Over the past couple of weeks there have been some great debates regarding iOS6, Android, and even Windows Phone 8 (sorry Blackberry) among OnForce Pros on our LinkedIn forum (if you are an OnForce Pro you should sign up). I thought it would be worth summarizing some of the thoughts as well as sharing my own experience and perspective as a way to broaden the debate.
Overall, Pros seem neutral to negative about the new OS and neutral to positive about the iPhone 5. Some highlights/problems cited from the discussion regarding iOS6:
- iOS 6 is killing battery life! Adrian Kingsley-Hughes’s of ZD Net gives his view.
- Passbook seems almost non-functional. Bev Robb said: “[iPhone 4] It was a train wreck with the Passbook” Tuaw’s overview of the problem
- Several Pros are choosing to wait to upgrade until there is more stability
- Some reports of wifi connection challenges – ZD Net’s view here
- Split perspectives on Maps. Here’s Tim Cook’s letter about it.
- Some installation problems
- Some Pros having great experiences and problem free
As for me, I’m still using my iPhone 4 on iOS6, although I’m about to switch to my Galaxy SII for a while. Have to say that I’m still not clear about whether iOS 6 is an upgrade. I like the VIPs in mail, but it seems like battery life is reduced. However, either I am getting used to it or it’s getting better for some hard to understand reason Initially I felt that I could watch the battery drain (and others have said the same), but now I’m not sure if it’s different from when I was on iOS5.
Also, can’t tell for sure, but it seems to lose wifi connection periodically. It recovers quickly, but I don’t remember this before iOS 6. Maps – I haven’t had a problem but I haven’t used it much. In the end, I think that iOS 6 has pushed my iPhone 4 one notch closer to obsolescence. I’m not unhappy, but I’m not impressed either.
Yesterday, in a conversation with my neighbor I got the best endorsement for iPhone that I could have. My neighbor is excited about his Samsung Galaxy Nexus SIII (Could they make their phone names any longer?) and was telling me he thought that this was Apple’s last big release. I was agreeing with him that it might be true although we had different reasons. His reasoning was that his SIII was so much faster and far ahead and Apple just wasn’t keeping up. I was a bit skeptical as he quoted processor speeds and mentioned that I hadn’t seen that the faster processors lead to consistently improved performance… and he proceeded to demo his phone and watch it freeze for a few seconds while scrolling and then come back… then freeze again. We proceeded to test who could do basic tasks faster – like finding a phone number. The iPhone was much faster. This is the not so well kept secret of why Apple continues to do so well. The phones just work and work well. You don’t have to spend a lot of time tuning and managing settings like my neighbor does on Android. This conversation really drove home a point though – the specs do matter to buyers. As consumers we often buy on specs – more is better.
I’m no Apple fan boy. I love the competition and I’m really hoping that Microsoft will get back into the game with their innovative approach with Windows Phone 8. As for Apple, I’m watching the problems stack up with this latest release and I have real concerns that they erode Apple’s key competitive strength – the phones just work. In particular, the problems with Maps are hard for me to understand. At first, I thought that people were over-reacting to a few small issues, but it seems fairly wide-spread. How does Apple – with all their focus on customer experience and quality – let this happen? Is it indicative of greater problems as the company scales or problems stemming from the loss of Steve Jobs? Stack this one with all the other reported issues and I get worried about their future. If Apple doesn’t deliver the best quality and best experience, what are they? It’s still early and there’s a lot of noise about the problems that makes it hard to tell how serious they really are. When the dust settles we’ll have a better picture.
Lastly, in our Mobile Perspectives Study (pre-iOS6/iPhone 5) iOS users had a Net Promoter Score of 69 while Android users were at 27. Further, iOS was 10 or more points higher in satisfaction when it came to performing 10 of 11 key tasks with the phone (like email, phone calls, voice mail, video, etc). The only category where Android scored better was in Maps/Directions which makes sense given that Android has had turn by turn navigation. It will be very interesting to see how the scores shift in the next survey.
What has been your experience?