Apple introduced the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last week, which sold over 10 million units just three days after their September 19 release. Alongside the new hardware release, iOS 8 was also made publicly available. The Cupertino-based company came under scrutiny after customers complained of the new phones bending in their pockets. The aptly titled “bendgate” scandal created a huge buzz around the iPhone 6, but the issues didn’t end there. Following their hardware release, Apple put iOS 8.1 out on the market. This update to its software essentially rendered the iPhone 6 cellular connection useless. Luckily, users were able to revert back to the original version of its latest software. With those “hiccups” out of the way, Apple has continued to receive praises for their latest-and-greatest. For those out there who may not pay attention, may have missed something, or are unsure of the update, keep reading for our brief rundown of iOS 8 and the new iPhone.
Widgets are located in Notification Center, and vary in functionality and appearance. For example, the Yahoo Weather widget shows you a quick glance of local weather conditions. The Wunderlist widget displays your to-do list and allows you to check off items as you complete them. This newly introduced feature is a useful way to glance at important information directly from your lock screen. Apple has also allowed developers to create third-party keyboards for iOS, and there are now many to choose from. The TouchPal keyboard is available for free on the App Store, and it uses swipe gestures to type out your messages. The Riffsy GIF Keyboard is another fun way to reply to your texts because it stores numerous GIFs that can be sent directly from your keyboard.
The other aforementioned features (interactive notifications, Touch ID protected apps) provide more convenience to the user. Applications that have Touch ID verification enabled will open/sign-in to your personal account just by scanning your fingerprint. iOS users can also pull down on certain banner notifications to reveal specific actions for that app. The stock Messages app is a prime example of these interactive banners; pulling down on a notification brings up a quick reply screen. Believe me, it doesn’t end there. iOS 8 is filled with many other incredible features. The stock Messages app is more user friendly, allowing you to quickly send different kinds of messages (short audio recordings, or videos/pictures), and customize your group threads. The new Health app is a great way to track your workouts, meals, and other information. The QuickType Predictive keyboard is another useful feature that displays words you may want to type next. But, with new software comes new hardware; namely, the iPhone 6.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an iPhone 6 Plus on launch day, and I am thrilled, to say the least. After seeing many competitor “phablets,” I didn’t think that I would enjoy having a huge screen. However, after a couple of weeks of use, I’ve become a big fan of the screen size. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, as opposed to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The pixel density is also greater on the iPhone 6 Plus, making the resolution crisp and clear. It is also worth mentioning that the Sleep/Wake button has been relocated to the side of the device, which makes using the device one-handed somewhat manageable. A new feature of the bigger phones called Reachability makes it easier for one-handed use as well, allowing the user to bring the top part of any screen down to the bottom part of the screen. Still, this massive phone feels delicate and, if used one-handed, should be done so with caution and care.
iOS 8 looks and feels great on this new phone. The new features of iOS 8 work almost seamlessly with these updated devices, and provide an enhanced experience that isn’t rivaled by any other. Another feature that should be available soon on the iPhone 6 is Apple Pay. Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are equipped with the latest NFC chip, which is the standard for mobile payments. Users will soon be able to make payments using the fingerprint sensor on their iPhone 6, thus creating another area of commerce that Apple surely dominate in.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed and satisfied with the iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8. The phone feels great in the hands, but also delicate. One-handed use often proves to be a daunting task, yet it is still possible. Many aspects of iOS 8 feel optimized for these new phones, so it’s no surprise that the user experience is smooth and fast.
What do you think of the new phones and iOS 8? Will you buy an iPhone 6? Leave your comments below!