in tech

iOS 6? Not yet.

As I was returning from lunch today, sitting in the car, I saw Burlington Coat Factory. In fact, it was a very specific Burlington Coat Factory. It triggered a memory. Two years ago, When I was fresh in the US and our sweaters were proving to be no match for the Colorado Winter, I and a bunch of friends had come to this particular outlet to buy winter wear because it was supposed to be pretty cheap. We got great deals, of course, but the journey, both to and fro was arduous. We were required to change many buses and coordinate the timings of all of them to ensure that we had minimum exposure to the cold. Back then, I was totting an iPhone 4 with a 200 MB data plan. Needless to say, my WiFi toggle was always on and looking and my battery was the fastest to dry out. Some others in my group also had smart phones, but I was either the most careful one not to waste my 3G or the more adept one at finding routes and bus time tables, so the task of ensuring everyone walked fast enough and didn’t waste too much time shopping was entrusted to me. I cannot, of course, claim that I was much better than any other one of them. It was the magic of Google Maps that ensured that we knew exact what bus to take and when.

More recently, about five months ago, I was roaming the crazy, confusing streets of San Francisco and was having trouble understanding what bus to take or rather, if it was supposed to be a bus I had to take at all (electric-powered buses? Who would have thought?!). My friends were looking at the real world and trying to understand where to stand while I was zoomed deep into Google Maps, finding the virtual corollary. Unable to find a satisfactory answer, I asked a passerby. He whipped out his iPhone and started zooming in. I felt somewhat surprised. He looked at my face and immediately offered, “I have the beta of iOS6, so my Maps are very different from yours.” I understood and for a second, shared a glance at the latest and greatest piece of tech from Apple. He showed me where to go and what to look for (a yellow patch on one side of an electric pole will tell you, unsuspecting traveler, that this is the bus stop you are looking for) and went his way. My friends teased me about not having the coolest OS but I shrugged it off.

Actually, I am awfully fond of my jailbreak and the convenience that comes with it. I wait for months at a time even after the release to update, because I wanted to keep my jailbreak. I’ve even gone through the tethered jailbreak phase. All because I love the tweaks that Cydia offers. When I heard about iOS 6 and the features it offers, I was very happy and hoped to upgrade pretty soon. But then two things happened –

1. iOS 6 Maps is the worst software ever written. Yep, someone told me that. I take that on face value. In fact, I was told that the Maps don’t have proper public transit information. I rely heavily on public transport, despite Boulder being a small city. So for me, a world where I can’t get the bus timings at the click a button would be a nightmare.

2. The jailbreak Dream Team broke up. I don’t know exactly what’s happening in the jailbreak scene right now. I haven’t followed it in the past few months. But I know that not much is happening, except for an iconic tweet by @chpwn showing Cydia on an iPhone 5 and then confirming to @i0n1c that it’s a jailbreak. Apart from that, the community has gone silent on A5 and A6 devices, with a tethered jailbreak available on A4 devices. Either they’re working hard on something or they’ve departed an increasingly ugly scene where common users had no respect for these devs who put their time and money into the project.

Either ways, I’m on iOS 5 on my iPhone 4S right now. I’m jailbroken and happy about it (and it’s legal too! :P). I’m not going to upgrade until at least one of the above conditions are met. Till then, I’ll gladly wait.