How Apple can make iPhone5 smart

Feb 19 2013, 14:50 IST
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iPhone 5 iPhone 5
SummaryBy updating iOS to jailbreak and apps such as NCSettings can make it user friendly.

Apple has been the market leader in smartphones for a long time now. Staying number 1 is always a tough task and a survey by mobile research firm OnDevice research (Apple iPhone 5 behind 4 Android phones in user satisfaction: survey) revealed that iPhone lags behind Samsung Galaxy Note II in terms of user satisfaction. Other phones in the study are not available in the market anymore, so it is safe to ignore them. While iPhone 5 comes with high-quality hardware, the software has begun to show its age. Android provides users greater customisability, but manufacturers rarely provide regular updates. Here are a few software tweaks that will improve user satisfaction with iOS.


The iOS notification centre is barebones when compared to its Android counterpart. The metallic grey background looks bare and the options are fairly limited. In Android, users can access all connectivity options (WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, etc). In iOS, these options require multiple taps and swipes. These options are basic and should be accessible from the notification centre. A jailbreak was released for latest version of the OS (iOS 6.1) by evasi0n, who claimed that at least 7 million people installed it in four days. Jailbreak gives users more freedom to tweak iOS. NCSettings is a popular app that makes the iOS notification centre user-friendly. Try it if you have jailbroken your iPhone.

Restrictions on third-party apps

Apple is committed to making the OS secure. This means that sharing between third-party apps is restricted. For instance, you open a webpage in Safari and want to share it with a WhatsApp contact. There is no way to do this apart from the cumbersome copy-paste. In Android, you can share URLs from any browser to most apps. Apple allows sharing with selected apps, like Facebook and Twitter. It might be enough for most users, it is not always convenient. You cannot set any app as the default keyboard on iOS either. In Android, you can pick from many excellent keyboard apps like Swype or Swiftkey, while you'll have to manually set these as your input method everytime in iOS.


Multi-tasking is not the best in iOS either. Switching between open applications is a hidden feature. Press the home button twice to access open apps. This is not intuitive and Apple needs to make it seamless. In Windows 8, swiping from the side of the screen lets you switch between open applications. That is a good example of how it can be done.

With Android Jelly Bean, Google's operating system is as good as iOS. Google has integrated its excellent web services in the OS, an area where Apple needs to improve. Google Now is better than Apple's voice search app Siri and Google Maps is miles ahead of Apple Maps. If Apple wants to maintain its lead in the market, it will have to improve its operating system and web services. Its biggest advantage is the App Store and timely updates. It should make the best of its strengths.

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