It’s been a week since I replaced my iPhone 5 with the new iPhone 6, and I’ve slowly been adjusting to the new experience. Of course with iOS there is not that much of a real experience change, but the slight jump in screen size feels much more significant. Aside from the sheer size, the design is also a big change, and I’m a bit disappointed. I loved the all-black anodizing of the 5 (which disappeared with the 5S), the squared edges, and the fine detail all the way down to the button machining. The new phone seems to throw out the signature Apple attention to detail with boring rounded edges and buttons, mismatched silver case, and blatant out of place plastic seams. I really don’t think Jobs would have let this slide.
Of course most people will just hide it all under a case. I prefer more minimal protection, and I’m anxiously awaiting iPhone 6 updates for corner Bumperz and the awesome Wally wallet that I loved on my 5. Maybe I’ll get some colored bumper around the edges just to add a bit of style to the sea of black. As for the size…after a week, it still feels huge. However looking back at others’ iPhones, they now immediately seem tiny! I’m sure I’ll continue to get used to it.
I’ve been trying to learn the new Swype and Swiftkey keyboards that Android has had for years. It’s mostly frustrating as my finger is faster than my brain so every other word is a mistake, and overall it’s much slower than my very fast touch typing on the standard keyboard. We’ll see if I improve with time or give up. Another disappointing Android addition is widgets. They aren’t on the lock screen. You have to intentionally remember to swipe to see them. So they’re useless.
An unexpected feature I never though I would care about is the built-in pedometer functionality. I’ve actually been checking several times a day, often shocked at how many steps my poor feet actually take, walking far further each day than I ever imagined. No wonder my shoes never last that long! I’m also enjoying TouchID; I never locked my phone as I can’t stand having to enter a password just to glance at my most-used gadget. Press & hold for a second is just as simple and non-intrusive as press and swipe.
The camera is very important to me as it is the camera that is always on me and therefore used in a lot of situations. Apple’s upgraded camera app is much more useful than before with some added exposure control. But after a few days my favorite replacement app ProCamera was updated and added the full manual control capabilities added by iOS8 to its already advanced control features that I love. Having 240fps slow motion HD video in my pocket is also awesome, not just for filming crazy dogs, but also quickly viewing LED light flicker. It’s beyond the capability of all my real cameras!
Last but perhaps most significantly, the battery life is a shocking improvement. While my 5 was down to about 60% in the afternoon of a usual work day, the 6 is around 90%. The battery doesn’t have much more capacity, so it’s really a statement to the significant bump in power and technology of the new processor.
There’s more to come soon, and I can’t wait to start using Apple Pay in a month or so, but the one thing that I’m really excited for to complete my new iPhone experience is the Apple Watch. I’ve been a fan of geeky and stylish watches all my life, and my experiment with the MetaWatch over the past year proves just how much I love having notifications and other info at a quick glance. I miss it repeatedly on the days I wear a normal watch. The Apple Watch should add a ton more functionality and innovation, and I’ll be first in line to get one!