21 September, 2012

iOS 6

iOS 6 seems to have launched in the last few days. I'm holding out on upgrading, though, because there seem to be major problems with Maps and I depend on Maps a bit.


London, UK, Is In Ontario: The World According To Apple's Horrid Map App http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2012-09/apples-new-maps-app-riddled-ridiculous-errors

The Amazing iOS 6 Maps

Tim Cook actually apologised for Maps, and the App Store has a feature on other map apps. That was unexpected.

App Store

They've upgraded the App Store, and I'm not sure if it's better or not.
  • Search results now show 1 screenshot per app
  • But this means now it can only show 1 app per page, scrolling takes very long
  • At least downloading an app doesn't take you out of the App Store
  • It's 2012, shouldn't there be a way to sort and filter search results?
  • More worrying is when the results start repeating themselves when you scroll
  • Or you're somehow able to view more apps than there are
  • Also, sometimes tapping on a result doesn't do anything.
  • The icons and categories don't quite fit into 1 screen so the last one is always awkwardly cut off. If you're going to redesign the app, shouldn't you plan it so that everything fits?
  • You think that's bad, how do you get this to happen? Hmm?


I think this is an iOS 6 thing, you can now get contacts from Facebook. It automatically tries to merge contacts for you, you can manually link contacts, choose which image to display, view separate entries in linked contacts. No complaints so far.


Podcasts is a new app. I never paid much attention to it before. Podcasts are like recorded radio programmes (in fact many podcasts are exactly that). The app is a bit confusing, though. There's a Catalogue (online), and a Library (podcasts on your device), and in the individual podcasts in the Library are lists of episodes. There seem to be 2 versions of the list: one for you to choose which podcast to play (white), and one while actually playing (black).
Things I don't get:
  • So exactly which episodes are already downloaded? You'd think this was an important and obvious piece of information - you can decide what to listen to, or how much space it's taking. THERE'S NO WAY TO TELL. Oh it's easy - the ones with the blue dots are downloaded, and the ones with the downward arrow are not, right?
  • You can delete podcasts after listening to them - nice. But then THERE'S NO WAY TO SEE THE COMPLETE LIST OF PODCASTS AGAIN. It's not that difficult. I only need ONE LIST with 3 columns: listened, stored on device and maybe favourites.
  • There's "Top Stations" on the bottom right, which really belongs in the Catalogue.
Update 7 Nov 12 (version 1.1.2)
Apple updated the Podcasts app, but it's still not working satisfactorily.
  • Ok now it looks like the blue dot is unplayed, but why are all the podcasts before I subscribed played?
  • Why does it keep rearranging my podcasts!?
  • If you don't subscribe to a podcast, you can't see the list of episodes. So do they want you to subscribe to all podcasts? What's the point of subscribing then? I just want to see their episodes to see if a podcast is worth subscribing to.
Update 2 Jan 13
 How is it able to play an undownloaded podcast?
I wonder how the top rating can show 2.5 stars, while the bottom shows only 2 stars. And even 2 stars looks like a lot, for that many 1 star reviews.


Somehow, one of my notes appeared as a different font to the others. Changing fonts didn't work, so I copied it into a new note and deleted the old one. Update: ok, I found out if you type any Chinese characters into a note, the font changes to Helvetica, and you can't change it back, even if you delete the Chinese characters.

Overall, this release of iOS has too many problems. The previous releases were highly polished, this one seems incomplete. It's nice to pay attention to details like making the Music app's control sliders change reflection when you turn the device, but they should work on the basics first.
Oh, it's still better than Android. Yesterday I saw a SIII record a video, then it was unable to play it back.

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