I received my iPhone 6 today and thought I’d take a few moments to write down some initial impressions. This should not be considered anything more, it’s certainly not a review.
When I opened the box I uttered the word “wow” out loud. I thought for a moment perhaps I had been accidentally shipped an iPhone 6 Plus. I have fairly small hands and the iPhone 6 is noticeably larger than my iPhone 5. Dare I say almost awkwardly wide. While I’m sure I’ll adjust over time, I’m finding it difficult to use the iPhone with a single hand and have more than once called on the “reachability” mode to access items in the top of the screen.
Although I regularly carry a purse or bag, my iPhone is commonly in my pocket. In two different pairs of pants I wore today the edge of the iPhone 6 stuck out of the front pocket of both. I have to be very careful when sitting with the iPhone in my pocket for fear it will slide out.
For me, the adjustment from the 3.5“ iPhone 4 form factor to the 4” iPhone 5 two years ago was almost instantaneous. I have a feeling moving to the iPhone 6 will not be so easy. I’m sure I’ll adapt, and a few days from now things will feel back to normal. But, if you offered me a 4" iPhone 6 now, I’d probably take it.
The second observation of the iPhone is just how thin it is, noticeably thinner than the iPhone 5, and getting into iPod Touch territory. Certainly this helps with the overall feel of the phone. While it is awkwardly wide, it feels very good in the hand. The rounded glass gives the phone a nice finish, but It worries me in terms of durability, especially for side impacts.
I typically don’t use my iPhone in a case. Instead I’ve bought an Invisible Shield from Zagg which provides some scratch protection while also minimizing the slipperiness of a naked iPhone. Unfortunately, as of release date, Zagg is only selling screen protectors, though they say full body protection will be available soon. Perhaps I’m being overprotective of a new toy, but the combination of the thinness and smooth surface of the iPhone 6 has had me terrified all day I would drop it. While I hate to add any additional bulk, I’m seriously considering buying a case, even if it’s only temporary. (Anyone found a minimalist case they like?) Yes, I did buy AppleCare+.
I’ve Rearranged My Home Screen
For years, my home screen has remained fairly static with me occasionally swapping out default apps for third party replacements and other relatively minor changes. I knew I would be adding four new apps to my home screen thanks to the added size of the iPhone 6, but I didn’t expect any major changes. Today I completely rearranged my home screen, moving most frequently used apps to the bottom, including apps like Messages and Fantastical that I’ve always had on the top row. Being able to reach those most used apps with my thumb is important and I can’t reach the top row anymore.
Developers Need To Update Their Apps
Many developers have already update their apps for iOS 8 and, heeding Apple’s strong words of encouragement from WWDC, have taken advantage of Auto Layout to adjust for different screen sizes. Apps that have done this look great. Apps that haven’t do scale up, but something just looks off. (I’m looking at you Tapbots).
Everyone Loves The iPhone
As you may be able to tell, I’m not quite sold on the new size of the iPhone. Give this, there’s absolutely no way I’d consider an iPhone 6 Plus. But, if my office today was any indication, I’m in the minority. Word spread pretty quickly around the office I had a new iPhone 6 and I think just about everyone came by to pay me (or rather my iPhone) a visit. Most of them brought their own phones (mainly older models iPhones) to compare. The verdict was overwhelmingly positive. While many people commented on the size and thinness, I don’t believe anyone else thought the phone was too big. Everyone tried the iPhone in their hands, their purses and pockets (that got a little weird) and they all loved it. Maybe there’s something to these bigger phones after all.