iOS 6…I guess

So, I already provided my Apple love article, so I think I’ll take this chance to rant a bit, appropriately enough. Before I say anything else, I’d just like to let you know how douchey Apple has decided to be with this years WWDC. They have the live stream for their keynote open. Which is great. It’s great for Apple too, because keynotes tend to be advertisement more than anything else. Except that you can’t see it. Well you can, but not you. In order to see anything other than “coming soon”… or well it says “Get QuickTime” now…on Apple’s live streaming page, you have to be running Safari. Safari on Windows won’t work either. You have to be running iOS or MacOS X in order to view it. Really? They couldn’t have used the web standard that they’ve been touting so much? They had to use QuickTime playback, which nobody cares about? Hmm…

Just to warn you Apple fanboys out there, this article will combine some bits of information with a lot of snark, but I feel that it’s representative of what Apple gave us with iOS 6. Look, it’s not like I’m the biggest Android fan either. There’s a whole bunch of things wrong with that OS. Windows Phone might as well be Baidu, for all I care. Yes I have an Android smart phone, but frankly, I don’t really think it improves my life. I think it just distracts me from life and does important things some times, but nothing that I couldn’t do just by spending a couple more minutes by actually planning my events. I just generally find mobile OS’s laughable, and when the biggest change you make to your OS happens to be a gimmick, it makes my eyes balls do pull-ups.

But for the hundreds of thousands or millions of you, I don’t care to keep track anymore, let’s talk about iOS 6 without further ado.

Apple mentioned that there are “over 200 updates” with iOS 6. Well Apple has a funny way of thinking about updates. While there’s no way to talk about all 200 updates (literally), let’s instead talk about some of the main ones.

Siri

Yes, I went there first. I guess this is the most important set of updates. However, the updates that Apple listed only showed me how much Siri couldn’t do before and how much more worthless I didn’t know it was.

Apple was really excited to show off that Siri can now look at sports scores. Siri can even let you know whether a basketball player is taller or shorter than the other.

…k

You know, the only practical application for Siri is to do things while you’re in the car. Or if you’re blind, but that’s a different story altogether. Are you really that desperate to know the sports scores while you’re in the car? Does anybody not think that Siri is a gimmick by now? You know Siri, I can do that with a Google search. Oh snap, I just pulled out the “G” word. Sorry Ms. Jackson, I didn’t mean to make your daughter cry.

Here’s another one: Siri can now open up apps.

…Wat? It couldn’t open apps? The stupid British guy I downloaded for my Android phone for free can do that. What the heck is there to do on an iPhone other than open apps? What the heck?

Another one: Apple has gotten together with car makers to create hands-free Siri. Well that’s cool, I agree, and really the only useful form of Siri I can imagine. But what car makers? Probably BMW, Mercedes, and Ford. Because everybody loves those options.

You can also make restaurant reservations through OpenTable and bring up movie times and reviews using Rotten Tomatos.

Once again….k. Apple, I get it that you need something to help people to find information after the app they want gets lost in the jungle of apps they don’t want in the dozens of home screens filled with hundreds of apps. But there are easier ways to do it then to resort to talking to inanimate objects. Seriously, though, this feature can be useful, only because my personal experience with the Fandango app is pretty awful. But I normally call places to make reservations, if I have to, because there aren’t many places in my tax bracket that use services like OpenTable to track reservations.

However, all of the things I do that Siri would do for me typically use some part of Google search. I will use Google search to find movie reviews. I will use Google search to check out what basketball player is taller. I will use Google search to find the restaurant phone number. That’s a lot of Google, and that’s a lot of ad money for Google. Apple doesn’t like Google, and it’s been systematically trying to push away Google for a while now. Siri is a big step towards trying to eat at Google’s bread and butter, internet search, and it’s a possible threat, the more powerful and capable it gets.

On that note, iOS 6 has deep Facebook integration, including getting Facebook messages in the notification center, being able to respond at the notification, and using voice commands to respond or make posts. This is Facebook by the way. It’s the same Facebook that refuses to make it’s iOS and Android apps not suck because they can’t figure out how to make money off of them (Facebook is an ad company, like Google, but unlike Google, they don’t know how to present ads in an app). So the face that Facebook is willing to bypass it’s bread and butter, the website, by allowing people to pretty much exclusively use their phone means there’s got to be something in it for them.

Maybe I’m being cynical here, but I can imagine the following scenario:

You: Siri, call my wife.

Siri: That’s great sir, but first I noticed that you and you wife haven’t been having the greatest love life lately. I’d like to recommend that you check out this great male enhancement drug.

You: What the F%&$?

Siri: Yes sir. This product will help the F%&$.

You: Siri, just call my wife!

Siri: There’s no need to yell, sir. But please say either “Accept” or “Deny.”

You: Fine, I’ll do it myself you stupid &%#$. *pick up phone* AHHH!

*Crash. Death*

Maps

Well now, iOS finally has a competitor to Google Maps. Er…I mean it stopped using Google Maps and created it’s own Maps so it can have Google Maps without the Google. Or something.

It’s no secret that El Goog has been taking advantage of it’s dominance in the online mapping dominance by cutting Apple out of some of it’s coolest features. I have no problem with Apple cutting out Google and going with it’s own mapping system which honestly looks pretty nice. It even beat Google to punch with 3D maps! Fancy right?

And then I learned this. Maps is done by TomTom? Wat? Isn’t TomTom the crappiest high profile  GPS maker in the world? Isn’t TomTom one of the most unreliable and inefficient mappers in the world? Thanks for that Google. Maybe this is also Google’s fault. Does Google have some sort of deal with Garmin. Was Garmin not bowing down to Apple enough? I don’t get it.

Facetime over 3G

The title says it all. You can do Facetime over 3G. Now that the two relevant cellular carriers both have tiny data caps that they are forcing you on or throttling you if you don’t have caps, you can now have a constant stream of video and audio from your face. Thank you Apple, I needed that.

Do Not Disturb

Another thing that Apple showed off was a “Do not disturb” option, which basically allows people to quickly and easily silence their phone.

Huh. Does iOS not have a vibrate option? Or a silence option? I don’t know these things. I have this:

That’s my lock screen too. Well not mine, it’s the interweb’s lock screen, but it’s similar. I hit the power button, slide my finger, done. I heard a rumor, though, that iPhone users can also hit the volume button a few times and shut off the ringer. Maybe it’s a hidden feature that people never heard of. Guess I’m a genius.

Oh wait, I also have this too. It’s kinda cool. It’s that thing in the middle. It’s a widget. Oh snap, I’m sorry I forgot you guys don’t have those. Sorry.

Yeah I have two options for “Do Not Distub.” Just saying, Apple. Actually three, because I have that nifty little analog volume device goes up or down on the side of my phone too.

Come on, people, this is considered a major update?!

Other Crap

Let’s see, Apple also added “Game Center Challenges.” So you now have achievements. Okay. They’re not pointless.

They also added full screen landscape support in Safari apparently, which is another thing I didn’t know the iPhone couldn’t do.

The iPhone is now able to work with Apple certified Hearing Aids, which sounds like a terrible idea, but might be kinda cool, I guess.

You can now set an alarm to open a song.

Safari will sync tabs between iPhone and iPad, because the iPhone is just too damn small to see that webpage.

JavaScript is faster, which is good. Was JavaScript on iOS slow before, Apple?

Sigh

Okay, I’m done. There’s a whole load of other updates but they’re all as incremental and pointless as the one’s I’ve already mentioned. I’ve officially been reading too many articles about iOS 6, trying to find a reason to get excited about it. It’s still iOS, there’s nothing that’s different. It’s like they took iOS 5 and put a coat of wax on it. Sure it’ll keep off the rain, but it’s still the same stuff underneath.

Once again, I could care less about Android too. It may sound like I’m an Android fanboy, but they both suck in their owns ways. I’m just done with mobile OSes, and Apps. And talking to inanimate objects.

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