This report over at AppleBlogz points out a change that Apple is making where restoring to previous iOS 5+ firmwares will no longer be possible except certain “Blessed Versions”. This probably is to help with OTA updates which could cause problems if you rolled back, but is also probably to thwart JailBreakers as well.
A few websites are saying that Apple stole OTA updates from Google. This is simply not true. Feature phones before Android and even the iPhone were released were able to do OTA updates. It was not something that was generally public from the carriers as it was a new process. However it is a safer way to update since carriers have the ability to restrict how many people at once do updates. This allows them to push an update to say 10,000 random customers and monitor their support systems for bug reports. Say if a few days and no complaints go by that are show stoppers then they move along and push 100,000 and wait a day. Then they begin pushing to rest of their customers. It’s a great feature.
Other things that were added such as wireless media sync have been a requested feature for years. Apparently Zune HD had this, but I knew one person who ever bought a Zune and they returned it a few months later and bought iPhones. Is it really stealing an idea when it’s a common sense thing?
Camera from lock screen. People have been asking for faster ways to take pictures, and that’s what Apple has provided. Apparently Windows 7 Phones can do this, but manufacturers have been slow to adopt the feature. Nobody ever made a feature popular by not implementing it. Windows 7 phone users should thank Apple that other carriers may finally take note and begin to implement it more. This is exactly the reason that competition is good. If there’s a great feature out there, somebody is going to implement it.
There’s a lot of features that are coming with iOS 5 it’s almost impossible to tell which one is the best. Out of the list I would say no longer needing a computer to activate your iPhone and iTunes Wireless Sync are at the top of my list. With iCloud if you purchase a song through iTunes on your Mac, it will also download to your iPhone, iPad, or other sync’d devices as well. This is a welcome feature, and you can have up to 10 devices to Sync to. Which is 2 devices per member of a 5 person family. Your music is also stored in the cloud. I had guessed right that Apple would not be doing any streaming as that would of caused some angst with cellular carriers, and probably would of made the CEO’s of several carriers cry.
Another great feature is that you can access your purchase history and re-download songs finally.
Finally there’s iTunes Match. This will save people some time. iTunes Match will check your library and match those songs against a database of Apple songs, if a CD you ripped in 128k Mp3 then if there’s a match for those songs, Apple will copy a 256k AAC file up into your iCloud library and you can sync that back down to other devices. Not only does this not kill your broadband caps, it saves you a ton of time, although you will have to manually upload any song that’s not matched. Currently this is a fee service for 24.99 a year which is pretty cheap along, but there is a limit of 25,000 songs. Most will not be anywhere near that limit.
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