The next major update to Apple’s mobile operating “iOS 5” got finally unveiled at WWDC 2011, the iOS 5 beta release includes 200+ new features including a brand new Notification Center, iMessage – a new messaging service, photos and videos between all iOS devices, Newsstand, new PC Free feature to activate and set up iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required and much more.
iOS 5 was rumored, hyped and talked up for months before this event, yet the actual operating system is far from revolutionary. You’ve fallen behind, Apple, and you are starting to play boring catch up games with other major operating systems rather than doing any innovation. Your features have slipped; the creative talent seemingly left to another place.
You introduced a “new” notification system that is better than the previous system found in iOS. However it failed to take any serious steps to take on the systems found in both Android and Windows Phone 7 from launch. This new system shows notifications at the top after you swipe down from the top area – exactly like the system Android has used since its 2008 launch – along with notifications on the home screen, which not only does Windows Phone 7 already have, but also some Android skins do as well.
It’s no use using the exact same design with your notification system. Consumers aren’t going to be happy if you blatantly rip-off features from another operating system, and what’s even worse is that they won’t be sued for doing it. If anyone copied an Apple feature, or even using a name vaguely similar to an Apple product name, they would be sued within seconds; however no doubt Google won’t have the guts to tackle this head on with a lawsuit.
Then there’s the Twitter integration. Unfortunately, again you see iOS 5 struggling to keep up with the times: firstly Apple was second to the announcing gate as Windows Phone 7 beat them to the mark with announcing Twitter integration in WP7 “Mango” back in February; secondly, Android has had a similar form of Twitter integration, allowing posting of photos, contact sync, links to post to Twitter and more since the functionality was introduced in Android 2.0 way back in late 2009, and before that with HTC Sense.
No one can reasonably call any of the new iOS 5 features revolutionary, because they are simply copies of other mobile operating systems, or ideas that have already been thought up. No user can call the new features magical, because they aren’t when you look briefly at Android or WP7. Apple can’t pull the usual “it’s slimmer, lighter and faster” to wow the market because nothing was slimmer, lighter or faster this time around.
Apple, it’s time to pull your own weight. It’s time to get back in the magical innovation game.