Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Apple entered a
market in which it has literally been unable to compete: the market for big, big devices, currently
dominated by Korean giant Samsung Electronics and its Galaxy S line of Android
phones. According to court documents revealed earlier this year, Apple executives lamented the
company’s lack of a larger phone in a marketing slideshow. “Consumers want what we don’t have”.
The new iPhones are bigger than any previous version—their displays measure 4.7 inches for the 6 and
5.5 inches for the 6 Plus.

First, some basics. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are significantly redesigned compared with last year’s
iPhone 5S and 5C. Both devices utilize an ultrathin unibody aluminum enclosure, one that bears a
startling resemblance to the original iPhone from 2007, and the devices can be bought in “space” gray,
silver, or gold. The iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm in thickness (in comparison the 5S seems flabby with its
7.6mm profile), while the 6 Plus is only 7.1mm. Both feel svelte and lean in your hand—solid, with
good weight, but incredibly skinny. Though while the iPhone 5S stands out in a crowd of
Android smartphones with its chamfered edges and Leica-esque controls, you might not know the
iPhone 6 next to the latest Galaxy S5 or the HTC One when placed faced down with the logos covered and while the design is still impressive, some
details feel a bit off. The bold antenna lines that run around the back of the devices and the protruding
camera lens make the phones seem slightly less disciplined compared with the company’s previous
As you would expect, Apple has made all of the appropriate improvements to the guts of the phones as
well: faster processors, better cameras, and of course higher-resolution screens. Apple will tell you that
these are the fastest mobile devices it’s ever made, and it wouldn’t be lying. These phones scream!
New features such as Wi-Fi calling, voice over LTE (VoLTE), and a new near-field communications
(NFC) wireless chip are present, though not everyone will be able to take advantage of those features
right off the bat. Mind you, Android devices have been able to take advantage of some of the features
for a while (Wi-Fi calling on T-Mobile, for instance), but it’s nice to see Apple making an effort.
Battery life has been improved in the two models, but I’m sorry to report that even a big iPhone 6
doesn’t deliver an all-day charge if you’re a heavy user or in an area without strong wireless signals. It
is better than the 5S, and the iPhone 6 Plus yields better results thanks to its size. This is a notable
whiff given the fact that so many iPhone users have complained about the current model’s battery, and
I think most consumers would have sacrificed some thinness for a more robust daily life span.
On the plus side, the iPhone camera continues to be in a class by itself. The improvements Apple has
made prove that the iPhone isn’t just a fantastic smartphone with a camera; it’s a fantastic camera,
period. The 8-megapixel shooter might not have the super-high resolution the latest Samsung or Nokia
phones tout, but it is able to take consistently beautiful photos in almost any setting, light or dark.
Apple has improved the software side of picture-taking as well. In the Photos app, there are more
powerful editing features, and you now have the ability to search your images. I’m encouraged by
Apple’s new handling of photos (as well as its use of iCloud as an off-device storage solution), but
Google still does a superior job with Google+, which stores all of your pics and video in the cloud
automatically and offers search of not just the people and places in the content, but objects
themselves and while I know it’s fantastically uncool to use a phone for its phone functions, it should be noted
that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus offer remarkable sound quality, both through the earpiece and out of the
speaker at the bottom of the devices.
Is this really the best solution for dealing with a big screen?
Weirdly, even though these phones are much bigger than any previous iPhone, using them wouldn’t be a very
new experience. To counteract the issue of having a screen in your hand that is far too large for
single-handed use, Apple has created a new feature called Reachability. You simply double-press
(that’s a light tap) on your home button and it brings the top of the screen down to reach your thumb.
It sounds like a clever trick, and in practice it works, though it looks and feels a little clunky—a very
version 1.0 experience. Is this really the best solution for dealing with a big screen?
Apple is now bundling an app called Health with iOS 8, which can tap into health-related apps and also
biometric data from your doctor or hospital.
As Apple gears up for its Watch release next year;
On the OS side of things, the company has updated nearly every one of its core applications, making
Mail easier to use with new swipe actions (a move clearly ripped from popular e-mail client startup
Mailbox), adding quick selfie and voice memo gestures to the Messages app, and introducing easier
document management through an improved iCloud interface. All around iOS 8, Apple has sought to
make things more connected, simpler, and more modern.
In the multitasking screen you now have access to your most recently used contacts. When you get a
notification in a banner, you can take action on it—like responding to a message without leaving the
app you’re in, declining or accepting a calendar invite, or deleting an e-mail without opening Mail.
The company has redesigned its keyboard and now offers a feature called QuickType, which will make
word suggestions based on what you’ve previously typed (kind of a pre-crime, Minority Report situation
for your texts). It’s similar to what Google has done in the latest versions of Android, though in my
experience not as accurate or fast. More significant (and thankfully), the company is allowing third-
party keyboard developers like Swype to create iOS 8 keyboards and have users install them as the
primary input method on phones.
This kind of deep customization is something of a sea change for Apple
But perhaps the biggest changes to the operating system come from what third-party developers can
now do with it. The company is allowing all sorts of applications to tap into core functionality of the
phones by letting developers add custom sharing options (meaning in addition to Twitter and
Facebook, you’ll finally be able to share directly to apps like Pinterest or Instagram), and offering
“Custom Actions” to third parties. Custom Actions open up a plethora of new options, like the ability to
add third-party camera filters to an image you’re editing. Developers can now also create widgets that
can live in the Notification Center or lock screen, and will have deeper control over what they can do
with Apple’s camera software.
This kind of deep customization is something of a sea change for Apple. The fact that it’s letting
developers tap into deep levels of its mobile operating system suggests an openness and willingness to
experiment that we haven’t seen from the company in a very long time. Personally, I would like to see
Apple extend this kind of thinking and allow users to set default e-mail, browser, or music applications
on the device. Isn’t it time the company had enough confidence in its software that it didn’t feel the
need to lock users into a single experience?
There are other annoyances. Even on the new, larger phones, Apple insists on interruptive notification
banners that obscure important areas of applications. Though it has given developers new ways to
access data across apps, it buries the options for users in hard-to-find, off-screen menus. With new
complexity comes new ways of doing things, and Apple has yet to really crack the code on how to
make every new feature feel intuitive and natural.
Minor software nitpicks aside, there’s not much to complain about here. So the real question is
whether you want the big one or the really, really big one.
Holding it up to a normal-size head looks slightly absurd
While consumers are already clamoring for the larger of the two phones, the iPhone 6 Plus is too
large and unwieldy to use as a daily driver for the conservatives and modest. It does offer better battery life and an improved camera
stabilizer compared with the iPhone 6, but its size proved to be more than wanted to grapple with on
a regular basis. Do the math: The iPhone 6 Plus’s body is over 6.2 inches tall and 3 inches wide, which
means one-handed use feels messy even with Reachability, and holding it up to a normal-size head
looks slightly absurd. Maybe there are legions of Galaxy Note fans in the world just waiting for Apple’s
take on the phablet, but I’m not one of those people.
On the other hand, the iPhone 6 feels like the perfect phone on the hand. Not too big and not too small.
Its thin frame still makes the device seem compact, but the added display real estate is a breath of
fresh air if you’re coming from an earlier model;
With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has proven that not only can it make a bigger phone, but it can
make a bigger phone better than anyone else in the marketplace. Between the slick software, killer
hardware, and deep integration into Apple’s amazing ecosystem, the iPhone is back in its rightful place as “KING”!

image link (iphone 6 and 6 plus):

compiled and posted by: @djshyluckjimmy.

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