The iPhone 5 has been out for almost a month now and I have had mine for a good three weeks at this point. I wanted to give my impressions and, as usual, spout off a couple of opinions that have come to my mind as the weeks have passed and so many things have been written about in regard to the iPhone 5 features and comments by some technical online sites. Of course, these are my personal reactions and like any matter of opinion, you can take it all for what it’s worth.
I will say flat out that I loved my iPhone 4S. It was a great phone, and with SIRI, it became like a good friend over the year I had it. If you have one or can rather afford it over the iPhone 5, I’d certainly recommend it. It got the job done for me during the time I owned it, and I have no regrets in the world for having upgraded from the 3GS to the 4S.
With that said, however, Simply Cool, is all I can think of when it comes to describing the iPhone 5. It’s noticeably smaller and thinner, and is also faster than the 4S. I practically fell in love with it the moment I opened its package and examined it for the first time. When I had heard it described as being 20 percent thinner and lighter, I really hadn’t been able to imagine that, but trust me when I say that it makes a difference.
Setting up the iPhone 5 went as smooth as silk. I restored the phone from an iCloud backup and also synced the phone to my computer for a few odds and ends I was told needed to be done by way of a direct connection to my Mac. It took less than twenty minutes between the time I turned on the iPhone 5 for the first time and hit the home button three times to start VoiceOver to actually using the phone.Of course, iOS 6 was already installed on the phone, so that wasn’t an issue. It was just so nice to have my apps and settings exactly how they were set up on the 4S, and I took the phone out with me for the day and used it extensively. Here are a couple of observations from that initial use and which have been solidified over the weeks I’ve used the phone.
- • The quality of phone calls seems to be improved. The clarity and reliability of a call seem better than they were on the 4S
- • Applications load faster and screens just seem to come up quicker on the phone to a noticeable extent
- • Even in a protective case, the phone just seems lighter and thinner to the point that it is truly noticeable. It fits perfectly in a belt case that the 4S had been a very tight fit to accommodate.
- • You can fit more icons on a page. If you restored the phone, you will manually have to move apps, but you can fit 5 rows of 5 apps on each screen now.
I don’t know if it was a server issue, but the only “problems” I had was with SIRI at times. There is a bug in iOS 6 in which if you use SIRI to send text messages, you will not get the sound you normally hear when the message is sent. You can bypass this by hitting the home button as soon as you send the message, but if it’s an iMessage, you still will not hear the sound because the message is normally sent so quickly. .
The problem I was having was that SIRI didn’t seem to respond to commands at times or there were lengthy delays in her responses. This was a little frustrating at first, but I was told by a few sources that this might have been caused by server upgrades and maintenance on Apple’s end. Oddly enough, over the last few days, the use of SIRI has improved quite a bit.
The Maps Flap
I’m not going to debate anyone on the realities of what exactly was wrong with the new Apple Maps app. My personal opinion is that there were certainly problems with the new maps, but I believe that most of the flap was simply the typical media bias of being overly critical when it comes to Apple. In other words, it was probably a fire on the stove that gets turned into a 3 alarm fire by the time it is described by someone ten people removed from the original story. Beyond that, Apple has been fixing the problems behind the scenes, and I have no doubts that it will completely go away by next year.
In any event, I have taken the Maps app out for a spin 3 times now with turn by turn directions. This has been to 3 different locations on Long Island and not exactly “popular” destinations either. I will confess that I was expecting things not to go well, as I fell into believing the nonsense I had been reading about. Fortunately, I discovered that the turn by turn directions basically kicked but.
First of all, alternative routes were offered each time, and, if I was in the application itself, I could choose the one I preferred. If I used SIRI for “directions to Heckscer State Park”, the most direct route was chosen by default. The thing is, running along side a store bought GPS device in a car, the Maps app turn by turn directions worked perfectly all three times I used them. Not a bad turn or a missing street or anything out of the ordinary was noticed by me or the person driving. I was plainly impressed with the experiences.
Now, I know someone will come along and make claims about how the Maps app couldn’t find this or that place or led them to the Mines of Moria when they were trying to get to Gondor. I have no doubts there were and are still issues, so please don’t waste my time of having to respond to you. I am simply pointing out that I had no problems when I used the turn by turn directions, and you can take that however you like for what it’s worth.
FUD and More FUD
There is a term that is known to some in the world of modern marketing. It is known as, FUD, which stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. When you are having your lunch eaten by a competitor and you can only sell 1 of your devices for every 10 they sell, it’s a desperate tactic some will use to “attempt to hurt” the reputation of a competitor’s product. In other words, you start spreading rumors and stories that negatively effect the product you are competing against in the hope of “scaring” off potential customers. You use fear, uncertainty and doubt to try to take some of the thunder out of all of the good publicity and positive reviews that are burying your product into general obscurity or a distant 2nd place.
A great example of FUD in action was right after the release of the new iPad back in the spring. Literally hours after its release, someone posted a fictitious story on a forum somewhere about a new iPad overheating and catching on fire. Before you knew it, the story was being repeated all over the place in a variety of manners. It got to the point in which Consumer Reports even got into the act.
The short end is there were no heating issues with the iPad. It was a completely fabricated tale meant to spread FUD. Apple provided technical details about the actual temperatures of a working iPad, and several other outlets posted similar data from their own testing. So, overall, it was a whole lot of nothing specifically invented to hurt the iPad launch.
We see the same things happening with the iPhone 5. How the Maps app situation got blown out of proportion and the whole “Scratch Gate” nonsense are two examples that immediately come to mind. Just more FUD that the media mindlessly ran with, as the modern media is guilty of doing on a daily basis. I am often led to wonder just what kind of degree is needed to work for a media outlet and if Ignorance 101 is a core part of the curriculum. At this point, whatever Apple does is placed under a microscope, and issues that are realistically minor are turned into natural disasters. It’s almost a joke because I can predict what will be said after any product release from Apple. Wanna take bets about the iPad Mini and what negatives will be bandied about by the “experts”.
As for the whole claim that the iPhone 5 was a let down because it didn’t have any earth-shattering innovations that should have rocked the technology world to its very foundations, that is as much crap as most of the FUD. At this point in time, you simply are not going to see anything of that magnitude being introduced by any company. Additionally, if you don’t understand the Apple approach to products by now, you need to go back to school and study the progression of iPhones since the first generation one. The bottom line is they make a product that improves and expands upon current technologies other companies are often doing badly or not using to its full potential, and produces a result that simply appeals to consumers.
In addition to that, the technology itself was the innovation. The A6 processor and excellent LTE support all being done on a phone that has better battery life than the 4S is amazing within itself. It is the fastest smart phone in the world right now, and you don’t lose any functionality with the chip set. This might not seem like a “big deal” to the average Joe, but trust me when I say that it is to the manufacturers of Android and Windows phones who are scrambling to try to mimmic what Apple has done without risking lawsuits for “copying” them in some way.
Buy what you want and stick to what you want. As I said about the iPhone 4S, if your current phone is doing the job and you don’t need to upgrade, that is your choice. The iPhone 5 may not be the device for you right now. That is perfectly understandable, especially if you don’t have the money to buy one.
If you are looking to upgrade or are considering upgrading your current phone, the iPhone 5 is worth every penny. You will be amazed and pleased by the purchase. The accessibility right out of the box is only the kicker. Once you hold the iPhone 5 for the first time, you will be happy for the purchase every moment afterwards, as I am.
As a personal bit of advice, don’t waste your time and money on the flavor of the month from Android and that fracturing and malware riddled environment. Most of the Android user world has no idea what the latest version of Android is and even more sadly, most users can’t even upgrade their current phone, even if they purchased it three months ago, like a friend of mine unfortunately was led to do. Speaking of my friend, don’t let yourself get “talked” into buying a phone that, according to the AT&T or Verizon customer service representative is “just like an iPhone”. You can’t go wrong with the real deal, and just laugh off the FUD that will continually be slung about Apple in desperation out there. Apple is not perfect, and the iPhone 5 won’t be for everyone, but there is good reason why several million of them have been sold within a month of its release.