iPhone 5Enlarge Photo
Yesterday, Apple unveiled one of the worst-kept secrets in the tech world: the all-new iPhone 5. Rumors about the device and leaked photos of its casing have been flooding the internet for months, and now most, if not all of them, have been confirmed.
But apart from the iPhone 5's longer -- and some would say, less elegant -- silhouette, what changes will it bring? There are at least five major changes that drivers should expect.
Goodbye, Google Maps
As we reported back in June, Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS6, will kill off Google Maps as the iPhone's pre-installed map application. (You'll still be able to use Google Maps on your iPhone, but you'll need to download the app from iTunes, and so far as we know, there's no way to make it the smartphone's default mapping application. Click on a map link in your email, and it'll open in the new Apple Maps.)
That's a pretty big risk for Apple. After all, Google Maps has been in development for years, and people have become very familiar with its functions -- even its quirks. Apple Maps will need to be spectacular right out of the gate, or Apple could see a substantial backlash.
Hello Waze, Yelp, TomTom
When we first heard about Apple Maps, we feared for the future of some of our favorite navigation apps. After all, if Apple Maps became the go-to app for getting from Point A to Point B, what would that mean for fun, gamified apps like Waze?
We're happy and intrigued to report, however, that Waze, Yelp, and TomTom will all be integrated into Apple Maps. According to Mashable, Apple Maps will incorporate real-time traffic data from Waze, turn-by-turn navigation from TomTom, and point-of-interest features from Yelp. Hooray for collaboration and synergy.
"Do Not Disturb"
As we mentioned in June, iOS6 will incorporate a new "Do Not Disturb" feature. Though details are still a bit fuzzy on how this will work in practice, it appears that "Do Not Disturb" will function like DriveSafe.ly or other distracted-driving apps: when the iPhone's accelerometer determines that the device (and its owner) are moving at a certain speed, it will slip into "Do Not Disturb" mode, silencing alerts and keeping the iPhone's screen black. "Do Not Disturb" probably won't be as robust as other distracted-driving apps, but it's nice to see this functionality built in.
Adapt to reuse
Anyone who's ever owned a Mac laptop is well aware of the company's endless array of dongles. Rather than sticking with common VGA and HDMI ports, Apple creates its own proprietary ports, then charges customers for adapters ("dongles") to connect those ports to projectors, TVs, and other accessories.
Now, it appears the iPhone has jumped on the dongle bandwagon. Gone is the iPhone's familiar 30-pin connector -- clunky though it was -- and now we have the much smaller, completely unique "Lightning" connector. Drivers who listen to tunes on their iPhone using a 30-pin cable (or who like to charge their phone in the car) will still be able to do so, but they'll have to shell out $30 for an adapter.
Why Apple couldn't have included a far-more-common micro-USB port remains a mystery.
Perhaps most frustratingly of all, Apple has moved the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone. For those who connect their iPhone to a car stereo via an auxiliary cable, that could make things complicated. You won't be able to rest the iPhone in a cupholder anymore, unless you're willing to rest it upside-down, which seems like an unnecessary distraction. Perhaps it's time to invest in a dock that attaches to your dashboard.
Do you plan to purchase an iPhone 5? Do these changes concern you? Or are you just happy to get your hands on Apple's newest, shiniest, lightest gadget? Let us know in the comments below.