A friend of mine once expressed surprise at a long email I’d sent from my iPhone 4. To him, typing that much on a phone was a long and arduous process. For me, the iPhone keyboard was well designed, easy to use and something I could write long documents with using a single thumb.
Even the iPhone 5, which I expressed concern about due to its larger size, only increased the height so typing wasn’t affected. It just meant reaching some rarely used (~1%?) parts of the screen required a stretch.
Sadly the iPhone 6 changes this. It’s both wider and taller than the iPhone 5 which means I can no longer reach the whole screen with a single thumb. This is a big thing for me.
If I position my hand so I can type [relatively] comfortably [and then only for short bursts] I can’t reach the top 2cm of the screen. This means I can’t post a tweet in Tweetbot, can’t send an email, can’t press “Done” in numerous apps without using two hands – or doing some kind of digital gymnastics with my hand to shuffle the phone about and risk dropping it.
Now I get that people want large phablet phones which they’ll use with two hands, but that’s not everyone. Some of us were happy with our 4″ screens that we could use one handed, not some halfway house that is neither a phablet, or a 1 handed phone. I don’t get why we weren’t given the option of regular and large, rather than large and stupidly large.
So I have three choices: fundamentally alter the way I use my phone; deal with the fact that using my phone is going to be much slower and cause thumb ache; or go back to my iPhone 5s. The third option is seriously tempting.
Having dumped North of £600 on a new gadget I want it to be perfect. I want the feeling of joy I got from my iPhone, my iPhone 3, my 4, 4s and 5s1. I don’t want some cheep looking, plasticky Android clone that’s a pain in the arse to use.
There are other issues too. Moving the top button to the side makes things awkward for a southpaw like me. Every time I go to put the phone to sleep I end up hitting the volume buttons too. Screenshots are awkward to do now, as is resetting the phone.
Design decisions like having the camera protrude are questionable. The phone doesn’t lay flat, something that’s exacerbated by the lack of dock. I think Apple would have been forgiven for making the back flush with the camera and having a bigger battery.
The styling on the back is not to my taste. Whatever material they’ve used for the lines top and bottom looks cheap and makes the metal look like painted plastic. I think it’s those, more than anything else, that detract from the “premium product” look an iPhone should have.
So what does this £600 fondleslab give me that my 5s doesn’t?
Well thumb and arm ache for starters – writing this much text is a serious chore2.
Faster CPU – except I don’t play games on my phone and, unlike my 3, the recent OS updates haven’t seemed to adversely affect my 5s.
Bigger screen – which is a nice screen, but I’m not sure it’s worth the price in terms of usability due to its larger size.
Better camera – meh, the one on the 5s was OK and nothing compares to my DSLR anyway.
Barometer – nothing uses it yet that I can see, although that’s one thing I was looking forward to having.
Apple Pay – I’m in the UK, we’re not getting that for a while and we already have NFC in our cards.
A lot of my Fandroid friends have been teasing me of late that Apple are playing catchup with Android. I disagreed; different users, different goals, different ideals. Apple don’t play catchup, nor do they lead the way: they look at what people are doing and forge a different path. What appears to have happened with the iPhone 6 is that Apple have forgotten this. They’ve played catchup with Android, and they’ve lost. Welcome to the iPhone Galaxy 6.
1 I didn’t get the 3s and the 5 due to not being able to afford them at the time
2 The main body of the text was written on the phone, but I gave up and edited it on my laptop