A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

iOS: Innovation & Efficiency or Yearly Distraction?

When presented with two possible actions, there's no obvious indication which is more efficient than the other most of the time.  As the value-driven creatures we are, we walk around trying to find the "best" deal or "most efficient" piece of technology.  But what if this search actually wastes more time than the product or method we gain from it will afford us.  These questions tend to plague me, especially when switching to a new operating system.  The problem is, I usually upgrade, assuming the developers know what's best.

 via Apple

via Apple

iOS 7

Every year for the last seven years, Apple has released a new mobile operating system at WWDC.  Until this year, it was evident EXACTLY what was being done to make the OS more efficient and improve performance - because these were all minor upgrades.  This year, it's a bit more unclear.  Not to scare you but Jony Ive isn't all knowing and powerful.  Even though he is a brilliant designer.  Apple's goal here is to sell phones, not make you more efficient.  (However, efficiency is generally a key variable in the equation.)

 via Mactips.info

via Mactips.info

From the reviews I've seen so far, it appears the OS will offer a speed boost.

Founder of the 5by5 network, Dan Benjamin (@DanBenjamin) tweeted last week: 

After just a couple hours with iOS 7, iOS 6 seems bulky and heavy and kinda “big horsey”

That's exactly the type of thing I like to hear. 

Command center will certainly help speed up a number of tasks, moving many functions of settings to the home screen, including wifi, bluetooth, and (finally) a flashlight button.  The interface overall appears simpler.  Quick reply to texts will also help speed up texting and get your phone back in your pocket more quickly.

 via banniebtechsupport.files.wordpress.com   

via banniebtechsupport.files.wordpress.com


It appears the upgrade to iOS 7 will be a safe move in regard to preserving or improving efficiency but be skeptical of new updates.  I would venture to say one 'upgrade' that hurt efficiency was the introduction of push notifications into the mainstream.  Checking your phone for a different app's update every five minutes tends to be distracting.  Another good example of an update that slowed things down was the introduction of Windows 8.  I have yet to meet a person who says it improved the speed of their workflow.

Be careful.  Proceed with caution.  Remember, it's not really an upgrade if it slows you down. 

 Interesting bit: Recombu.com actually had an iOS 7 simulator on their website until Apple forced them to pull it down.