The iPhone6 is not a phone, but more a mini computer…
Smartphones have been heading that way for a while. But with the iPhone 6, Apple has made phone calls the least of our concerns when shopping around for a new cell phone. We look more for how we can send messages, take pictures and now even pay for a cup of coffee.
At first impression, I thought it was about time Apple let their iPhone 6 catch up with most of the things we've come to expect from competitors, while changing how we define the word "phone." One thing that has caught my attention in particular with the iPhone 6 is Apple Pay, which is an application that allows you to replace a wallet full of credit cards with your iPhone.
This transformation is a good thing for most of us, though turning the iPhone into a multi-faceted minicomputer required some compromises.
The biggest change to the iPhone6 is it’s size—it measures 4.7 inches diagonally and its big brother, the iPhone 6 Plus, measures 5.5 inches diagonally. All that extra screen space allows you to do a lot more with the iPhone 6. The larger screen will probably increase productivity for some, since they can read more emails, view bigger pictures and type more easily. The screen is brighter and offers higher-resolution than existing iPhones. People who do a lot of work on the go will likely be drawn to the larger iPhone 6 Plus.
However, a bigger screen also means average thumbs will get a workout. The 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 and 5S was designed so that you could operate it with just one hand, with your thumb able to reach almost across the entire screen. I actually had the opportunity to check out an iPhone 6/6Plus and I can tell you this: With an iPhone 6, my thumbs couldn’t even reach across half of the screen; and with the iPhone 6 Plus, I could reach just about a third of the screen. In fact, the larger model (6Plus) is only a tiny bit smaller than an iPad Mini, and can be hard to grip tightly. Apple has tried to help by rounding the edges on its glass display to make it feel more comfortable in your hand. Those who like to wear skinny jeans…..Good luck!
Apple also worked in some modifications to the iPhone's operating system to ease one-handed use, features not found on other large-screened smartphones. Press lightly twice on the iPhone 6's Touch ID button, and whatever app you're using instantly becomes half-screen sized, so you can reach stuff at the top of the screen, like the icon to start a new email.
In the Messages app, you can send a voice note with just your thumb by pulling up a quarter-circle sized control in the lower-right side. Samsung allows you to place apps in a smaller window or shift the size of the keyboard in its latest flagship phone, but it isn't quite as elegant.
Another issue Apple had to address was battery life. With a larger screen, the more battery power it will take in order to keep it bright, especially with all the apps we increasingly are using throughout our day.
Their fix? The iPhone 6 has a bigger battery, but is it good enough? Apple says the iPhone 6 will get slightly better battery performance than its previous models. Yet where it really matters, performance appears to be about the same: When browsing over a high-speed LTE network with the iPhone 6 it is said you'll get around 10 hours of use, just like with the iPhone 5S.
Designing computers the size of a phone is the age were in now and in a few months, I’m sure most of us who upgrade to the iPhone 6 will wonder how we ever used such a small "phone" before.
Zachary T. Brown