Why I’m not losing my shit over the iPhone 5

If you were hoping for something special from the iPhone 5, you, much like myself, must be disappointed. The differences between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 aren’t that much different.

  • iPhone 5 has a bigger screen. whooptie doo.
  • iPhone 5 has a faster CPU. hooray.
  • iPhone 5 has a different connector. wtf.

Aside from that, memory is the same, Bluetooth, camera, storage, display pixel density, audio, blah blah blah… all the same. Not mind blowing. Evolution not revolution.

But the bigger deal, the one that all of us will get, is IOS6. IOS6 is a big deal because it adds upwards of 200 new features and improvements. So why is it a big deal? Let me walk you through it.

Maps
Apple acquired a few companies over the last couple years and is finally replacing the Google Maps app with its own. Who cares? Well, you should.
The new maps app offers true turn-by-turn directions (with help from TomTom), crowd-sourced and real-time incident traffic reports (fastest route will actually mean something now), voiced by Siri with real-time integration with Yelp and a number of other services. Maps also has that super cool fly-over capability that will allow you to really drill in to see where you are… or where you want to be.

Siri
I often ask “Siri, why are you fucking with me?” to my iPhone. Because in most cases Siri screws up or doesn’t respond. But with IOS6, Siri has gotten smarter. She can now launch apps, send tweets, she integrates with opentable and yelp to check restaurant reviews and make reservations. She will pull rottentomatoes movie times and movie reviews. Epic. She will also be available on the iPad, which is also lovely.

Facebook Integration
Most people will love this. (I, myself, am not on Facebook, so it matters little to me, however…) Facebook is getting some major integration in this new update. With the ability to log into Facebook from the iPhone, users have easier access to Facebook in their apps, via web browser and also via Siri. Facebook contacts, birthdays and events will also now integrate with your calendar and local address book.

Quiet Time
In the phone app itself, Apple has made it easier to text folks back if you can’t take a call, or to enable a “Do Not Disturb” mode where the screen won’t come on, there won’t be any noise or vibrations so if you’re trying to sleep, or don’t want to be woken up at 4am by that crazy ex, you’ll love this. They can drunk dial for days and you’ll not even bat an eyelash.

FaceTime Over Cellular
FaceTime will now work over cellular connections, so you’re not dealing with Skype’s shitty ass IOS app that crashes every time you make a connection. Awesome.

Safari
Safari will get offline reading lists, a rip off of Instapaper, and a feature that came out in Windows 98.

Photos
Users can now share groups of photos to their friends over iCloud. Because not everyone has or wants to use photos. Especially for the nude photos.

Mail
There is a new VIP feature (from OSX Mountain Lion) that will highlight mail from people you need to prioritize, like your boss, your mom or the IRS.

Passbook
Have a ton of little “loyalty cards” from CVS, your local grocery store, AMC Theaters, Century 21, and all the others? Yea, me too. Like several other apps in both Android and Apple app stores, this collects all of your loyalty card data but also adds ticket information and other info into one central place for easy access and easy viewing. And it’s location-enabled so it knows what to show based on where you are (so you can get your movie tickets at the theater, your plane ticket at the airport, or your CVS card at… well… CVS.)

I’ll totally use this.

The update will be out on September 19th. So stay tuned.

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