Addressing the weak spots

Addressing the weak spots

Every generation of new iPhone (and its iOS) has appeared to be aimed at erasing the top three (and only the top three) complaints of the previous model, changes which have also happened to be the top three advantages held by competing products.

The second generation iPhone 3G added 3G mobile service, GPS and lowered the price dramatically, while iOS 2.0 added third party apps, enterprise features and push messaging, making the iPhone competitive with Palm OS, Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, while also holding its own advantages in usability.

The third generation iPhone 3GS added more speed, RAM and a better camera capable of video, while iOS 3.0 added a sophisticated text selection method for copy/paste, MMS and tethering, Find My Phone and expanded Bluetooth support, again matching the top unique features that other mobile platforms and their devices held over the iPhone.

Last year's fourth generation iPhone 4 provided a much improved Retina Display, a faster processor, and a much better set of cameras with flash, while iOS 4.0 added Multtasking, FaceTime and Spotlight search, again bringing Apple's smartphone into parity with the formerly unique features of webOS and Android competitors.

This year, Apple similarly looked at the three weakest spots of iPhone 4 and determined they were its overall speed, camera and Voice Command. Apple subsequently released iPhone 4S with the same multicore A5 processor as iPad 2, a significantly better camera, and an entirely new voice interface, which leverages cloud computing to deliver not just voice recognition, but actual assistant functions powered by unique artificial intelligence processing.

In software, Apple identified iOS 4's weakest spots as being its MobileMe cloud services, its forced attachment to iTunes and its modal notifications system, and fixed all three as the primary new features in iOS 5.