Bits & Bytes: Apple iPhone 5 a giant leap forward
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Sunday, September 16, 2012
9/16/12 at 3:30 AM
Even those who never read tech news probably couldn't escape the rumors about the iPhone 5.
The annual announcement is possibly the single biggest product introduction each year, and the bar gets set pretty darn high. When the iPhone 4S turned out to be a tweaked iPhone 4, there were annoyed groans from the tech crowd for weeks.
That doesn't seem to be the case this time. Although the iPhone 5 doesn't really look that much different than the 4 and 4S other than the longer screen, Apple improved nearly every aspect of the device.
Despite the extra real estate, the phone is thinner and lighter. The camera works better. Voice assistant Siri has gotten more useful. The aluminum back will hopefully be sturdier. The maps application has a nifty 3-D feature. The battery life has gotten a boost.
Even the new data plug, which is tiny and reversible, looks to be an improvement, even though it means long-time Apple product owners will have to throw out or buy adaptors for all the accessories they've accumulated over the years.
There's really very little to complain about, other than the removal of the YouTube app and lack of NFC technology for payments by phone. Then again, Google will inevitably release their own, likely better, YouTube app soon, and payment by phone systems are still in their infancy.
Sure, there wasn't anything truly revolutionary. But as smartphones have improved so greatly since the first iPhone hit the scene, I'm not sure we'll ever get another true revolution in that market again, unless someone invents a smartphone that can transform into a robot falcon pet.
How will it fare in the market? Think back to the iPhone 4S. Despite the grumbling and disappointment, it was the best-selling iPhone to date. Now we have an iPhone that really does feel like a new device.
The day may come when the iPhone is no longer the top-selling model of smartphone. That day isn't anywhere in sight yet.
App of the week: SongPop (iOS, Android, Facebook)
I'm a little surprised no one thought to make a "name that tune" game before now, but SongPop has filled that role well if its high ranking on the iTunes charts suggests.
As you would expect, the app plays a snippet of a song, and you have to identify it by artist or song title within a time limit. Songs come in groups of five, and you can send your score to your friends to see if they can beat you.
What really makes SongPop interesting is its insane number of playlists. The usuals like songs by decade or love songs are there, but SongPop also has dozens of specific genres such as new wave, industrial, TV show themes, Bollywood and video game music.
No matter your taste, you're bound to find something you like.
FreshPlanet Inc., free or $1.99
Suggest an app for App of the Week at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go Daddy has work to do after outage brings down millions of its websites
Internet domain name registrar Go Daddy has some unsavory things tied to its name - here I'm thinking of the terminally annoying Super Bowl commercials and former CEO Bob Parsons videotaping himself slaughtering an elephant.
Last week has given the company another negative association, as an outage brought down millions of Internet sites in one fell swoop. As big as the Internet is, that's still a pretty significant chunk.
Hackers claimed they were responsible, though the company is saying the problem lies with "a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables." I'm not entirely sure that explains things, either.
Granted, networked computers are hideously complex things, and stuff breaks. Glitches happen. I don't get righteously angry if a website goes down for a little while.
But this was millions of websites. Outages this huge just shouldn't happen. Typically, they don't. Maybe Go Daddy should spend a little less time coming up with their latest Super Bowl eye-roll and a little more time making sure their systems are less vulnerable.
Original Print Headline: Apple's iPhone 5 a giant leap forward
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Apple Inc. / Bloomberg
The GoDaddy.com< website is displayed last year. The company's massive outage brought down millions of websites last week. Bloomberg file