When Apple released iOS 6 it was very much the same OS it had previously. The features it showed off were more refined but there was nothing groundbreaking, nothing that screamed “I have to download this right now!” By the time iOS 6 was announced we already had multitasking, Siri, copy/paste, FaceTime, Folders, and Notification Center.
By this point Apple had been known for showing of “tent pole features” on stage. The things that re really going to wow everyone, and get developers and consumers excited. The features shown off for iOS 6 were:
- Apple maps
- Siri enhancements
- Facebook integration
- Shared Photo Streams
- FaceTime over cellular
- Phone enhancements
- Mail enhancements
- Safari enhancements
- Accessibility enhancements
Looking at that list, it doesn’t really seem like an update worth a point zero. I was underwhelmed, and the more I thought about it, the more I directly related feeling to the fact that they called it iOS 6 and not iOS 5.5. It just felt like a refresh, a spring cleaning, and not a renovation.
iOS 7 still feels a little rough around the edges. 7.1 improves some things and slightly redesigns some others, but my phone still crashes for no reason, and folders are still a mess. What Apple really needs is to release a Snow Leopard for iOS. They don’t need to release a ton of forward facing features for users, they just need to clean everything up and make it all work nicely together. A faster, lighter, OS that doesn’t crash.
Don’t get me wrong here, there is a 0% chance that Apple calls whatever ships on the next iPhone 7.5. I have no doubt they’re going to call it iOS 8. They need to for marketing reasons. I’m just trying to apply logic where I shouldn’t. I’m just writing this for my own sanity.
Wrong and Right Reasons To Be Upset About Oculus -
NOTE: Edited and added some new thoughts below.
I find it frustrating that nearly all the controversy over the Oculus acquisition by Facebook is focused on:
- Good games coming out
- Facebook rebranding Oculus
- Ads in the experience
These are superficial problems, firstly but furthermore…
Pete is correct about everything, and he says it better than I could have. Please read all of this.
Warner Bros. Entertainment And DC Entertainment Celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary
Star Wars and the Four Ways Science-Fiction Handles Race
It’d be great news if the buzz about 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o being cast in the upcoming Star Wars sequel is true. That’s because Lupita Nyong’o is great, and it would be wonderful to see her get high-profile roles.
Casting someone whose breakout role explicitly and thoughtfully engaged with the African-American experience may also, hopefully, kick off a discussion about race in Star Wars and in sci-fi more generally. The franchise has often been criticized for its clueless, tone-deaf use of caricature, especially the nods to blackface minstrelsy in Jar Jar Binks. More importantly, Star Wars encapsulates a pop-culture tradition of space operas that can easily invent spaceships and robots and aliens, but that helplessly acquiesce to old, stereotypical treatments of gender and race. Why does that matter? Sci-fi is at least in part a dream of a different world and a different future. When that future unthinkingly reproduces current inequities, it seems like both a missed opportunity and a failure of imagination.
Read more. [Image: AP; 20th Century Fox; Lionsgate]
One more time: can HTC thrive in a Samsung world? -
You should read Dan Seifert’s look at the just announced HTC One M8.
Now the company is launching its next big effort at a comeback. The new One, also known as the M8, is better than last year’s already impressive model in almost every respect: the design has been refined, it has a bigger battery, the processor is faster, the camera has new tricks, and the software has been made friendlier. It is without a doubt a stunning device and it demonstrates that HTC put a lot of effort into making the best smartphone it could.
The phone looks great.
Updated Multitasking Screen In iOS 7
When iOS 7 launched this fall one of the biggest oooh and aaah moments was when people saw the new multitasking screen. In practice, it’s not very much different than the old one (that just popped up on the bottom), but users could now see their apps in their paused status. It looked pretty cool, but it didn’t really add that much more functionality.
More and more, I find myself in an app and wanting to jump into one of the apps in my doc, (honestly, it’s usually Chrome or Mail).
Scenario: I’ll take a picture with ProCamera. The moment passes and I want to search something. I could swear that I was just in Chrome so I double tap the home screen to swipe left. Turns out, I haven’t been on Chrome in a while so I end up swiping a bit one way, then I go back the other way, all the way back to my home screen and launch Chrome from my dock.
Is part of this a personal problem? Absolutely. I can’t remember which apps I was just using. But including the dock on the multitasking screen only adds functionality. Easily move the preview icons to the top of the screen, instead of the bottom, and add the dock.
It turns the double tap into a launcher. It also makes the dock even more important. Suddenly your dock apps become the apps you want to launch quickly, from any screen not just from any home screen. I know I would move Tweetbot there in place of Music. Music has just been there for so long that it’s muscle memory.
Using the multitasking screen to launch dock apps would be faster than springing out to a home screen and then jumping back into an app.
As it stands now, I can double tap my home button see a couple of recently used applications. Adding the dock isn’t really that much of a stretch.