As you are probably aware, Apple released iOS 5 to the general public today. Customers have been not-so-patiently awaiting the release of the latest iteration of iOS since the software was first demoed at WWDC this past June, and for good reason. The update brings many long-awaited features to our iDevices including revamped notifications, iCloud, and Wi-Fi sync. Needless to say, anticipation has been at a constant high for the past 24 hours.
Though, for people who, like me, have been using the beta software for months this release is bitter sweet. On one hand, it’s great that we’ll finally get to iMessage with more than two people. But at the same time, we don’t get to partake in the excitement with everyone else because to us, it’s old news. My friend asked me what the differences were between iOS 4 and iOS 5 and I honestly couldn’t remember. Not because iOS 5 isn’t distinguishable from iOS 4, but simply because I’ve become so accustom to iOS 5, I’ve forgotten what my phone was like without it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was super pumped for iOS 5 when I first saw it. So pumped, in fact, that the night the beta went live I stayed up until 3 A.M. download/playing with it, only to get up three hours later to go to work. So, to all of you upgrading today, I know exactly how you feel.
As a matter of fact, it’s this feeling that sparked a question in my mind – between iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, which is the better upgrade?
The iPhone 4S, while failing to live up to the incredible hype surrounding the next-gen iPhone, is still an excellent handset that offers
someÂ threeÂ reallyÂ awesome features – a great camera, a great processor, and Siri. Pre-orders for this gadget have broken all sorts of records, with AT&T reporting 200,000 pre-orders in the first 12 hours, and Apple reportedly selling around a million devices before the phone is even released. The iPhone 4S definitely caused a bit of a frenzy when companies started taking online pre-orders.
At the same time, iOS 5 has been crashing Apple servers for hours while what seems like the entire world attempts to upgrade its iOS gadgets. In my opinion, iOS 5 delivered much more of what consumers were looking for than the iPhone 4S – the simplistic, user-friendly interface Apple is known for, a great new notifications system, a totally free iOS-exclusive IM client, an awesome cloud-based storage platform… the list goes on and on. It definitely seems like Apple took a lot of queues from the jailbreak community and, seeing as jailbreaking is done solely to give users what they want, that’s certainly a good thing.
The cheapest iPhone 4S costs $199 (with a 2-year agreement). iOS 5 is completely free, and works on a wide range of Apple devices.
Frankly, the way I see it is that with the iPhone 4S, you’re paying top dollar for three cool features. With iOS 5, you’re not paying a dime and getting over 200. iOS 5 is the clear winner here.
Sure, hardware is important. It’s the great hardware Apple builds that makes it possible to run the great software. But the thing is, the hardware is so great that it’s not necessary to upgrade it in order to upgrade the software – old hardware runs new software beautifully (to an extent).
With devices as software and app driven as the iPhone, it’s much easier to make an old phone feel new with updated software than it used to be. In the old days, if you wanted to do cool new things with your phone you had to buy a new one. Now, simply plugging your phone into iTunes can transform last year’s model into the newest and coolest gadget.
I’m not saying that software will always beat out hardware but, in this case, where the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS can both run iOS 5 without any issues, there’s no need to upgrade to the 4S.
What do you guys think? In the battle of iOS 5 versus the iPhone 4S, which new Apple product is the winner? Start a discussion down below in the comments section, or share your thoughts with me on twitter!