Apple iOS 4: My Review

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 | Business | by

Everyone has an iOS 4 review, or an iPhone 4 review, why shouldn’t I?

Below is my review of the parts of iOS 4 that I use, and what I think of it.  If you don’t agree, please comment below.

Multitasking

It’s just not multi tasking.

Steve Jobs (when introducing iOS4):

When it comes to multitasking, if a user has to use a task manager, they (the developer) blew it.

Know what?  I’d prefer a task manager to this.  At least those are running tasks.

iOS 4 has essentially a “recent programs” menu.  It’s not just applications that are running, it is a list of every application you launched recently.  This includes Phone, eMail, the browser, and iPod.  Frequently I find my “task manager” looks like the following:

See the problem?  Yeah, all my recent applications are exactly what is on my bottom dock of my iPhone.  Naturally my most used applications, are most recently used.

Multitasking should just be for applications that are “suspended” by hitting the home button twice.

The worst part, is that it’s hard to remove things from this list, and they just pop back in.  We should at least have the ability to say “I don’t ever want the Phone to be in that list”.  Maybe the ability to remove an application after the phone is locked, or after 4 hours?

Yes, we can scroll left and right by flicking our finger — but that’s very annoying.

Folders

Folders are a great idea. It’s something the phone needs given the massive amount of Apps out there.

I like the UI for Folders except for a few things:

  • The icons look ugly when you have more than 1 or 2 on a screen.
  • It’s hard to do the initial organization of folders (really dragging one icon at a time is annoying when you have 7 pages full of icons)

A piece of advice, use iTunes to manage your apps.  It’s not fun, it’s not easy, but it’s better than trying to do it on your iPhone.  You can’t select multiple, sometimes I found icons I couldn’t move, sometimes icons just don’t go where you want — but it’s better than trying with your fingers.

I expect Apple to allow us to pick a specific icon to represent the folder (maybe with a unique border to indicate a folder).  The black background folder, white background, and tiny itty bitty icons get to be quite ugly when you fill up a screen with them.  At one point my home page looked like 4 icons with a bunch of crap surrounding them (until I removed icons from folders and put them on another screen).

Unified Inbox

Apple tried with this one.  It’s useful to get emails all in a single inbox.  I’m not sure why they felt the urge to list all of our “inboxes”.  I either feel like I want a unified inbox, or a single mail menu like before, not how it is.

Threading of conversations is quite nice once you get used to it.

Screen Orientation Lock

I would have preferred it not to always lock to the default vertical, but the current orientation — but it’s nice to have included this.

All the Extra Shortcuts

Apple has made an effort to generally improve the UI of the phone.  This includes:

  • Missed calls have “Listen” as an option, so you don’t have to open up your Phone app
  • The new screen animations are a nice touch — for some reason I like how the icons go away and come back much more
  • Wallpaper on the background is great.  As stupid as it is, it makes the device feel cleaner / more updated (even it’s messier, and old functionality)
  • Speed Improvements – I do feel like my 3GS has speed improvements in terms of app switching.  This feels much nicer
  • New Contact Screen – Much easier to enter data for a new contact, many fewer screens (and I was always using the same options)

Overall

I do like the new iOS4.  I’m being critical, because I can’t just keep saying how awesome it is.  It’s worth upgrading if you’re on an iPhone 3GS.  I’m not sure about 3G given the much smaller amount of RAM.

Certain pieces of functionality seems like they were executed to meet marketing demand (multitasking).  Even Steve must think it’s just a “recent apps” list.

I did have, and continue to hear about, issues upgrading.  I lost all my contacts and had problems with my Google Apps account (email / contacts / etc).  Supposedly this is http://www.seangw.com/wordpress/index.php/2010/06/apple-ios-4-issues-relate-to-google-apps-gmail-exchange/.

We are beyond the world of a single set of options for all users.  Please let us decide what we want in terms of battery performance.  Make a Profile Store — that sells/distributes user type’d configuration settings to allow us to make the decision you like making for us.  Let the phone ship with “Generic User” which doesn’t allow flash, won’t allow apps to fully run in the background, show all the recent apps.  Then let us setup our own profiles to change these limits / preferences.  It will make the professionals, students, average user, and media (most important of all) happy.

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1 Comment to Apple iOS 4: My Review

cell phone signal
June 29, 2010

I read that iOs 4 is used on iPhone and iPad, and many users reported that it is very good.

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