“Apple are releasing a phone” – I laughed when I heard this and saw the pictures for the first time. After all, who is going to buy something that huge, when it doesn’t even have a cool flip down cover?!
So, seven years on I sit here typing this with my shiny new iPhone sat on my desk looking up and mocking me for my lack of foresight. Working in IT I was forced to embrace the iPhone phenomenon and realised, that actually, this device was spectacularly good. I started my addiction with the 2nd generation iPhone, upgrading with each major new release, right through to the latest iPhone 6 model that I have now.
Personally, I have never had any real issues with any of my iPhones. I use them because they work with little aggravation, whilst doing everything I need them to. When a technology is performing well like this, it’s hard to justify switching platforms. I have dropped, lost, stood on and even thrown my various iPhones over the years and not once have they broken or died. Maybe I’m just lucky, but my outgoing IP5 was a great servant for almost two years, although more recently looking a little sorry for itself.
Now, I’m fully aware that some individuals reading this are not fans of the iPhone (or indeed Apple), and will argue that all the swanky new iOS features have been available on Android for years. However, the intention of this blog is not to dispute that for one minute (the Android Vs iOS argument is infinite), but to focus on what’s better and why. It’s about the Apple offering, and my findings of its latest release.
So, first impressions. I went for the iPhone 6 128GB, but not the huge Plus Phablet. Upon taking it out of the box the hardware felt very high quality, and instantly my existing iPhone 5 felt dated and chunky. However, it doesn’t take long for me to have some concerns. I am not a small guy so have fair sized hands – yet in normal holding position my thumb now can’t reach the far corner of the screen, and this is instantly annoying.
I use iCloud to run a backup on my IP5 and then instantly restore to my new IP6, this process is very slick and my new phone is an exact mirror of my old in every way, I have lost nothing and instantly feel at home with my apps, contacts, pictures and content all restored. Let’s not forget how much of a massive pain this process used to be not so long ago. Old IP5 wiped, it is swiftly thrown in a drawer.
Moving through the new features (mostly available on IP5S with iOS8) the main thing I am loving is the screen. The quality and size are a huge leap forward and going back to the IP5 now makes me snigger. Other things to instantly impress are the superb video capture quality, the awesome slow-motion feature and overall camera functionality – even editing is now far improved. Everything seems noticeably quicker, navigating through the iOS and launching Apps, browsing content and general use all seem much more rapid. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware some of this could be “new toy” syndrome, where you tell yourself it’s so much better because it cost you so much more – but there are definite improvements.
One other thing I noted of major use, and this is an iOS8 feature, is that I can now switch on and off my Out Of Office from the handset – this has been lacking for years, and is definitely handy to have (again, I hear other platform phone users laughing here).
So, a week later and how am I finding it? Well, my hands have somehow evolved and I can now navigate the entire screen perfectly well – if not a little harder than before. Annoyances? None, the familiarity of iOS and improved hardware makes for a genuinely nice smart phone experience. I am not so sure I would bother upgrading if I had an IP5S, unconvinced the cost is worth the gain, but from my older IP5 it has been a very worthwhile leap forward. I also noted that on arriving into the office my freshly charged phone has managed to retain more than 70% of its battery, this alone is a major improvement and whilst I appreciate it’s still very early days, not having to have the phone plugged in all day to any available USB slot is refreshing.
On packing up my IP5 to ship off to its new owner, it felt very, very old in my hand – Apple do seem to have pulled it off with the IP6. Ok, so there isn’t much new overall in general smart phone technology terms, and yes there are perhaps better equipped handsets, but for people like me who enjoy the iOS experience and Apple hardware, this is a welcome upgrade.
It’s interesting that despite the millions of iPhones sold worldwide, they only represent some 12% of the overall smartphone market – this figure is staggering, and really gives you an idea of the overall size of this global market. Amazing really, as I popped into the Covent Garden Apple store to pick up a case, five days after release and there was still a queue 20-30 deep outside the store (and 30 deep inside) to buy one
Love it or loath it, it’s hard to argue with such a good overall package for people who just want email, web and a few apps, powered by quite possibly the best marketing on the planet. And yes, I know you can get the same features on Android at a third of the price, but that’s a whole different blog…
Priority One – London IT Support