So the word of the week is update, thanks to the iPhone5 and iOS6 from Apple, new Twitter, and more.
And if you have gadget envy, you're not alone.
Here's a cheat sheet for the new upgrades. (The real ones.)
What is iOS 6?
iOS is the iPhone's mobile operating system.
i = Apple's product prefix (iPod, iPad, iPhone ...)
OS = operating system
Basically, it's the program on which Apple smartphones and related products function.
Last year's version, iOS 5, brought the world the iPhone messenger, which allowed iPhone users to message each other without charges (similar to BlackBerry's BBM service).
iOS is popular - 37% of smartphones run on it. The Android OS beats it out, with more than 50% of the market.
iOS 6 started rolling out yesterday, and it's one of the biggest updates in OS history. The new features include a new map feature (no longer tied to Google Maps), and more streamlined Facebook and Twitter integration.
But it's got issues. Even fanboys are griping that Apple decided to ditch its transit directions, leaving bus and train passengers frustrated. Some eager users also found themselves unable to access the App Store. Luckily Apple Support Forum users found a quick fix.
Oh, and the new map animation looks like footage from the zombie apocalypse.
What's with the new iPhone? Could Apple really have added more features?
Oh, they can and they did.
The new iPhone 5 has a lot of new physical features, including a taller and thinner design, a new charging connector, and an additional microphone. And that's just what's on the outside.
On the inside, the iPhone 5 has a new SIM card and a slightly elevated battery life. This phone also has 4G capabilities, which means that when the phone is in a 4G zone, it will be much faster.
Oh, and there's a new connector.
So are people rushing out to buy this thing? And should I?
Only just gone and ordered my new iPhone 5. With me on Friday. Hell YES!!!!
— Lucy Dixon (@lucy_dixon) September 19, 2012
New iPhone 5 ordered.Yes, I figured you would like to know.You’re welcome.
— Rob Bazinet (@rbazinet) September 14, 2012
Ordered the new iPhone 5…waiting game
— Nathan Stupar (@thenastynate57) September 15, 2012
Well, can you spare at least 200 bucks? Or more? If you have an upgrade on your phone plan or are planning to get a new one, the iPhone 5 will cost $199 or $299, depending on how much space you want. If you don't have an upgrade, it will cost a lot more.
Still, price hasn't exactly deterred people from rushing out to buy their new toy. And, yeah, there was a hashtag for that.
using a Shoelace as a belt .#UGOtTheiPhone5Tho
— Swerve Boii , (@SuckMySk8board_) September 14, 2012
Apple is saying that pre-orders topped $2 million in just 24 hours. In fact, there were so many pre-orders that their initial supply wasn't enough. On Sept. 16, five days before the phone hit store shelves, lines were already forming.
I'm not an Apple user. Are there any new phones on the market for me?
Yes! Here are a few of them:
- The LG Optimus G, which boasts the Android OS and a zoom camera.
- Windows Phone 8X/S has a pretty powerful processor and a new operating system that's received rave reviews.
- The newest RAZR, from Motorola. (Ahh, this reminds me of the first phone I got in high school - it was a pink flip RAZR. Now, it's come back to life as a smart phone: with a huge screen and a supposedly great battery life.)
Nokia might be innovating in hardware and beating iPhone 5 in some ways, but it's the ecosystem that matters. Windows Phone 8 better deliver
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) September 13, 2012
While we're talking tech, can you tell me about Twitter's new design, too?
Twitter's new look is more visual and more focused on profile pages.
What does this mean for you? Well, Twitter says users will be able to express themselves more. There's a greater emphasis on images. And a lot of potential for self-expression, creativity, and silliness.
Here's how to set it up:
Twitter also updated its iPad app. And it's got a lot of haters.
Interaction of today’s new Twitter for iPad is so bad. No tappable URLs, usernames, or hashtags in timeline. Must tap tweet to expand first.
— John Gruber (@gruber) September 18, 2012
Twitter just butchered their iPad app, as I predicted.It’s awful. A blown-up iPhone app with no additional thought. (Or text formatting.)
— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) September 18, 2012
You might want to think twice before upgrading.
While you've got tech on the brain, here are a few things you can do.
Images used under Creative Commons licensing.