Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Sep 2013 18:25 UTC
Apple Apple's event is going on right now - and most of the new stuff already leaked weeks and months ahead of time. So, we're getting an iPhone 5S, an iPhone 5C, and iOS7 will be available later this month. I like the design of the 5C more than of the 5S; it's more playful, colourful - harking back to the coloured iMacs and PowerMac G3s. Too bad it doesn't come in red.

The fingerprint sensor in the 5S is interesting, but I wonder how accurate it will be in the real world; on top of that, with all the NSA news, I'm not particularly keen on Apple reading my fingerprint all the time. Supposedly, applications don't have access to it and it's not stored in the cloud, but I have little to no trust for companies.

The biggest news for me is the fact that the iPhone 5S has a new chip - the A7 - which has the honour of being the first 64bit chip inside a smartphone. iOS7 and first party Apple applications are all 64bit, and Xcode obviously supports it. While this obviously future-proofs the platform for more RAM, I wonder what other motives are involved here. ARM desktops and laptops, perhaps?

I doubt 64bit will provide much benefit today, but you have to hand it to Apple: at least they're done with the transition before it's even needed.

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RE[2]: so so
by galvanash on Wed 11th Sep 2013 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: so so"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

In a world of Full HD, quadcore, 2 GB RAM phones the Iphone can't compare anymore.


Your falling for the marketing bullshit... I know Apple does the same thing, but Im just saying - having a slightly higher value for a particular spec does not in and of itself indicate an actual improvement.

Here are some specific arguments for the points you bring up.

1. Screen size being bigger only matters if you WANT a bigger screen - some people don't. If screen size matters to you then you are simply are not going to want an iphone, regardless of resolution. Having a smaller screen does not make a phone "lower-end" - it makes it smaller...

2. At 4", full HD resolution as a line item on the spec list means virtually nothing. "1080p" is nothing more than a pointless buzz word outside of the world of video, and on a 4" screen, in a full motion video, I doubt you could discern any difference even if they did increase the resolution to 1080p. Also, to my knowledge there is no phone on the market with a 1080p display at 4" - they are almost all closer to 5" (I think the HTC One is probably the smallest at 4.7"). Anyway, what matters is how the screen looks, and the screen on an iphone looks pretty damn good.

3. There is a reason that iphones have a specific resolution - its because of the resolution of the original iphone and the desire to allow UI elements to scale in powers of 2. If they made the phone 1080p, video might look ever-so-slightly-better (doubtful...) but apps targeting the original iphone would have looked like shit . It was a design decision, made for good reasons at the time. That said, in hindsight I think they boxed themselves into a corner with this as it will make it a challenge to go much bigger with the screen size if they ever decide they need to.

4. If your OS cannot extract any benefit from additional cores why add them? There is no way to know for certain how much better (if at all) a quad core A7 would perform until the A7X is shipped with the new iPads (which is rumored to be a quad core) so a comparison can be made. Regardless, the point is a quad-core is not automatically better than a dual core - its depends on the design and how effectively the OS and software can use it. There was plenty of outrage about the US version of the HTC One X having a dual core instead of the quad core of the international version - but by most accounts in real world usage they are basically identical. The quad core does win out in some synthetic benchmarks, but as far as actually using the device goes you generally can't tell any difference at all.

5. RAM. This one is a pet peeve of mine. What difference does it make? If Apple can build a platform that allows applications to run comfortably with 1GB of ram, more power to them. That said, I don't know that this is in fact the case. 1GB seemed to be plenty on the 5 as performance under most conditions was just fine, but without a way to determine how a 2GB iphone would perform its kind of a moot point. There is the fact that since the chip is now 64-bit memory pressure may increase (pointers are bigger), but they could have done some things to mitigate that. All in all I don't know if bumping up to 2GB would have made a difference or not - but I do know that comparisons to Android devices, as far as total RAM goes, is completely without merit. A phone only needs as much memory as it requires to run the apps users want, and it doesn't appear that having "only" 1GB is hindering developers thus far.

Apple of course does plenty of this pointless "look at my specs" crap too - ooohhh, its 64-bit! Who cares when you only have 1GB of RAM? It doesn't mean anything currently and probably won't for a while.

Im just saying, if you are making your purchase based on the spec list your doing yourself an injustice. Wait for some actual reviews and buy based on your needs, not on pointless "who has the best specs" comparisons - they simply don't mean anything.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: so so
by kragil on Wed 11th Sep 2013 17:47 in reply to "RE[2]: so so"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

1. Screen size

Well, you can increase the screen size without increasing the phone size, some Android phones did that and it is a win-win IMO

2. At 4", full HD

Not my point, my point was that based on specs the Moto X was called mid-range and nobody seems to say that about the Iphone now.

3. There is a reason that iphones have a specific resolution

see above

4. If your OS cannot extract any benefit from additional cores why add them?

see above

5. RAM.

Maybe we are at a point where more RAM is pointless, but history shows that at some point RAM is a very limiting factor. First two iphones had only 128mb, like that HTC G1. That was not enough really fast and you didn't get any more OS updates. So having enough RAM or cores can future-proof your phone.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: so so
by galvanash on Wed 11th Sep 2013 20:31 in reply to "RE[3]: so so"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Not my point, my point was that based on specs the Moto X was called mid-range and nobody seems to say that about the Iphone now.


Oh, well we totally agree then... I was looking at your comment from the other direction. I see no reason at all to call the Moto X a "mid-range" phone either - by all accounts I have seen it is a damned nice device that is easily competitive with what others call "high-end" Android devices (quad-core, 2GB Ram, big honking screen, etc.)

Maybe we are at a point where more RAM is pointless, but history shows that at some point RAM is a very limiting factor. First two iphones had only 128mb, like that HTC G1. That was not enough really fast and you didn't get any more OS updates. So having enough RAM or cores can future-proof your phone.


I agree here too, but then again it may have no tangible impact at all. I was just pointing out it is hard to tell with the iphone because there is nothing to really compare it to since there are no 2GB iOS devices in existence yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: so so
by chithanh on Wed 11th Sep 2013 23:23 in reply to "RE[2]: so so"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Apple of course does plenty of this pointless "look at my specs" crap too - ooohhh, its 64-bit! Who cares when you only have 1GB of RAM? It doesn't mean anything currently and probably won't for a while.

There are a number of reasons to go 64 bit ARM, and being able to use more memory is only one of them.

Also it is a bad idea to go 64 bit at the last possible moment. Better switch early, gain experience and get the kinks worked out, so that everything goes smooth when 64 bit becomes a necessity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: so so
by galvanash on Thu 12th Sep 2013 01:38 in reply to "RE[3]: so so"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

There are a number of reasons to go 64 bit ARM, and being able to use more memory is only one of them.

Also it is a bad idea to go 64 bit at the last possible moment. Better switch early, gain experience and get the kinks worked out, so that everything goes smooth when 64 bit becomes a necessity.


I didn't say there was no reason to do it, I just said it is a meaningless distinction for the end user purchasing a phone at this time. There are currently no 64-bit applications, even when they come with only 1GB of RAM there will be no tangible benefit to using 64-bit pointers, and all other things being equal, code using 64-bit pointers will be slower than 32-bit code. Why should I, as a user, care?

And yes, I know they have more registers in the A7 so it should perform better, but that has nothing at all to do with using a 64-bit word size. If you ask me (and a lot of other people have come to the same conclusion), I don't even think going 64-bit is about mobile devices - I think Apple has plans for their swift beyond mobile. I would almost bet money that ARM64 will start popping up as an available target for OSX fat binaries in xcode in the next release or two...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: so so
by dsmogor on Sun 15th Sep 2013 13:52 in reply to "RE[3]: so so"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Actually, 64 bit code requires more space due to larger data structures so unless you plan to need more than 3.5 g during the device live cycle this should be treated as a downside as it makes onboard 1G RAM even more crowded.

Reply Parent Score: 2