iPhone 5S and iOS7: How it looks is the least important part

I’ve owned an iPhone 5S for about 24 hours now; there’ll be a review of sorts coming, but I wanted to talk about what iOS 7 and the 5S really represents in terms of the future of the smartphone market first.

Oh, and I’ll be bringing up the Moto X, too. Just FYI.

I’ve felt for a while now that smartphones aren’t really descended from phones, but from PDAs (remember those? They were popular). Apple had one of the earliest of these, the Newton, but Palm went on to own the market. At any rate, PDAs were focused on life management-emails, appointments, and note-taking were the focus. Smartphones have taken that basic set of tools, added always-on data, and massively expanded the concept. The Moto X is currently the golden standard for incredibly deep contextual awareness-it tracks the data associated with your google ID and hardware to a massive extent and does some really cool things with it-and now Apple is diving into contextual awareness as well. it’s not as deep as the Moto X, but it does offer a solid first step into a much deeper level of awareness for your phone. Below are screenshots explaining what it does.


Above is the “Today” section of Apple’s new calendar pane in the iOS notification center. It shows, for now, the weather, stocks if you let it, and your day’s events if you’ve logged them in your Calendar.


Here is the Tomorrow area. It doesn’t provide a great deal of information, which I hope Apple improves on-I frequently have to prepare for events happening the next day…that Powerpoint slide deck isn’t going to build itself. :p


Here is part of what the M7 motion processor is doing. It tracks you from place to place, apparently to be able to provide travel time.

This is obviously very similar to what Google Now and Motorola Assist do, although its closer to the Motorola setup as its part of the OS and not an app. 

Smart devices in general have, I think, gravitated towards being an evolution of PDAs; between knowing where you regularly go and watching your calendar and email traffic, smartphones have found their market place: Life management. 


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