Fairmont students weigh in on latest phone technology


Photo: Sam Barton and Emily Latham

Photo Illustration by Emily Latham and Sam Barton

The Sept. 15 launch of Apple’s iOS 7 created quite a media buzz with the company’s claim of “an easy-to-use interface” and “amazing features.”

But what is iOS 7 and how does it affect users? Basically, iOS 7 is the operating system foundation of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  The company says it “is engineered to take full advantage of the advanced technologies built into Apple hardware.”

At Fairmont, iPhone users were eager to load the iOS 7 functions, while users of Android cellphones were unfazed. It seems that people are very competitive about having an iPhone or an Android. They either love Androids and despise iPhones, or vice versa.

Senior Katie Wright, who downloaded the iOS 7 on her iPhone 4 as soon as it rolled out, said she loves the new features. She appreciates the quickness of iMessage (instant text messaging), which she said she uses quite a bit. Wright, who has used a cellphone since sixth grade, said she probably uses the SnapChat feature the most.

Ironically, Wright said she likes how the apps make her iPhone look more like the Samsung Galaxy phone (an Android) with its sharper graphics. “I’m in favor of the iPhone all the way because of the way the apps are set up,” said Wright, who admitted she’s on her iPhone at least a couple of hours a day.

Daniel Smith, a junior, has been using an Android cellphone since March 2013. He’s sold on the Android because he likes that he can get emulators, which are programs that allow him to play a wider variety of video games. He says he probably spends a few hours a day on his phone, “mostly playing games on it.” Smith said he prefers an Android over the iPhone because the Android comes with more of the features he likes. He also said that, for him, the Android was cheaper.

Sophomore Gage Rayney, however, isn’t interested in any Androids. “I’m a die-hard Apple products fan,” he said. Although he has a ordinary slide phone, he owns an iPad. “I spend more time on my iPad than I should.”

Rayney said he loves his iPad because “it’s easy.” His favorite pastime on his iPad? SnapChatting.

One aspect of iOS 7 is AirDrop, which allows users to share photos, videos and music faster. “I don’t like the AirDrop music because people have bad taste in music,” said Rayney, who uses the AirDrop feature on his year-old iPad.

AirDrop allows users to drag and drop files to share with other Mac users on the same network. Because AirDrop uses a direct Wi-Fi connection for transfers, owners of an iPhone 5, an iPad fourth generation, iPad Mini and the fifth-generation iPod Touch can use it. AirDrop was designed by Apple to compete with the “Bump” sharing that Google’s Android devices offer.

Junior Adria Wenning has been using what she calls a simple “crappy phone” with a slide-style keyboard for about five years.

“I usually text people, considering my calling feature is almost broken,” she said. Wenning said she’s heard and seen the iOS 7 in operation.

“In certain aspects, it’s pretty cool; but in other areas, it kind of looks like it was created by a fifth-grader,” Wenning said. “I’d probably purchase an Android; they tend to have a more slender appearance versus the more blocky look of the iPhone.”

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, as of May 2013, 56 percent of cellphone-owning American adults own a smart phone. The Pew poll found that 25 percent of cellphone owners said their device was an iPhone. Devices running Google’s Android operating system accounted for 28 percent of American cellphones, according to the study.

The poll also found that 38 percent of Apple iPhone owners tended to earn more income and had completed at least four years of college, versus 29 percent for Android-powered phones.

As for online purchases, according to a mobile advertisement tracking company called Ad Truth, Apple’s iOS system was used for 57 percent of mobile commerce transactions compared to Android’s 43 percent in the first half of 2013.