WWDC is over, and iOS 6 has made its rounds in the community of developer accounts (and those who have bought UDID slots).
I’ve been an iOS user since December of 2008. It pains me to say that, as comfortable as the experience has been, there just hasn’t been a lot about iOS that’s changed in the past three years.
It’s not that I hate iOS or I’ve begun to. However, I’m not seeing a very interesting and exciting future for the platform if its current direction is any indication. To be honest, for the past three years iOS has really only added a few features and updated their stock applications. That’s not to say they weren’t welcome changes (most of them, anyway). However, none of them have felt truly meaningful.
If I were to look back at iOS’ history, I’d see two truly notable changes–the allowance of third-party applications (iOS 3.x) and multitasking (iOS 4.x). While there are a bevy of other features added, it’s hard to say that a lot of them felt truly significant.
Now iOS 6 has been unveiled and while it brings very welcome changes, it feels more like an iOS 5S than it does a full iteration of the platform. This is especially disturbing when the next full generation of the iPhone is around the corner and the OS hasn’t really changed with it.
I’m a techie with fairly simple needs. The device merely needs to work well, run an operating system that works well, and allow me some way to tinker with it. The iPhone and iOS have not failed me in any of those regards. The devices themselves are wonderful and more capable than they’re given credit for. The iPhone 4 and the 4S are amazing devices. iOS has also served me well over the years, with or without an untethered jailbreak. I still remember being pleasantly surprised at how satisfied I was with stock iOS 5.
I’ve jailbroken every iPhone I’ve owned and I’ve found a bevy of ways to tweak the firmware to suit my tastes and my needs–visually and functionally. Jailbeaking iOS has inspired me to learn even a slight smattering of code so I can understand its inner workings. Seeing the new features that unveiled with iOS 4 and iOS 5 were genuinely exciting because I started to imagine all the ways that they could be modified.
The problem is that it’s just not exciting anymore.
The next-generation iPhone is coming, and if the rumors hold true, there are going to be plenty of changes to the device that signify more than just the launch of a new product. This is an opportunity to usher in a new era at Apple after the passing of Steve Jobs–a new generation of devices, a new generation for the operating system. Yes, it’s only been a year, but we’ve seen what the industry can put out in just months.
Call me dramatic, but I’d imagined… more. More than just a game of catch-up, more than the expected Android joke at WWDC, more than just another item on the feature list, more than just refreshes.
I’m hoping I’m wrong. I’m hoping that the fall of 2012 brings some really exciting announcements.
It’s safe to say that if the next iPhone doesn’t wow me enough to want it, I’ll be jumping ship to the Android community. Will it be a tough change? Of course. However, it might be an exciting one.
Also, 4G, dang it.