It’s something that I’ve been thinking for quite some time now, and as time goes by it seems that I’m being proven right. When the iPhone was released in 2007, it caused a world wide stir – no one had ever seen anything like it. A smart phone with apps? In built GPS for maps? It was unheard of, even if the original iPhone didn’t record video or have Siri or even support third party apps for a while.
Since then, what’s happened? Where’s the innovation? Yeah sure, boosting the internals to make the phone faster, giving it a better camera and a bigger screen is always nice, but where is that element of wow that we got in 2007? When Siri was first announced, it caused a lot of excitement – maybe Apple isn’t in as much trouble as we first thought. Sadly, after it’s release you realise that Siri is more of a novelty that you’ll use in front of your friends as opposed to a computerised assistant that’ll understand everything you ask it to do (especially if you’re Scottish, they’ve got no hope with Siri!).
Lets look at the iPhone/iOS’s main competitor – Android & Samsung in particular. Each generation of Samsungs flagship Galaxy S series gets better and better, especially if the rumours about the smart scrolling and smart pause features are true. Smart scrolling is where the phone will see that you’re near the bottom of the page and scroll automatically, and smart pause is a feature used when watching videos; the phone will pause the video if it detects you looking away. Innovation at its finest. What was new with iOS6? Passbook, a Panoramic camera mode and a dodgy new Maps system. People had such high expectations for Passbook, but more than 6 months since its integration, there’s only a handful of apps that support it. As for the panoramic camera mode, yes it’s quite good but it can’t compete with the myriad of camera modes that most Android cameras have.
Apple are too scared to do anything daring any more. Especially as there are so many people that use iPhones now and not all are tech savvy and could deal with big changes to the software. They’re willing to shun the innovation that they’re known for to keep their OS simple and quite frankly boring. Yeah, Androids OS is quite messy and confusing to use at first but you get used to it, as with any phone. I think now that Jonny Ive is the head of iOS Design as well as Product Design, we might see a nicer iOS7 but I also think this is Apples last chance to wow the audience before they start loosing out to Android, especially as the announcement for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is on the 14th March. Your move Apple, better make it a good one.