New iPhone First Impressions: Six, Sex or Sux?
It’s iPhone 6 launch day in Australia, and as in years gone by, huge queues have appeared at Apple Stores and some CBD telco stores, while those in the know simply went to telco stores in the suburbs to avoid the queues and quickly get the new iPhone.
A friend was at the Mosman Telstra store this morning and after arriving at 7am was first in the line. A queue did form but it obviously wasn’t as big as the one outside the Sydney CBD Apple Store.
Even so, he was excited, and was originally going to get the iPhone 6 Plus, especially as he is a photographer, and thought the optical image stabilisation was going to seal the deal.
However, when he saw both new iPhones and held them both in his hand, he immediately realised that – for him at least – the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was just too big for his needs, especially as he is already a very happy iPad Mini with Retina owner.
He decided that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 was exactly the bigger-sized iPhone that he needed, and with the only difference between the optics of both iPhones being digital vs optical image stabilisation, he was thrilled to buy himself a 128GB iPhone 6 from Telstra.
That happened to be the model that my colleague Ed Cooper at 4SquareMedia purchased, as he too didn’t want to extra size of the 6 Plus.
When it arrived at about midday, we knew immediately what it was. We opened it up and could see a strip of transparent plastic “triangled” over the iPhone 6 package and the brown paper cardboard, clearly wrapped by a machine right off the production line, or so it seemed.
The first thing I noticed when looking at the box was the fact the iPhone image was merely a raised silhouette, rather than having an image of the traditional iPhone home screen.
This meant that one of the photos that had leaked purporting to show the iPhone 6, as we covered here, ended up being totally fake, although Apple may have leaked that image on purpose – who knows these days?
In any case, as I’ve seen online through this Twitter photo, both boxes look the same, they’re just different in size as you’d expect.
So, what about the iPhone 6 itself?
Well. it feels light, even though it is a very few grams heavier than the iPhone 5s, and the 4.7-inch screen is clearly larger than the 5s without being too large as some say is the case with the 5.5-inch 6 Plus.
We were well prepared for Ed’s new iPhone, having ported him over to a Nano SIM while using a Nano SIM tray adapter to MicroSIM size so he could still use his SIM card in his iPhone 4S over the past couple of days.
We had backed up all his data and apps to iTunes on his 13-inch MacBook Air, and were ready.
At around midday today, the courier arrived, so we excitedly opened everything up, oohed and ahhed over the sleek design, rounded edges, slightly curved screen at the edges and the new look.
We re-backed up Ed’s iPhone 4S which took maybe 30 seconds and plugged the new iPhone 6 in.
Straight up we were told we needed to update iTunes, so we did that which took but a couple of minutes, and finally, we were able to restore Ed’s iPhone 4S backup to the iPhone 6.
This took a few minutes as he had a couple of hundred apps, showing up the slowness of USB 2.0. Maybe Apple will introduce USB 3.0 compatibility for faster transfers with the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 next year – hopefully they do.
In any case, while the apps were transferring across, I was getting Ed to enter in his various passwords for iCloud and his email accounts, helping him to set up his Touch ID, showing him how to double tap (not press) the home button to cause the top menu bar so slide half way down the screen, and showed him how to slide from anywhere on the left side of the screen to go back.
We also downloaded the new Swype app for iOS 8 and I showed Ed how to make this his default keyboard.
One nice touch Apple put in was letting users decide whether they wanted home screen icons to remain the same size as they’ve always been, or whether they wanted icons to be a bit larger.
Ed chose to keep his icons the same size as he’s a young man with great eyesight, but it’s great to see Apple allowing users to easily make things bigger if they wanted to now that they have a bigger screen at their disposal.
Sadly, the much rumoured “reversible” USB cable that serial Apple leaker Sonny Dickson had published an image of at his Twitter account wasn’t in the box.
Perhaps this will come out as a separately purchasable item, perhaps Apple is saving it for next year’s iPhone, but if it is still coming, it certainly isn’t here yet – or at least, not yet from Apple.
We haven’t had a chance to go much deeper as yet, but first impressions are that the iPhone 6 is a “sexy” piece of technology, even if some might find it “exxy”, although there are dozens of telco plans out there to make iPhone ownership a vastly easier to pay for 24-month contractual affair.
Aside from Android users who are unlikely to be impressed at anything Apple does ever, the only place the iPhone 6 will be the iPhone Sux is in New Zealand, both because of their funny accent (sorry, New Zealanders, I still love you, and my NZ friends, you know who you are!) and because it hasn’t launched there yet.