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What is iOS 5 Missing?

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On October 4th Apple is holding an iPhone event where we expect to learn more about the next iPhone. Apple is also expected to announce an iOS 5 release date and share more details about the software which will come to most iPhones on or around October 12th.

While details are still fuzzy on the iPhone 5, we know a lot about iOS 5, which will help the iPhone compete with Android and Windows Phone 7.

(Latest iPhone 5 Release Date, Hardware and Carrier Rumors)

Apple has been singing the praises of iOS 5 since it was announced this summer and many of us at GottaBeMobile have been using it on our iPhones and iPads in a beta format since shortly after it was announced.

Based on my time with iOS 5, Apple has made some important additions and now bests Android in several areas, but I’m looking forward to iOS 6, and hoping that Apple includes the following features in time for a 2012 iPhone.

Top Features iOS 5 is Missing

Better Navigation

If this sounds like a constant complaint, well it is. The iPhone and iOS lead the way in many areas, especially with iOS 5, but the lack of a built in map app that delivers real turn by turn navigation is a major disappointment, especially in 2011.

Here is an example of Google Maps Navigation from a year ago, which is still better than the out of the box map app on the iPhone.

Yes, you can purchase an app like Navigon for $60, but I think we can all agree that turn by turn GPS directions should be a built in part of any respectable smartphone.

Apple shouldn’t have any qualms about replacing existing apps. The company has a history of bringing new features to iOS that replace the need for third party apps — the most recent being the To Do app which is part of iOS 5.

Widgets

beautiful widgets

Examples of Android Widgets

Now that Apple has fixed notifications, widgets are where the company should focus their attention. Android has supported widgets for years, and like turn by turn navigation, this feature is long overdue.

Widgets allow you to place a small live tile on your phone, which can be as small as an icon or as large as the whole screen. These are essentially live icons that can show you the weather, your emails, social network updates, various time zones and much more. It is hard for me to imagine using a mobile device without at least some form or real widget support.

iOS 5 "widgets"

iOS 5 "widgets"

The Notification center in iOS 5 has Apple’s first stab at widgets, but relegating them to a pulldown defeats the purpose of fast access to all types of information. At this point it isn’t clear if Apple will allow third parties to create widgets for the notification center.

One common reason for not supporting widgets is that they reduce battery life. I assume that Apple will come out with widget support sometime in the next iOS release, and claim that their way is better.

Switchable Keyboards

While the iPad got a major keyboard upgrade in iOS 5, the iPhone is left with the same old keyboard. We may see better voice control in iOS 5, and on the iPhone 5 which is reported to have more RAM for a better voice control experience, but there are still too many places you can’t talk to type.

The iOS keyboard is more usable now that I know of this handy trick to access numbers and punctuation, and the custom keyboard shortcuts will help you type faster, but you still have no choice.

On Android there are a number of high quality keyboards like Swype and Swiftkey, both of which offer great autocorrect, prediction and new ways to type. If you need access to a number or punctuation, you can long press a key for an alternate character, which saves loads of time.

Here is a look at how switchable keyboards can improve the overall user experience.

Swiftkey can learn from your emails, Twitter, Facebook and text messages so that it knows what you are going to type. For example, if I type the numbers of my street address I can fill in the rest of my address by pressing the space bar a few times, including punctuation. This also works on phone numbers and Swiftkey can autocorrect to add in the usernames of people I am messaging on Twitter. It is incredible to watch and makes typing on the iPhone feel slow.

In the past week, Swiftkey has reportedly made me 36% more efficient thanks to predictions and autocorrect. This stat can get even higher, but I just installed a new version of the keyboard.

What is iOS 5?

Despite these shortcomings, iOS 5 has a host of great new features that will deliver a new experience across the iPhone line. iOS 5 will bring new life to iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

For more information, read: What to Expect from iOS 5, and watch the iOS 5 Overview video below.

Keep your eyes peeled for more in-depth coverage of iOS 5 and the iPhone 5.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

21 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    09/28/2011 at 1:42 pm

    What I miss most from my tablet is
    - Access to my NAS. This really should be an OS feature.
    - FTP
    - Bluetooth file transfer. Come on, the hardware for it is in there…
    - Better “docked” ergonomy, so it can really double up as a netbook/nettop: keayboard, mouse, screen

    • Roberged

      09/28/2011 at 2:48 pm

      Do you know the App GoodReader ?
      You can ftp and much more !
      If you want to share photos and videos then look for the amazing PhotoSync !

    • 123Yayouknowme

      10/05/2011 at 2:03 pm

      I do this all the time. Use Oplayer. Great app. Does avi, and all sorts of video types. FTP. It even streams video via FTP. It is AWSOME.

  2. Helpme

    09/28/2011 at 2:16 pm

    so much hype over an os update, when all they are doing is fixing bugs: :P

    • Anonymous

      09/29/2011 at 12:53 pm

      Honestly? 200 NEW features and you call iOS 5 a bug-fix? Honestly, just look at one iOS article and you’ll realize how wrong you are.

      • Dante

        09/30/2011 at 5:50 am

        Alright … If not fixing bugs, then we can say, just adding some features that most phone already have today! Lol. (and I agree there are many NEW features also.)

  3. Marcus Johnson

    09/28/2011 at 2:24 pm

    what the fuck is wrong with the current keyboard?

    yeah, there are like two features that i’d like, but the keyboard is NOT bad at all…

    ever think that Android has third party keyboards, because theirs SUCKS?

    • Luca Leone

      09/28/2011 at 3:13 pm

      ever think that Android has third party keyboards, because people have different tastes and habits ?

    • Ryan_long117

      09/28/2011 at 7:39 pm

      Hahaha they do it because 3rd party developers can be mote innovative, where do you think swype started? Is take any android keyboard over ops anyday

    • Blackhex

      01/05/2013 at 1:03 pm

      I’d rather type with android’s stock keyboard over iPhone slow ass one. It has predictions & auto correct, whereas in os you have to choose between the two, and even then it’s crap!
      Despite the stock keyboard on android being great I choose SwiftKey as it has really awesome features and now I’m testing out their beta called Flow which adds a swipe feature that I love.

  4. Kwame03

    09/28/2011 at 2:48 pm

    You guys are all ungrateful and picky. It’s ridiculous how unappreciative people are of this update.

  5. Josh Sunshine Smith

    09/28/2011 at 7:20 pm

    I have a feeling this is written by someone who is looking for reasons to make Android seem better.  I get around just fine with the built-in maps app though I do agree it could be better.  That’s the only good point in this article.  Widgets drain battery and unless Apple greatly increases battery capacity I don’t see this happening, which I like because it keeps with the Apple thought process.  The argument that apple needs switchable keyboards is laughable, I see nothing that can be gained from this feature.

    • Anonymous

      09/28/2011 at 10:09 pm

      They say ignorance is bliss, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. You should try SwiftKey for 2 minutes and you will notice a huge difference. As for widgets, the energy consumption is based on the widget itself. If you let it go update every 5 minutes you may notice it. Other widgets hardly affect battery life. Don’t bash because you are ignorant please.

      • Molieretaine

        09/29/2011 at 1:41 am

        if you type in three different foreign languages on a regular basis as I do, SwiftKey is shit

      • Anmol Jain

        10/11/2011 at 2:04 pm

        Ohk.
        then just answer this why android smartphones(having battery rating of 1800mAH or so) dont evn end up a day.???

        You wanna see how my iphone performs for battery.i’ll snd u d pic.
        it had 3 days 2 hours pf standby time with 12 hours of usage and my usage is 60% time playing games, 30% calls and texts and 10% any other thng.

  6. Tinagrace086

    09/29/2011 at 1:20 am

    The absence of certain features doesn’t decrease its popularity among the users.
    Check out these new and free gaming app.

    Appstore download link : http://itunes.apple.com/in/app/apple-life/id463407836?mt=8

    • wil313

      09/29/2011 at 9:11 am

      Hahaha thats hillarious! Thanks for making me laugh in class! Thats a great distraction from apple’s lack of care as to what their customers have to say about their products!

  7. General Hordak

    09/29/2011 at 9:55 am

    And the simple answer is…get an android phone.

    What’s the point in moaning about all the things iPhone doesn’t have. If you can do all these things and more on android, get an android phone.

    Simples!

  8. dl

    09/29/2011 at 11:29 am

    It’s still missing text-to-speech so i can listen to emails and text messages while I’m driving.  This has become so important to me and I’m sure it’s important with many commuters.  I was waiting for ios5 for this one thing – i’m switching to see if it really is greener on the other side.

    • Anmol Jain

      10/11/2011 at 2:06 pm

      its there in 4S.

  9. Slav Tomi

    09/30/2011 at 3:59 am

    Thought about patent problems here regarding widgets? Maybe they can’t do something yet that’s not too similar to what android has.

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