Now that I have had a week to play around with the iPhone 5 the new phone nostalgia is gone and I can give a practical review of iOS6 on the new hardware.
Still love the Speed
I am still amazed at how the speed is with the new iPhone. With a good 4G connection websites load almost as fast as my land line high speed connection. Before switching to the iPhone 5 I did notice that safari was a little quicker even on the iPhone 4 running iOS 6. As I am a data junkie, this is the big winner for me.
The A6 chip is really fast too. I have yet to see the iPhone 5 hang up or even hiccup on any task I have given it. Everything is smooth and quick.
Siri is cool, but I’m not sure how much I’ll use it
I really like the efforts from Apple in creating better voice navigation. To this day I am still impressed with how well Siri understands voice commands. With that being said, unless you are alone in a car, I feel ridiculous talking to my phone.
If I can get over the ridiculousness of talking to my phone I do like the addition of movies and restaurants. I have used it a couple of times and it is really helpful. The UI experience is also very slick and now you can ask Siri to launch Apps. I think the reminders are very handy and they work very well.
It would be nice if Siri had some basic functionality without internet. I asked Siri to play a song for me the other day without a network connection and she couldn’t. As an iPhone 4 user previous to this revision I haven’t yet delved into all of the things Siri can do. I’ll most likely write a good write up on Siri in months to come.
Maps 3D feature is fun to play with
I’ll be honest. I haven’t really needed to use the maps for anything but searching for local stores. While I won’t say that the maps were bad at searches, they aren’t as good as Google maps. I can’t blame Apple for this as Google has been collecting a database for years and Apple has only just begun. Patience people.
One of my favorite things to do with the Maps is just pick some cool place I haven’t seen and do flybys in 3D. I have checked out Las Vegas, Rocky Mountains, and some other cool landmarks. I had trouble finding Mount Everest(the actual one) and mount Rushmore. These are all things that I’m sure will come in time. Now I can plan my next vacation in 3D!
Some Handy Hidden Features
A few hidden features I have discovered make the iOS experience just a little bit better. Now you are finally able to use music from your library in your alarm. You can block text messages from people outside of your contact list.(if only we can do this with calls). Now you can also limit ad tracking. Pull to refresh has a neat little animation that is addicting to play with for some reason.
New App Store format
I like the design of the new App store better but I don’t like that they have gotten rid of the top 25. Most of my apps purchases were done mostly from the 25 list. The functionality is still there but for some reason it just seems more difficult to find as it is now in charts.
More Sharing Options
As a blog writer and someone who uses twitter and Facebook frequently, this option is handy. While twitter was always there, Facebook is nice to have now. The new interface looks nicer too. I’m noticing now that Apps are also allowed to access my facebook credentials for login purposes. A really cool app I found was Bandsintown. Bandsintown logs in with your facebook credentials, finds your music in your library and lets you know which of your artists are playing near you.
The Photo stream is pretty cool for keeping up with those friends of yours that may have moved. You’ll see photo shared photo galleries right inside your photos app. You can also comment on them.
It’s a great idea, but at this point it seems too clumsy. I tried to ad my united airlines account and was prompted to download an app. I don’t really care to download an app for every item in my passbook. Adding loyalty cards manually(there does exist a third party website for this) would be a nice feature to add. The system may be better once more companies get on board. I would think this would be great for Living Social and Groupon. Passbook is useful, but not groundbreaking.
Call Rejection Options
I really like the ability to auto respond to a rejected call with a text that is either custom or pre-defined.
Earbuds have better sound….not better comfort
Maybe my ears just suck, but the new ear buds get uncomfortable and start hurting me after a shorter period of time than the old ones. I do notice that the sound is a little better and the low end response is much more rich sounding.
Longer Screen is better than expected
At first I didn’t think this would make much difference, but I find that it’s nice to see more items of a list before having to scroll down. Images and videos are good and bad. Widescreen video clips look great but images don’t take up the whole screen a lot of the time.
Lightweight and Skinny Feels Nice
There was no way I was gonna use this iPhone without a case, but even with a case it’s still very thin and light. For the first time I don’t mind the size of my phone with a case on it. I have opted to go with a speck candy case and a moshi iVisor screen protector. Awesome looks without too much added thickness.
New dock connector less convenient
I kind of took for granted how much I liked the classic dock connector. Not because I think it works better or that it doesn’t have flaws, but because everywhere I went someone had a way to charge my phone. Everyone I know has an iPod media station that is capable of charging and interfacing with my iPhone 4. Now I am constrained to charging my phone with only the cable that came with it. I can’t just plug my iPhone into someones media station and play them some music. Sadly , we’ll have to wait until everyone adopts the new standard for this convenience. That’s IF they do. I know they make an adapter, but I guess i’m too spoiled to carry an adapter and an iPhone. My pockets are full enough.
In the shadow of the Maps bloopers it seems as though the iPhone 5 is getting a lot of undeserved heat and not much credit for the actual phone. It’s a great phone that I enjoy a lot and the Maps thing will work it’s self out with time. All other features are easy to deal with. It’s easy to be critical of engineering challenges you don’t understand. What the Engineers at Apple have done is phenomenal if you look at the whole package.Joe Hoffman