I was thinking yesterday that I love my iPhone. I’ve owned three iPhones, the original, the 3G (not 3GS), and the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 leaves me without want.
With the original iPhone, I really wanted 3G, so I upgraded. With the 3G, I really wanted a faster processor, and a better camera. The 3GS was faster, but that’s all; I skipped it. The iPhone 4 was a HUGE leap in performance and function between it and iOS4. The A4 chip screams. The camera is gorgeous. The Retina display is one of those “how’d I ever live without it” features. I honestly can’t say what more I’d want.
Which brings us to iOS5.
Each time I’ve upgraded the OS without upgrading hardware, I’ve been disappointed. The features are cool, but the performance lags, and lags across the board. Having rapid response when I hit the home button is essential. Not having that is a deal breaker. I’ve come to believe that general UX is more important than having the latest bells-and-whistles. If I have to wait a second or two (or three) to get to the home screen after hitting the home button, then I begin to hate my phone. That being said, I don’t expect I’ll upgrade to iOS 5 until I upgrade hardware as well, and I don’t expect to want to do that any time soon.
Like I said: I love my iPhone 4; I am without want. The buttons work like new, the extra hard glass is flawless, the battery life is very good (though not exactly like new), it performs as it did when I bought it, it’s not missing an apparent killer app. This would all change if I updated to iOS5. I’m sure the next iPhone will have the A5 chip, and iOS5 will make good use of it…and the A4 will struggle to keep up…and I’ll begin to hate my iPhone 4, which as of today (as we’ve established) I love.
This brings us to WWDC 2011.
I can’t think of any feature–any feature at all–that would adequately inspire my upgrading to iOS5. There’d have to be some sort of beer-yielding feature to cause me to upgrade. Not that I’m uninterested, by any means. I’ll be glued to my screen and raving excited, I’m sure. But I’m not going to upgrade my iOS without upgrading hardware ever again, and I don’t have a need to update my hardware.
Of course, this is Apple. The company is made of Wow. I’m writing this before WWDC for a reason. I recognize I may eat my every word here because of some sort of wicked feature that, even on “inferior” hardware, is still a drop-dead must-have feature. That’s just Apple. The difference this time for me is that I don’t see that feature set coming. They’re going to have to pull a full-fledged esquilax out of the hat to get me on board.
I updated to iOS5 on the first day it was released. The notifications alone made the upgrade worth it. Performance is great, so far. No regrets.