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Is iOS Perfect? No: The Drawbacks of iOS

Posted on the 28 October 2011 by Nerdywerds @NerdyWerds

Is iOS Perfect? No: The Drawbacks of iOS


Uploaded by Mason Costa on October 28, 2011 at 12:50 PM

iOS, believe it or not, does have flaws

Contents

  • Customization
  • Turn by Turn Navigation
  • Widgets & Voice
  • Wrap Up

In the interest of fairness, any time I cover the positives of a technology, I like to cover the negatives too. So Apple fans, it's time for iOS to go under the microscope. But before you go and cry foul, Android took it's lumps last week. Luckily for the Apple fans, whom I will undoubtedly hear from about this, the negatives of iOS are really insignificant. There are no "force crash" issues or anything like that. iOS' issues stem more from the "guided user experience", aka, lack of choice, than anything else. This is going to be a fairly short article because, as much as it may pain me to say this, I couldn't find many flaws that are based on fact. You can find plenty of people's opinion online about iOS, or Android's, or WP7's, flaws, but we want to deal in facts. After all, making a decision based on my opinion is probably not a great idea. Having said that, let's get into some of the drawbacks of iOS.

Customization

The main issue most people have with iOS is the lack of customization. Apple has added a bit of customization to recent OS'; folders and wallpaper and such. But for many people, this still is no where near enough. They want true, Android level customization options. With Android, and the help of certain apps, you can actually overhaul the entire look and feel of your phone. On multiple occasions, I've downloaded an app that puts the Windows Phone 7 style home screens on my phone. There are multiple "launcher" programs that allow you to alter and tweak the way your phone looks. And unfortunately, iOS doesn't allow any of this. If you go with iOS, you kind of know exactly what you're getting. Almost everyone is familiar with the way an iPhone is going to look when you unlock it.

Now some people will say that if you're willing to jailbreak your iPhone, you can experience a much greater degree of customization and freedom. To that I simply say, if it's worth voiding the warranty on a $600 phone to get the customization other OS' enjoy stock, then go ahead. The fact that this argument even comes up, kind of proves that people are disappointed by the lack of customization. Before it sounds like I'm attacking iOS, for some reason people take offense when I point out negatives of Apple, I understand why Apple does it. The reason Apple can guarantee a very simple and easy to use OS is because they maintain strict control over it. But this isn't an article about why Apple does things, it's about drawbacks of iOS; and a lack of customization is a major drawback.

Turn by Turn Navigation

One of the biggest selling points for Android is the incredible turn by turn voice navigation. It is by far the best navigation software you can have, and it comes free with all Androids. Apple saw this as a weakness of their OS, and they've even hired engineers to work on their own navigation app. But the fact of the matter is there isn't an Apple maps app. iOS 5 recently released, and there was still no navigation package in it. The best Apple can do is give it's users access to Google Maps; which is nice, but not the same. People want to be able to tell their phone where they want to go and have the phone talk back to them with directions. Thanks to Siri, should you have an iPhone 4S, you can get half of that down. You can get a map brought up, but you still have to look at the phone to know the next step. Aside from being very dangerous should you be driving, it's also very inconvenient.

You can buy apps for navigation on your iPhone, so it's not all lost. But a lot of people feel a bit slighted that you have to pay to add on a feature that other devices come with for free. While Apple looks poised to remedy this shortcoming, the simple fact of the matter is that navigation has been missing from their OS for far too long.

Widgets & Voice

One of the cooler features of Android is the ability to have widgets on your home screen. I am quite partial to the search, weather and dictionary widgets. These differ from apps in that they are on my home screen and I don't have to engage them to get information. My weather widget displays the current temperature, weather and high/low temperatures for the day. The dictionary widget displays a search bar and word of the day, with definition. The search widget is a search bar that feeds into Google. If I ever wish to look something up, all I have to do is type and go. No need to look for and launch apps or browsers. This is another instance of something that would be nice to have, but is by no means necessary. Having said that, people do seem to like the widgets, so hopefully Apple will catch on soon.

The next drawback I want to discuss needs to be clarified. This does not apply to the iPhone 4S. Siri far surpasses the voice controls of Android; that is not debatable. But if you happen to have anything prior to the 4S, you're still stuck wanting voice control. As with navigation, you can download an alternative, but it just seems silly that this isn't part of the OS yet.

Wrap Up

As you can see, the list of cons for iOS are minor at best. There is nothing egregious here like crashes or blue screens. The drawbacks appear to be mainly oversights, not errors; which is a very good thing. Adding functionality is much easier than fixing bugs. Having said that, there are some things that iOS leaves users wanting. Chief amongst them is customization; people have come to expect this from modern phones. Widgets, voice controls and navigation are all areas where Apple could improve their OS as well. Even in spite of these things, iOS is an excellent OS and obviously people really enjoy it. And all the Apple fans out there need to know how difficult it was for me to find enough flaws to make an article out of it. My reasons are most nit-picking minor things. But, they are reasons that make people change their mind about iPhones, so they needed to be said.



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