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October 10, 2012

Slate: The iPhone 5 is a miracle

(Continued)

And it's not like you're sacrificing anything by choosing the iPhone 5 for the way it looks and feels in your hand. In addition to being beautiful on the outside, it's also great on the inside. It's the fastest phone you can buy. Its camera is fantastic. It's got more apps than you'll ever need. Its display is unbeatable. And so on and so on_on "function" alone, the iPhone is no slouch. But where it really kills is form.

Now, one final thing. I know what you're thinking: What about Apple Maps? Actually, that's not right. If you've read this far and you're skeptical of my argument that the iPhone 5 is amazing, you're more likely wondering, WHAT ABOUT APPLE'S @##@%$! MAPS?

That's a fair point. As has been amply documented, Apple's new app is not good at all. But I don't think this is a huge problem, even though I use Maps all the time. That's because the flaw is temporary. Google is working on a new maps app for the iPhone, and when that's released in a month or two, pretty much all of your mapping troubles will be solved. ("Pretty much" because Apple won't allow third-party apps to register as default services on the phone, so when you click an address in another program, the phone will still open Apple's rather than Google's maps; that will be a hassle but not a fatal problem. I do wish Apple changes that policy, though.)

If you're unwilling to take it on faith that the maps situation will be solved soon, I'd suggest waiting a couple months to see if the iPhone's map problems get resolved. What I wouldn't do is buy a competing phone, now, just because you don't like Apple's maps. Mapping is a software problem; it is almost certainly going to be fixed. But any other phone you get now will have hardware that's inferior to the iPhone 5. And that flaw will be permanent.

- - -

Farhad Manjoo is Slate's technology columnist and the author of "True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society."

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