iPhone at 10

Ten years ago today I woke up before the sun rose, grabbed a folding chair, and went out to what was still the “new” Apple Store in midtown Manhattan. When I got there, I had to walk around the block to the now shuttered FAO Schwartz toy store (ironically currently inhabited by a temporary Apple Store) and got in line. According to someone who was keeping count, I was number 163. It would grow into the thousands as the day went on. I and a fellow Tekserve employee took off work to sit outside until 6pm. When the store opened and we were led inside, it felt as close to walking the red carpet at the Oscars I will likely ever get. An entire wall of reporters and photographers greeted us at the entrance of the store. We even got featured on Gizmodo.

 

It is almost hard to believe the iPhone is 10 years old.

We take it for granted now, but the iPhone, and smartphones in general were not a sure bet at the time. The smartphone market of 2007 was focused almost entirely on business customers, with the sole exception of the T-Mobile Sidekick. Those of us who were in tech knew it would be a big deal, but the public at large had to be convinced. I remember earlier that year being outside on the boardwalk at Atlantic City on my Palm Treo. People were impressed that I could access the internet out there. At Walt Disney World the year after the iPhone’s release there were only a small number of us with them. By my visit the next year, everyone had one.

The line for the original phone was a lot of fun. This was before the lines were overrun by resellers, and Apple started to downplay these kind of launches for that very reason. It felt like a big block party at times. Walking down into the store, with the employees applauding, and boxes of brand new iPhones everywhere, it really was magical.

I don’t think anything else in personal tech will compare to what the iPhone did. We often talk of Apple “Sherlocking” other tech; taking existing products and making them obsolete. Just think of what the iPhone sherlocked: cell phones, GPS, cameras, music players, plane tickets, maps, 411, address books, day planners, and for many people even their computers and televisions.

The original iPhone did not need to be set up in the store, you took it home and did it yourself in iTunes. I ran home, plugged it in, and got to be one of the first people outside Cupertino to actually use it. You could tell this was special. In retrospect, it is kind of quaint now. The original iPhone had 16 apps, no more, no less. Compared to the iPhone I hold in my hands now, that first device was tiny, and had an almost laughably low resolution. The cellular network was dial up speed. But compared to its contemporaries, there was no contest. My Treo instantly felt ancient. The existing smartphone makers, who dismissed Apple, never recovered. None of the platforms that were common 10 years ago have survived to present day.

Back in 2007 it still wasn’t clear to me that I would make technology a full time career. I liked it, but I still wasn’t totally sure. I feel like getting that first iPhone and being the iPhone “expert” in the early months finally pushed me over that line. It remains my favorite technology purchase of all time. Even though the first iPhone has been far surpassed by the ones that came after it, that first one was special. A lot of technologies get too much credit for the change they brought. But with this device, the credit is entirely justified.

Happy 10th birthday iPhone.

My Year with Google Photos

About a year ago iCloud Photo Library failed me. It was not the first time, but it was the last. While Photo Library has generally gotten much better reviews than most of iCloud’s other services, for some reason I continually ran into issues. So as with nearly everything else in my life, I looked to Google to ease my iCloud woes. And I have been extremely happy. Google Photos was born out of the remains of both Picasa and Google+. The former was a well liked, but aging desktop/cloud hybrid app. The latter Google’s desperate, and ultimately failed attempt at competing with Facebook in the social network field. Photos is Google at it’s best; a fast, reliable, easy to use cloud app.

Getting Started

This proved to be the most difficult part of switching to Google Photos, or at least the most time consuming. At this point all of my photos were in Apple’s Photos app for the desktop. My goal was to transfer this directly into Google, keeping my existing albums. Unfortunately, there were no tools that made this automatic. Google does have an uploader tool, but all it does it point at the originals folder within the Photos library structure. There are two problems with this. The first is that any edits made in Photos will not be uploaded, only the original version. I wanted my edits, and the inability to revert to the originals once in Google was not a concern. The second issue was my albums. The uploader does not load albums at all.

The solution was to first export all the photos from my Albums, and upload each album one at a time to Google. Once those albums were all created there, I exported every single photo and video from my Photos library, using the current version, and uploaded them in batches of 500. Trying to upload more than 500 at a time slowed the process to a crawl. I uploaded everything by simply dragging into Chrome. It is impressive both on the server side and on the browser side that I never experienced a single problem with this upload process. The photos already loaded into albums were skipped. There were no duplicate photos when I was done.

I should also note that I have a G Suite unlimited account, so storage is not a concern and I used the full originals. But even if you don’t have a professional account, Google Drive has very reasonable pricing and in my opinion it is worth paying to be able to upload originals.

There was only one other issue I encountered. Videos I shot on my iPhone as either slow motion or time lapse did not retain these properties when uploaded through the browser. Only when loaded directly from my phone. The solution here was to send these videos back to my phone via AirDrop and use the iOS app to upload these videos. Google’s web app won’t show the slow motion videos the way the phone does, but they do work correctly when downloaded.

iOS Apps

Now that all my historical data was there, I set up the iPhone and iPad apps to upload all photos and videos in original form to Google as soon as they are taken. Unlike iCloud Photos, there was no long sync at the beginning to pull the existing library down. It was all there right away. Uploads are fast and I have yet to see a single photo or video fail. If you have an iPhone capable of taking Live Photos, these will be uploaded and can be displayed within the app. It isn’t quite as nice as in the default app, but it works well enough. The web app does not support Live Photos unfortunately.

Another advantage of Google Photos is that it supports multiple accounts, something you cannot do in iCloud Photo Library. Since my work account is also a Google Apps account, I can take photos on my phone that are work related and upload those, and only those, to my work account. Since only the primary account auto uploads I don’t have to worry about any unintended uploads to my work account. A single tap switches between the two.

Google has heavily marketed this app as a space saving feature. Google Photos will, if you choose to do so, remove any photos and videos from your local storage once they are safely stored in the cloud. Apple does a similar thing with iCloud Library, but it still maintains a smaller version of the photo on your local device. With Google Photos you can remove the photo completely, leaving it only in the cloud. If you have a phone with lower storage this can be a huge help. Even if you don’t (my iPhone 7 Plus is 256GB) it still can help reduce iCloud backup sizes. No need to keep the photos in two places.

Reliablity

I have never had an upload issue with Google Photos. Ever. Only once did I have a problem at all, with the iPad app not displaying new photos uploaded from other devices. The fix was simply to delete the app and reinstall. That was it. When I had to do this with iCloud Photo Library it took hours for the photos to clear from my device (you can’t delete Photos.app, only turn off iCloud).

I can load photos from anywhere. If I am on my work computer all I have to do is open Chrome and upload the photo. Then sign out if I don’t want to keep everything there. While iCloud has a web app for photos, it is extremely basic. Google gives me the whole experience.

Another selling point of Google Photos is its ability to search. Given that it is Google this is not a surprise. But still it is amazing just how accurate this feature is. Apple is trying the same thing, but Google does it faster, more reliably, and can sync everything across the web. Privacy concerns aside, and I will say that I do trust Google to do the right thing, it makes me feel like I can rely on Google much more than Apple when I want to actually find my photos.

Feature Requests

Great as Google Photos is, there are some features they are missing that I would like to see. While search is great on its own, I would like to see some sort of smart album capability. Apple does this well, and its absence in Google Photos makes it a little more difficult to drill down into my library the way I am used to. Another feature from Photos.app that I miss is the ability to create printed products such as books, calendars, and cards. I have used this service extensively over the years and would love to see it built into the places where my photos now live. Having said that, I still keep my old Photos library on an external drive, and will occasionally load photos from Google into it. This way I still have my local photo library and can use those missing features, but I consider Google my true library.

Conclusion

Google Photos is a stellar product. It is all the best parts of Google. Their ability to do a reliable and easy to use web app is unmatched in the industry. Their iOS app is amazingly good, especially considering it is on their main competitor’s platform. While there are certainly people who are wary of Google due to the sheer amount of information they collect, I think Google has proven that, a few lapses in judgement aside, they have been respectful of user’s privacy in relation to this service. Despite Apple’s improvements in iCloud, I see no reason to return. Google Photos gets large feature upgrades frequently, not once a year. Ultimately I trust Google more. I trust that when I sync data to their servers it will work. Apple has a way to go to reach this level of trust for me. And that is okay. The iPhone is the best camera you can get on a smartphone. The fact that someone else provides the best place to keep those photos does not take away from that fact for me.

A Fitness-Centric Review of watchOS 3 and iOS 10

It’s fair to say that the Apple Watch was released as a beta product. Then again it is fair to say that pretty much every first generation product is a beta product. When you think about it, all technology exists in a state of perpetual beta. Technology, to borrow from Walt Disney’s famous quote about his theme park, will never be completed.

Still, the Apple Watch felt different. Apple is normally great at telling you why a product exists. Think of the iPad, which was introduced by Steve Jobs sitting at a couch leaning back and consuming content.1 But the watch felt confused. Was it a fitness tracker, a wrist computer, a communication device? The first watchOS had no answer to this question. Nor did the follow up watchOS 2. It tried, but largely failed, to fix the performance problems that ended up dwarfing the confused messaging.

This time though, with watchOS 3, not only has the performance problem been addressed much more successfully, if imperfectly, but we now have an answer to why the Apple Watch. For everything else it can do, it is first and foremost a fitness device.

This is great news for me because that is the main reason I have used it ever since launch day. I have never missed a single day of closing all three activity rings. I have tried numerous run tracking apps, some more successful than others, and I even started using it while sleeping thanks to watchOS 2’s ability for sleep trackers to function.2

It is true that iOS 10 will touch far more people than watchOS 3. Smartphones, and to a much lesser extent tablets, dwarf the sales of smartwatches, which remain a niche, if growing category. But iOS has had the fitness bug too for a few years now. And when paired with watchOS 3, a very advanced health and wellness platform emerges.

This will be the focus of my review. I am not going to try to be exhaustive and cover every aspect of these updates. MacStories will do a far better job than I. This is about how I use the Apple Watch, and how that works with the iPhone. I will cover some of the more notable non-fitness features of iOS and watchOS later on, but first and foremost this is a fitness centric review.

I also should point out that this review is being posted a few days before the new Apple Watch Series 2 is available. I have preordered one and it should arrive Friday. The built in GPS function may well be a game changer. For now this review will not take this into consideration as it is too soon to know how this will actually play out. I’ll certainly have an update once I am able to use it for a while. Continue reading A Fitness-Centric Review of watchOS 3 and iOS 10

The iPhone Is No More “Walled Off” Than Before

Engadget posted a piece this week that has been bothering me. Titled The iPhone 7 is the walled-off computer Apple has always wanted, this article makes several assumptions to support its premise that removing the headphone jack has moved the iPhone 7 closer to being a fully locked down, controlled experience. In reality, outside of most wired headphones needing an adapter, little has changed.

The first assumption is that physical IO (Input / Output) is even all that important on iOS these days. It has been years since any kind of physical connection to a computer was required for iPhones to function. I would guess that a majority of iPhone sold today go through life without ever connecting to a computer, with the exception of charging them. Users who are still syncing with iTunes on a regular basis are likely in the single digits percentage-wise. Everything has moved into software, and into cloud services. We completed this transition years ago, and the experience is better for it. I was selling iOS devices at Tekserve back when they were still tethered to physical IO. Customers hated it. iOS 5 was a game changer by eliminating this.

The second assumption is that because the headphone jack didn’t require a license to use, it allowed accessories to access the phone without Apple’s approval. Yes it is true that they could connect, but that is only half the battle. You needed software on the other end to make the accessory useful, and that software had to pass through app review.

Let’s take Square as an example since Engadget themselves use it. Square switched to a wireless accessory because of the shift to chip cards and mobile payments. So they either anticipated this problem or independently decided that wireless was the future for them as well. But even on devices with a headphone jack and their “classic” reader that uses it, they still had to submit an app to the store and have Apple approve it for sale. If Apple wanted to stop Square for whatever reason, they could have denied the app. The headphone jack would not have saved them.

Incidentally, it turns out having devices that physically connect to a computer be able to arbitrarily execute code is a really bad idea.

The idea that removing the headphone jack will cause innovation around the iPhone to slow is laughable. Yes, it is going to be an inconvenience for some users for a while. But I suspect the number of iPhone owners who either just use what is included or switch to Bluetooth will be fairly high, and the remainder will likely come to terms with the adapter.

But I am not even trying to defend the decision when related to headphones here. I think there is still at least a reasonable argument to be made there. But I can’t agree in any way with the idea that this is about further locking down the platform when the casualties are so minor that almost no users will even notice them (and those product casualties have multiple ways of working in this new era, most not involving the lightening port at all). iOS has always been a locked down platform, and that is part of why it is so popular with the masses. We who are tech savvy often forget that most people have only a very basic understanding of how computers work. Even the Mac, as simple as it tries to be, can be utterly confounding to a large percentage of people. There is a sense of security that people feel on their iPhones that they do not feel with their computers. This is due to Apple’s control, whether or not the user even realizes it. The new IO situation on the iPhone 7 does not change this status quo in any meaningful way.

Ranking Apple’s New Operating Systems

It has been a busy few weeks for Apple. They released a major update to pretty much every operating system in their arsenal. Not all updates are created equal. Here are my experiences with each, ranked from worst to best.

OS X Server 5

Apple no longer releases a standalone operating system for server, so major upgrades to Server.app are essentially the new Server OS. Server 5 is unusual in that it works on both the old and new version of OS X. Previously the server app had to be upgraded in concert with the base OS, but this version will run on both Yosemite and El Capitan. It also has caused a whole lot of headaches for server admins, myself included.

The biggest issue is with Apache server. Apache is hijacking a whole bunch of ports that other applications rely on, most notably port 8443, used by the Casper Suite. But people are also seeing their web servers messed up as well. A great write up of the troubles with Server 5 can be found here. Apple has released some quick patches to fix some of the more glaring issues, but take a look at the reviews for Server.app in the App Store. Clearly there are still a whole host of problems.

Apple’s willingness to make drastic changes tends to serve them well in the consumer space. But servers are a different beast, and these kind of dramatic updates tend to cause way more problems than they solve, and will likely push even more sysadmins away from using OS X server going forward.

watchOS 2

Of all the upgrades, this was the one I was looking forward to the most. And it was the biggest letdown. After a few days delay, watchOS 2 landed, and it landed hard. Nearly everyone I know with a watch had issues upgrading the OS. Downloads would not complete, upgrades would stall, upgrades would report success but leave the watch on OS 1. There is a long list of troubles.

Even after installing it successfully things did not improves. I had to reload a whole bunch of apps that suddenly were glitchy or non functional. Oddly this affected apps that were written specifically for watchOS 2. Even after reloading the apps, I have still seen them suddenly become glitchy for no apparent reason.

I have also noticed that developers have not exactly jumped at the chance to create watchOS 2 apps. On any other platform there would have been a slew of updates right on day one. But this time it has been more a trickle. Given the continued bugs that my watch is seeing, that is probably not a bad thing though.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan

El Capitan does not have a whole lot of new user facing features. And that is a good thing. Ask longtime OS X users what their favorite OS was and you are likely to hear a whole lot of “Snow Leopard”. Snow Leopard was the famous “No New Features” release, and it was $30 for no new features. It of course did have new features, but most of the changes were under the hood. The same is true here. El Capitan, like Snow Leopard is a release that tightens up some of the more dramatic changes we have seen in recent releases. Leopard was a messy release, just as Yosemite was. We need these smaller upgrades from time to time to keep everything running smoothly.

The biggest change in El Capitan is one most users will never notice. System Integrity Protection (SIP, aka rootless) is on by default and difficult to turn off (difficult in a sense that it can only be done from the recovery partition). Apple has made a big deal about security in recent years, and locking down the core parts of the OS from any interference is a great way to continue this trend. I know a lot of power users may lament having more of the system locked down, but given the vast majority of users run as administrators (and it is doubtful that will ever change) these kind of steps are pretty much required.

I have upgraded every computer I own to El Capitan and have yet to see any major bugs. Apple deserves a thumbs up on this one.

iOS 9

I love you iOS 9. It is cleaner, faster, and more reliable than iOS 8. As a person who handles Mobile Device Management (MDM) at work, iOS 9 is a thousand times more reliable than previous versions. If you manage iOS devices at work, iOS 9 will be your friend, especially once your MDM system is updated to take advantage of the new features.

iOS 9 also finally gives the iPad some love after years of playing second fiddle to the iPhone. For the first time in the history of iOS, the iPad gets the biggest new features. I did not realize how useful slide over multitasking (sliding one app on top of another without leaving the first) would be. It brings the tablet much closer to a true productivity device.

Conclusion

I hear a lot of people complain at the smaller operating system upgrades that they don’t see anything different. I understand this from regular users, but when my tech savvy friends say it I am always confused. Drastic visual overhauls should not come yearly. That would be far too disruptive for everyone. Smaller incremental changes are much more valuable in my opinion. They move us ever forward without breaking everything in their path.

Server and watchOS show that bigger changes come with a lot more baggage. El Capitan and iOS 9, by contrast, don’t change the game. They make it much more enjoyable to play.

HealthKit Improves Dramatically with iOS 8.2

I have been vocal in both my love of the concept of HealthKit and the desire to see it succeed, as well as its bugs and issues. I am very happy to report that reliability has improved dramatically with iOS 8.2. No longer do I see empty data or extremely slow updates when opening the Health app. HealthKit connected apps such as Jawbone UP now reliably pull data every time. If you are a Health user, this is an update you will definitely want. I was a little afraid that Health would be one of those apps that goes years with bugs unfixed. I’m glad to see this is not the case.

A Look at my iPhone Home Screen

A lot of iOS users shared their home screens to the world in the last week thanks to Betaworks releasing their #Homescreens app. You can find my own here. I felt that this would be a good jumping off point to talk in greater detail about my home screen and the apps I use every day.

My home screen is an ever changing landscape. New apps move in, old ones out. I am trying out apps all the time, so it should come as no surprise that it can be difficult for me to decide on one set and stick with them. And this is a good thing. Software goes bad if it becomes so dominant that innovation becomes needless, look no further than the pre Firefox and Chrome versions of Internet Explorer. I like that new players are constantly pushing out the establishment. It keeps things fresh and current. Continue reading A Look at my iPhone Home Screen

iPhone 6 Plus: Initial Impressions

I have to begin with an apology. I was one of those people who mocked the big phones when they first appeared. I remember the first one I saw, the Evo 4G. It had an at the time ludicrous 4.3 inch surfboard sized screen. And then they got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. All the while Apple sat by, giving us only one small increase during this time, to 4 inches. Apple said, and I agreed, that a larger phone was not usable. It was too much a trade off. And in a way this was, and is, true. But here I am typing these words on my new 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus. So what happened?

I actually made this decision before the iPhone 6 Plus was even announced. The more and more rumors about a 5.5 inch phone made their way through the tech world, the more and more I realized I wanted one. My iPhone 5 started to feel, well, small. Big phones were now everywhere. But more importantly, the way I used it, and the whole concept of a “phone” itself changed.

Defining Computer

I still call it a phone. Apple calls it a phone. But it is not a phone. Yes, I can and do sometimes lift the device to my head and carry on a conversation with someone far away. On occasion. But this is an increasingly rare occurrence. As time went on it became less and less a phone and more a computer. I guess it always was a computer, but we still thought of it primarily as a phone.

But looking at my current usage, phone is very low on the list. Right now I use the iPhone for (in order of importance):

  • Web and email
  • Messaging
  • Reading
  • Podcasts
  • Camera
  • Writing
  • Games
  • Phone

The phone just doesn’t matter that much anymore. It doesn’t look ridiculous anymore to hold a large phone to your head because a) it became normal and b) people don’t do it much anymore.

So where does this leave me? I need a portable computer. That is what I am looking for. Of course I have my MacBook Pro, but I think our concept of portability has changed. I can take the laptop with me yes, but I still need a bag. It doesn’t just sit in my pocket. The iPhone 6 Plus does.[1] It is now my portable computer. Perhaps the most perfect one I have ever owned.

Usability

The biggest question I hear now on the iPhone 6 Plus is “How does it feel holding it?” And this is an important question. No phone will work for you if it is uncomfortable to hold. The size certainly makes this more of a challenge than previously. Almost no one has a problem holding a 3.5 inch phone screen. The 4 inch on the iPhone 5 did throw some people, but it was largely still the same for most users. This is most certainly not true of the Plus. It required a change. Now, I am 6’2″. I am not a small person. And in that sense I have an advantage. It’s big but not uncomfortably so. Yes, I have to hold it differently but I find that more often than not I am still able to use it with one hand. A few things help here. Surprisingly one of the least helpful this is the Reachability function. This is where you double tap the TouchID button to pull the entire screen down towards your thumb. It is a pretty neat solution, but largely unnecessary for me. I find that I actually can reach the top without too much difficulty. Yes, it takes a small adjustment of my hand, but I can do it. More difficult is the extreme bottom left of the screen. After extended usage where I need to reach buttons on that side I can feel it in my thumb. My guess is that we are going to see many apps begin to favor the lower right.

Swiping helps a lot, but it is inconsistent. Some apps, like Unread, are a joy to use on the large screen. Unread allows for you to swipe from nearly anywhere. Reeder supports swiping, but it is less flexible. Going back requires that you start all the way from the edge, which is much harder to reach on the Plus.

If I had to give advice here I would say you need to try it. Unless you are sure, don’t go right for the Plus. It takes getting used to, and the trade off may not be worth it for you.

But nearly a week in and so far I feel fine. I have used it with one hand while standing on the Subway, the true test for any New York phone, and it worked just fine for me.

And this is where the advantages really start to outweigh any size detriment. This phone is big enough, and powerful enough, to do nearly everything I need a portable computer to do. Typing is easier than ever. Part of this is due to third party keyboards finally being allowed on iOS. But the bigger touch area helps as well, making my typing more accurate. Editing photos is easier, and video. I can easily see using this as a full iMovie video editor, it’s that good. I use Screens to control my Mac at home remotely, and it is a massive step up from doing the same thing on the larger size.

If anything has suffered, it is my poor iPad. I am not throwing in the towel on the tablet yet. And there are still times where the nearly double sized screen is preferable to the phone. But I definitely will not be investing in an iPad mini. And I no longer feel that I must reach for the iPad the way I used to. It will be interesting to see what Apple may do with the tablet in upcoming revisions to better differentiate it from the increasingly competitive phone.

Performance

The iPhone 6 Plus is fast. Really fast. Some of the lagging I was beginning to experience with my old phone is gone. Apps open quickly and freezes are few and far between. The issues that I do have seem much more likely to be from software instead of from any issues with the hardware.

There is one issue I do have however, and it is technically software, although necessitated by hardware. It is true that the iPhone 6 Plus scales apps very well. I have no problem using them. They are ugly, however. On the iPhone 6 things are not quite as bad. But on the iPhone 6 Plus, things look comically huge at times. Again this is a problem likely to solve itself as developers have a chance to update for the new phones. They only found out about them two weeks ago after all. But if you are an app developer, do not rely on scaling. It’s an okay stopgap, but your app needs to be updated to feel like a first class citizen.

Battery Life

Battery life can at times be a source of frustration for smartphone users. Apple has been a particular target of criticism in this regard. Many commentators have openly asked for Apple to just go ahead and make a phone that would be larger and heavier it that means a few hours more battery life. Thus far, Apple has not done this.

But the iPhone 6 Plus has benefited from the extra space with a significant, if somewhat small, jump in battery performance.

I haven’t yet had time to extensively test the battery but I do have one anecdote that gives me hope. I went out for a run on Sunday afternoon. Side note here that I was actually rather concerned about running with such a large phone, especially since I don’t yet have an armband.[2] I grabbed running shorts with really deep pockets and had no issue with the phone the whole time. But I did keep checking to make sure it wasn’t slipping out.

Anyway, the point here is that I went on a 90 minute run. I started with 100% battery. By the end of the run, I was at 90%. This is with RunKeeper going the entire time, as well as bluetooth on, fitness apps running, and listening to podcasts in Overcast.

By comparison, my old iPhone 5 was dead after about this same amount of time running the week before. Now, the iPhone 6 Plus is newer and its battery has had far fewer charge cycles. But still, even when new, it did not perform this well.

A big part of this may be the motion coprocessor. Since I didn’t own a 5s this is my first experience with a phone that has it. It definitely made an impact, as the fitness apps did not need to draw anywhere near that level of power in order to function.

About the only thing I have been able to do so far to really drain the battery is leave the screen on for extended periods of time. This is to be excepted, especially with as much screen real estate as this phone has. All told, I think this phone is going to be a noticeable improvement over its predecessor. Not going to remove the charger from my desk just yet though.

Conclusion

The iPhone 6 Plus is absolutely the right device for me. I don’t think I would have expected this a few years ago, but now it is so clear why having such a big and powerful, yet easily portable device in my pocket would feel so right. I do not think it is the right device for everyone. A few camera features and UI extras aside, the iPhone 6 is probably the device that most people should choose. It’s still bigger, but not so much that it requires users to rethink how they interact with their iPhone.

I was more than happy to make the change though. And now I cannot go back. I am really looking forward to the ways I will be able to use this in the future.


  1. Of course one needs larger pockets for this.  ↩
  2. I did find one though that is being delivered tomorrow. Anxious to see how it feels to have such a large device on my arm.  ↩

iPhone Minus Some Phone

So about a month ago I decided it was finally time to do something I had been meaning to do for a while. I removed the phone from my dock. My home screen has been arranged and rearranged so many times, and yet the phone has remained in the same default spot since the very first day.

I guess it was out of deference to the fact that the device was called iPhone. It has phone right there in the name. But then I thought about actual use. Everything else on my home screen are apps I use daily. But the phone? Sparingly at best. My phone is my most personal computer. The ability to speak with someone by holding the device up to my head is a side benefit.

IMG_6041-0.PNG

Maybe soon it will find its way into a folder. Or off the home screen entirely.

And this is the reason I am getting the iPhone 6 Plus. I will admit that I am totally eating my own words here. I was one of those people who mocked the huge phones people were using a few years ago. And I may have still had those feelings now except for the fact that I will almost never be holding the phone up to my head. For every other use the larger size is an advantage.

Who would have guessed that moving an app would have informed a hardware purchase?