Apple iOS 6

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Reviewed by markparker (Currently owns)

iOS six. Thats six iteration cycles, six+ years of development, and to be frank, six points of failure.

iOS is a beloved mobile OS, with its elegant feel and powerful APIs, all captured within arguably the best hardware. But thats just the thing. iOS can no longer expect to be touted as the great OS just because it has a history that is consistent with high marks. Don't get me wrong, iOS is polished, relatively smooth, and back by the best ecosystem. It handles most daily task with ease and has a consistent feel throughout most task. Its reliable but it shows its age. iOS lacks the ability to show me information that I may not know I need. It is its greatest strength and weakness in that, it is never overwhelming to use but feels like my phone has a simple minded dwarf at the helm.

At times, I wonder if I really am using the most current operating system. The home screen is littered with icons, something that I fought for years while a Windows user. I find myself burdened with the task of opening an app to obtain simple information like 'are there any new tweets'. I often question the lack of certain obvious features, like a list view for all apps and a 'search the app store' option for finder. Ultimately, I have lost faith that I am using the most power mobile OS.

iOS 6 is nearly that same OS that we have been running on i-devices for years, which can be a blessing for some, but I consider it to be boring and outright dull. Sure, iOS 6 has a few new features, but thats not my chief complaint. Maps are problematic at times, but to be honest, the maps in iOS 5 were not the high caliber Google Maps that Android has had access to. The notification drawer still only allows for two widgets: stocks and weather. Icons are still static. The lock screen lacks any innovation (except with maps running). I am still unable to select a default browser, mail client, or mapping program. And finally, iOS 6 still handles notification just as crudely as iOS 5, covering my active app screen, and without any type of direct ability to interact with the notification or even swipe it away.

I am hopeful for iOS 7, but its time Apple steps up and takes a few risks. I have never owned an Android device and I know some of my complaints could be resolved on Android, but thats not the point of my review. Apple needs to continue the search for the best mobile OS, because despite their enormous war chest of cash, their product lacks ingenuity.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 4
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Ecosystem 10
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