is a fine new piece of machinery.

It has 4G, which some people obsess about (I don’t watch movies on my phone.) It has a processor that’s twice as fast as the 4S, and it has an even better camera than the 4S. You can use the camera to take panorama shots by just holding it out in front of you and slowly sweeping from left to right. The phone has so much processing power that it can take the raw images, stitch them together seamlessly, and produce a stunning result. Correction: The panorama feature is actually part of iOS 6, and also works on the iPhone 4S!

Basically, it is, as expected, this year’s Greatest Thing Ever. If your contract is up, you can get one for $199. And as before, the older, still awesome iPhones have gone down in price. You can get a 4S (I LOVE my 4S) for $99 with a contract, or an iPhone 4 for free with a contract. Other Things Let’s see… there’s a new iPod Nano, a new iPod Touch that’s pretty much an iPhone 5 without the phone part, they’re redesigning iTunes to make it somehow better, etc. There are now over 400 million iDevices out there. Apple sold more iPads in the last quarter than any PC maker sold PC’s. As of June, there are 84 million iPads out there. This product did not exist 2 1/2 years ago.

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