The new operating system also stands out for what’s missing.
The pre-installed YouTube app that had been part of the iPhone since it came out in 2007 is gone. You'd need to download a new application made by YouTube owner Google Inc. in Apple’s iTunes store.
Even more noticeable is the absence of Google Maps. Apple has cast aside one of Google’s most popular services for its own mapping system. From what I saw, it looks like it’s going to keep users happy. It offers aerial views, three-dimensional renderings of many major cities and, best of all, turn-by-turn directions narrated by the iPhone’s virtual assistant, Siri. That was a feature Google had limited to competing devices running its Android system. Assuming the directions are accurate, I doubt Google Maps is going to be missed.
The new iOS also offers a feature called Passbook, where digital coupons, airline tickets and gift cards can be conveniently stored in one location. This, too, is going to be popular.
Yet, Passbook would be even handier if the iPhone 5 had a near-field communication chip to enable wireless payments at checkout stands equipped for the still-nascent technology. Some Android phones are able to process payments because they have the NFC chip.
Siri is also supposed to be smarter and even more helpful in the iPhone 5, although I didn’t get a chance to challenge her in Apple’s noisy testing room.
Too bad, as I would have liked to ask Siri what Steve Jobs might have thought of the iPhone 5. But, I am pretty sure I know the answer.