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9/20/2012
10:41 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint

Apple's new mobile operating system offers some much-needed improvements, but plenty of things still need polish.

iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple made some great improvements to iOS 6 with its Photo Stream syncing, Safari syncing, Facebook integration, and Do Not Disturb. Unfortunately, Apple didn't go far enough in revising some apps, and falls completely on its face with others.

Here are five things about iOS 6 that Apple could have done much, much better.

1. Apple Maps: It's horrid. I've been unimpressed with Apple Maps throughout the beta period of iOS 6. I was hoping that the company would make some refinements along the way, but it didn't. Apple Maps is a complete face-plant for Apple. It's missing streets, cities, and significant points of interest, it is slow to load, and maps are rather pedestrian-looking when compared to the rich Google Maps. Some of Google Maps' best features, such as Street View, are missing from Apple Maps entirely. This app needs fixing ASAP, Apple. At the very least, let us put Google Maps back on our devices while you fix this mess.

2. Email: Apple gave its native email application a few new features, but didn't fill in some of the biggest remaining gaps. I like that Mail for iOS finally allows users to add photos/videos after they've begun composing an email, adds the ability to sort through flagged emails, and builds in support for multiple email account signatures. Still missing? The ability to mark all as read or delete all messages; support for additional fonts and/or styling within emails; spam filters for the device itself; and support for group emails. Other features are still absent, but these are the most glaring. For Gmail users, as an example, the browser-based application is still far superior to Mail in iOS.

[ There's still a lot that's good in iOS 6. See iOS 6: 5 Things To Like. ]

3. Delete Apple Apps: Apple still doesn't allow iOS users to delete the stock Apple-developed apps. For example, I don't use Newsstand at all. Not only can I not delete this unwanted application, I can't even add it to a folder to hide it from view. It irks me every time I see it. This and other apps are forever stuck on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Grrrrr.

4. Siri: Siri has come a long way since its fall 2011 debut, but it hasn't come far enough. Apple still lists Siri as a "beta" application, but it still has the feel of an "alpha" app, if you ask me. Some of the best new Siri features include the ability to look up sports scores, check movie times/reviews, and even find local restaurants and make reservations. The problem is Siri's voice recognition remains quite poor. Siri translates my dictated speech accurately only about 50% of the time. That means 50% of the time, the app doesn't work properly. C'mon, Apple. Google's voice recognition has yours beat by a country mile.

5. Minor Annoyances: Other features missing and/or not updated that aren't a huge deal, but still register on the scale of annoyances include: not enough font support; old and stale notification alerts/tones; no widgets/dynamic home-screen content; lack of support for Adobe Flash (just kidding, making sure you're still reading); and lack of visual flair or pizzazz. The operating system received plenty of new features, but looks and feels just like it has since 2007.

Despite these admittedly picky issues, there's still plenty to like in iOS 6, which is a decent upgrade from iOS 5.

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pkohler01
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pkohler01,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 4:20:39 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
"lack of Flash support" - my heart sank but then, as I continued reading, I laughed whole heartedly when I saw you were kidding! Whew! hahaha! I'll be honest, I don't even bother supporting Flash on my desktop browsers.

I'm installing iOS6 on an iPad right now. I cannot wait to play with Maps! Everything I've read about it has been so funny. It sounds just like they took MapQuest circa 1999 and turned it into an app.

Siri... well, Siri isn't as funny as Maps. Siri is... well, Apple has a very long history with voice recognition software. I can't recall what it was called but, it was included in OS7 in 1995-6. True, the scope of what you could use voice recognition for back then was pretty much limited to software manipulation but, that was nearly 20 years ago. And now Siri seems to be a complete PR disaster for Apple. I honestly don't know what's worse - Siri saying that some Nokia phone is the best phone when asked or Apple subjugating your results through Siri.

Out of curiosity, has Apple ever been asked for an official response on why they don't allow their default apps to be removed?

Anywho, thanks for writing this article! I really enjoyed reading it and appreciate the tips!
Metal70s
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Metal70s,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 5:11:03 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
Still the thing that annoys me to most about iTunes is the inablity to Sync on my Latop while on the road, then my desktop at home, without lossing apps, music, videos, etc...

I know there are non-apple apps that can cricumvent iTunes and keep-reinstall Music, video files...

But why should do I have too?!?!?
jc
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jc,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 5:47:08 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
agree about the Newsstand app. Complete waste of space on my iPhone
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 8:46:44 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
I'm not in total agreement about maps. Google streets is spectacular and irreplaceable but maps for iOS is getting a little stale and legibility isn't the greatest for those with vision issues like me.

The vector based rendering in Apple maps great. Clear sharp fonts, an option for minimal clutter. Highway markers positioned dynamically so that roads are not unmarked as one zooms in. It is painfully slow but perhaps with the faster processor??? Flyover apparently doesn't work everywhere yet but boy is it nifty.

Another plus is the fact that I can see construction and traffic before I hit the road. With things like Beat the Traffic one has to do that on the web, not directly through the app. Fine if one is at home or at work and has a computer to hand, but on a small device, not great fun.

Apple pulled Google maps not just out of pettiness but because Google had essentially orphaned the iOS version of maps. Google has every incentive to give Android an advantage and none to keep the iOS tool current, since they don't directly monetize map usage. With no reason to expect improvement, Apple has to look forward. Nothing for it but to bite the bullet and release the dreaded version 1.

I agree that they might have been well advised to give us Google alongside Apple maps for at least another year. Hopefully that can still happen. It will also be good if we get interim updates to the Apple maps tool throughout the year as we do for iTunes, etc. so that we don't have to wait for iOS 7 for things to get better.

On Google's side the maps app into the app store. Monetize it via banner ads in a free version perhaps with an opt out for .99-2.99. Bring it up to date. It doesn't have to match Android feature for feature but it has to be less clunky than it currently is. We'd all be happy to have street view back and I'll bet that many of us will pay for it.

Re Apple built in apps, put them on the last page and get over it. Ain't gonna change. Ve vill like vot they give us. Ya picks yer fights, as Popeye might say.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2012 | 7:31:51 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
Apple is a $600 billion dollar company... so they say. As such, they don't get a pass from me on any weaknesses at all with their products. You and Eric mentioned several key weaknesses that are outright embarrassments for Apple - in my humble opinion.

As far as Google and Apple making nice over maps? Forget about it. Apple (ala Jobs) declared war on Android... so that ship has sailed long ago.

If you want a mapping application that runs circles around all the rest, look no further than Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps running on Windows Phone. Now, that's a set of map apps for ya.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2012 | 1:26:56 AM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
Well, Siri has no clue what "westauwant" means....
SF from White HavenPA
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SF from White HavenPA,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/22/2012 | 10:01:11 AM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
Here is a tidbit, I really would like to know its true?, It was aired on Sirus Radio last Wednesday 9/19/12 when I turned on the car it just happened to be on. The iPhone6 looks to be scheduled to be released no later than May of 2013 (have to start keeping up with LG and Samsung with releases now). Since iPhone makes up around 50% of Apples industry, you would think there would be a new model every time they created a new APP or new function. Look what they did with iPOD instead of updates, they just kept creating new models.
Newsworldinside
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Newsworldinside,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2012 | 10:23:29 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things That Disappoint
hoped that iPhone 5 will be the greatest than ever i thought....i read about top iphone 5 features in here, but all iphone 5 features are not good to use.
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