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The Macalope Daily: Radical!

Macalope | Oct. 4, 2012
On Tuesday we went to the extreme; on Wednesday, we’re getting radical! What’s Thursday going to be? It’s like someone remade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something.

On Tuesday we went to the extreme; on Wednesday, were getting radical! Whats Thursday going to be? Its like someone remade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something.

Mike Elgan wants you to know Why the iPhone 5 is Too Radical (tip o the antlers to Lessien).

Well, at least hes going against the annoying, hackneyed grain that says the iPhone 5 is boring. Thats something.

Unfortunately, thats about it.

The iPhone 5 is better than its predecessors. But it could have, and should have, been far better than it in fact is.

Do tell. Unless theres any way we can convince you to back away from the keyboard and give up this self-destructive behavior.

No? Sigh. OK, go on, then.

For example, Apple decided to get too aggressive with both size and performance. These are laudable goals, but they didnt quite pull it off.

Rather than improving battery lifea usability issue desperately in need of improvementthey instead kept it the same in a best-case scenario, and degraded it in the worst case.

Elgan provides no links to back up this claim, possibly because while the larger screen and more powerful processor do take their toll, the difference is just 6 percent lower than the iPhone 4S and 4 percent lower than the iPhone 4 based on Macworlds tests. It would be nice if it were better, but the improvements in the phone come at a cost, which is why Apple, unlike other smartphone makers, waited to ship a larger screen and LTE until it could get acceptable battery life.

They also compromised on materials. Instead of the glass-backed iPhone 4S, which looked beautiful but was thick and heavy, we now get an aluminum housing, which scratches and scuffs easily and visiblysomething Apple reassuringly tells us is normal.

Aluminum is now radical. Glass is normal.

So, were all apparently over Glassgate then? Glass is just better than aluminum, even if it shatters when dropped? OK. Glad we settled that.

Apples radical new Lighting adaptor, neither compatible nor standard, is actually really cool. & But while it moves charging and wired data connectivity forward, it moves usability temporarily backward. Millions of homes and hotels rooms have iPhone-compatible clock radios and other docks and accessories. Now everyone has to cope with adaptors at added hassle and expense.

Thats not usability, thats compatibility. Being smaller and faster and able to be inserted either way, Lightning actually does move usability forward.

All Elgan has done here is display that he can, robot-like, summarily call any change, be it for better or worse, radical. The new ear buds? Radical! The nano-SIM card? Radical! Earphone jack on the bottom? Radical!


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