Some Fundamental iOS 6 Complaints (Besides Maps)

Macworld’s Lex Friedman has posted a revew of his iOS 6 gripes, and Maps isn’t among them, but rather he focuses on grievances common to those of us who try to use iOS devices as productivity platforms, contendng that Apple now needs to focus not just on shiny new features, but on improving some of the system’s core foundational elements.

Particularly in need of improvement is text selection, noting that you tap, you hold, you use the magnification loupe, andalmost inevitably you have to futz around.

He’s too kind. Text selection in the iOS is lame, horrid, and hair-tearingly frustrating for anyone partial to the positive precision and stability of mouse or trackpad-driven cursor navigation and selection. It is probably the worst aspect of using the iOS for production work, making simple tasks take many times longer than they would on the Mac.

Copying and pasting, via tedious contextual popover menus with no keyboard shortcuts constantly slow workflow down.

Then there’s the iOS home screen that’s crippled and cumbersome compared with, say, Windows Phone’s searchable, alphabetical list of all your apps, or even the Android home screen.

Friedman notes that organizing apps on iOS is painful, whether you try to do it on your device or from iTunes on your Mac, while Windows Phone uses a single, vertically-scrolling screen for organization.

He also observes that sharing data and documents between apps in iOS stinks since apps can’t directly share documents with other apps in iOS, which is unintuitive, clunky, and frustrating, which of course brings us to Apple’s stubborn and perverse refusal to give the iOS a user-accessible file system, making it necessary to make do with a third-party workaround like Dropbox.

Then there’s multitasking, which your editor regards as one of the primary raisons d’etre for using computers. And iOS doesn’t support it in any substantive sense. Dogged adherence to a full screen app motif makes functional multitasking impossible, and I agree with Friedman that a Mission-Control-inspired interface, showing screens from your recently opened apps, would be an improvement.

As Friedman observes, as we iOS users continue to encounter competitors’ operating systems in the wild – with their occasionally superior features – dont be surprised if you find your eye starting to wander in their direction.

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