The final design of the iPhone 5 was announced on the 12th September, and released for sale on the 21st. In true Apple product style, there are a few well documented problems with the new generation of the iPhone. Since the widespread issue with the iPhone 4’s lack of signal and the 4S’s Siri not working as expected outside of the US, it has almost become expected to have some form of major fault in the next Apple release. The iPhone 5 is no exception.
The first real big issue was the new update to the operating system – iOS 6. Some customers did believe that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, but Apple went ahead and attempted to improve an already good system. They released iOS 6 with their own Apple Maps, made to compete Google Maps, which is not available as an app on iOS 6. We expected the same quality to the long running, established product, but what we got was a less than substandard alternative.
Apple uses its information from Yelp, rather than creating its own extensive database, which means that smaller businesses are missed off entirely when searching for ‘coffee shops’, for example. Companies and stores that have not existed for years have spontaneously been re-opened, according to this new programme. And if you live outside of the US, some location information is simply wrong due to lack of overseas mapping.
What is forgotten is that Google Maps was developed over several years, whereas Apple Maps have just come out. Apple has apologised for this issue, and visible improvements have been made, but there is still a long way to go.
Apple’s new iSight camera is next in line for complaints. A purple flare or halo has been documented on when taking photos with the new phone in areas when there is a bright light source just outside of the shot. Although there is expected to be some lens flare, Apple has declared that this sort of glitch is ‘normal’.
A solution has been offered to eliminate it. Users have been advised to ‘move the camera slightly’ or ‘shield the lens with your hand’. Doesn’t sound oddly familiar to solution to the iPhone 4’s signal issues? Simply hold it a different way.
The problem is not to do with the newly developed sapphire lens for the iSight camera as it was originally expected. It is being caused by the light source at an angle that reflects off the surfaces inside the camera. Although a software update is said to be released, we may be waiting a while for it.
4G in the UK
This isn’t necessarily an issue with the iPhone 5, but it is a major dampener on one of its unique selling points. Very few, if any, phones in the UK offer access to 4G. This is because none of the UK is able to get access to 4G. Due to falling behind on the technological advance front, the UK is behind countries like the Tanzania and India, who already have the next generation in mobile connectivity.
It is expected for the EE network, parent company of Orange and T Mobile to have 4G before then end of 2012, but O2 and Vodaphone have fallen far behind. With spectrum auctions for 4G radio space not taking place until early 2013, other companies are starting to grow anxious that they will lose out on competition. Ofcom have been able to suspend legal action by promising 4G service for O2 and Vodaphone by April 2013, cutting the potential waiting time in half. The iPhone 5’s promises for a faster internet will be useless in the UK, at least until the end of 2012, when a percentage of customers will opt for the new EE service.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the new iPhone. As with all new phones, there are going to be a few that do not work as expected. 5 million were sold in the first three days of release even a small percentage does add up to a considerable amount of phones. Technology is always changing and adapting, so any problems should soon be sorted out.
Beth O’Brien is a Bournemouth University student currently working for www.visopix.com, who is passionate about technology and gaming.