Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 next to the first generation phone
I've owned every model of the iPhone since the first one was produced.  Indeed, the first model I owned is now an alarm clock for me.   So when the iPhone 5 came out it was a matter of when not if.   I've used the phone for about a week and have the following five observations:

#1 - Picture perfect - the screen is superb.  Bright and clear resolution and even an improvement from the prior 4S.
#2 - Feel - this phone is larger but noticeably lighter than the 4S.   When we were in the AT&T shop to get my wife a case, I picked up the HTC and the Galaxy as a comparison.  Both feel bulky, almost unwieldy in the hand.   That is a key design point.
#3 - LTE - The data speed is amazing.  It is very much faster than the 4S was.  I live in an area where the new speeds are available.  But have also used it in areas where I am not sure about deployment - the verdict - it is faster.
#4 - Maps - Quite frankly, I do not use the Maps app much.  My wife was amazed that she could get turn by turn directions from her phone.   I realize there has been a lot of griping about the app but I am not sure how much of that is real and how much is manufactured.   (There has been a similar line of commentary in some circles about disappointing sales (note the first three days of sales compared to the 4S was a noticeable improvement in numbers).
#5 - iOS6 - The new features of the iOS fall into three categories.  The first are significant improvements which include things like integrating various features better.   The second are smaller steps like the panorama feature of the camera app (which was done previously with a separate app - although this one works better).  Or Facetime - I really do use this App a lot, and I appreciate being able to use it over cellular.  Or the new phone features where you can reply to a call with a message. (Great idea!) Or the idea of Find my Friends - which is a quick way to bring together a couple of networking features.  Or the improvements in Mail. The third are the developmental features - Passbook is not real yet.  I thought my United App would be integrated and so would my Starbucks App but neither are there.  In all this is one of the most significant upgrades in the operating system to date.   Perhaps the best part of it for Mac users is the further integration among devices - this means that my iPad, Air and phones (both the 4S and the 5) are all constantly working with each other.  That is very handy.

So how would I rate this upgrade?   From my perspective, despite the carping (probably by HTC and Galaxy users) it is a real improvement.

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