Day 1 with the Iphone 4S
So as many of our twitter followers know, I have been trying out iOS 5 on a Sprint Iphone 4S. I thought it was time I would actually do more than just tweet and construct some longer thoughts.
I’m coming from an HTC Evo 4G, that was on Sprint, running a custom ROM of Gingerbread (Android 2.3) with HTC Sense 3.5. So some of my thoughts will be comparisons, after all iOS 5’s largest new feature (other than Siri) is the new Notification Center. Which a lot of people have compared to the Notification Drawer in Android.
They are similar, you pull them both down from the top, and they will display application notifications, but some of the similarities drop right there.
First, let me talk about calendar notifications, If you turn them on, they don’t act like Notifications, infact they act more like a calendar widget. Rather than showing you just a reminder for an upcoming appointment, they instead show you all of your next appointments (depending on how many you have set in the setting for it to display). More frustrating, is that I can’t dismiss upcoming appointment notifications, they are pinned to the notification center like a calendar widget.
This is weird, because other notifications have a little “X” near them that clears them out of the center. But Calendar doesn’t. Infact the calendar Notifications are more like the stock ticker and Weather widget in that way. I suppose it all depends on your tastes weather you will like that or not, but to me, it should be called a widget and not notifcations.
Next up, Email and text notifications… This has a similar problem in that it shows new email and texts in the same way as upcoming calendar appointments, displaying each new email as separate notification and only the number you preset in the settings. So if you tell it to only display 1 Email or Text, and you get two new ones, it will only show the most recent, and will forget (or dismiss) the only slightly older message. In Android, instead of showing the individual messages they will give me a summary of how many new email or texts are in. And when you tap on the notification it takes you to the entire inbox. In iOS when you tap on the email it takes to that specific email. Only way to see an inbox view is to click on the Messages or Mail app.
Further annoyances with Email iOS is the Unified inbox, yes Windows Phone 7 Mango and Android do this, but Android doesn’t focus on it, unless you want to. Also Android and Phone 7 let you make Widget shortcuts to individual mail boxes rather than having to use the single mail app. Also, my favorite feature and I even tweeted about this: is that android lets you make custom notification tones for each individual mailbox. In iOS you can only set one tone for all new Email. May not be a big deal for you, but for someone who is an on call Tech. It’s nice to distinguish between your on call mailbox and your personal email.
So is all complaints on Day 1? Not at all, I really like Siri, it’s not perfect. It will screw up still. But it’s certainly one of the better Voice integrated systems I’ve seen since Android 2.2 (2.3 Voice recognition apparently is broken on my Evo 4G). While the voice keyboard isn’t available in all functions like Android, it’s certainly more functional and more available then in Mango (why only Texts and not email?).
Also, the 4S is snappy. Sure the Evo was no sloath, but the Dual Core A5 CPU is blazing. And so is the camera. Again, it’s not that the Evo was bad, it’s just the 4S is better. And I’m not a Stranger to iOS in general I have an Ipad and had an Ipod Touch that both run the A4 cpu, and the A5 CPU is an improvement.
As for the rest of Hardware… The phone is sleek, almost most a little slippery. The screen despite being smaller is usable, probably because of the incredibly high resolution. And yes, I do love the IPS panel over a standard LCD.
I’m going to give it a few more days, but I still think I’m leaning towards returning to my Evo. Despite how beautiful the Iphone hardware is, Android just offers far more customizations than iOS. And for me I take advantage of that in my day to day use.