|By Drew Hendricks||
|September 23, 2013 01:11 PM EDT||
"Why buy the cow when the milk is free?" is a question that one usually doesn't associate with high-tech. However, it's an appropriate question to ask the executives at Apple right now.
Apple's latest iPhones come with a new operating system with state-of-of-the-art features. Although this operating system is unimaginatively named iOS 7, it's definitely a "must have" for people who want to stay on the bleeding edge of the technological revolution.
However, old school iPhone users can get the exact same operating system on their mobile devices without spending a dime. The new version of iOS will work on iOS equipment dating back to 2010. Devices eligible for the upgrade include the iPhone 4, the iPad 2, and the iPod Touch that was released at the end of last year.
So where is the incentive to spend the money on a new device? There isn't one, apparently. Even Apple's Craig Federighi tacitly admitted as much. Earlier this month, he claimed that any iPhone user who decides to install iOS 7 will feel "like they're getting an all new device."
The new operating system has a significantly different look and feel from previous versions. App icons are no longer displayed as 3D, embossed images. Instead, they're flatter but more colorful.
There are also some great new features that come with iOS 7. Users can now listen to music for free, albeit with advertisements, using iTunes Radio. Apple has also included several useful utility apps in the latest operating system. These include a video editor, a photo editor, and some productivity apps.
The new camera
iOS 7 also adds some great new camera features. Now, users can actually sort their photos based on user-created categories. The new camera also allows users to choose camera options, including panoramic, square, or standard photography. Finally, the camera allows users to easily switch to video mode, a feature reminiscent of many digital cameras on the market today.
Photographers using the iOS 7 camera can also select a filter to use while taking the photo. This means that they won't have to modify the picture later using Photoshop or some other software. The camera also allows for zooming when shooting video.
iOS 7 also allows users to scroll for apps more quickly than previous operating systems. This is accomplished by clicking on the "home" icon twice. When that happens, the app icons become larger images that are displayed across the center of the screen, horizontally. This makes multitasking easier.
Also, certain frequently accessed features are now more convenient. Users can now simply access a panel at the bottom of the screen and quickly put the iPhone in airplane mode.
The new hardware
As noted previously, the best new feature of the iPhone 5C is the new operating system. Other than that, it really doesn't have much to offer.
There is a key difference, however. The 5C is housed in plastic as opposed to aluminum. This means that it is also offered in numerous colors, including white, yellow, pink, green, and blue. The 5C also costs about half as much as previous iPhone models. It can be purchased for just $99 with a two-year contract.
A superior iPhone, called the 5S, offers features that are not available on the other models. Unquestionably, the feature with the most buzz is the fingerprint scanner. This means that, instead of using a 4-digit code to unlock your mobile device, you can unlock it with just a touch of your finger. If that sounds like science fiction, that's because it was science fiction not too long ago.
The 5S walks users through the process of creating an "authorized" fingerprint. Once that happens, the operating system will recognize that fingerprint. When the device goes into sleep mode, the authorized finger only needs to be placed on the home icon and the device is unlocked and awake.
The fingerprint scanner is a great feature for people who are security conscious about their mobile devices. For those who use their iOS-powered equipment to access important financial data, medical records, or even trade stocks based on successful trading systems, they can rest assured that no one is going to be able to hack their fingerprint.
The 5S also offers a few other advantages. In addition to having a quicker processor, it can also shoot slow motion video and take higher quality pictures.