No surprises whatsoever…

iphone5s-selection-hero-2013Despite hoping beyond hope, I wasn’t surprised by anything Apple announced earlier this week. I inevitably missed the keynote, being on a plane at the time, but catching up was quick and easy.

Two iPhone models? Check.

Gaudy, tacky gold-coloured iPhoneS? Check.

Date for release of iOS7? Check.

It was interesting, but nothing to set the world on fire. I won’t be getting an iPhone 5S as I just don’t see a compelling reason. My iPhone 5 works like a dream and I’d have to pay a fortune for the upgrade. And according to Apple, installation of iOS7 on my existing devices will be like having a whole new iPhone.

We’ll see. In just a few short days.

I don’t run a multi-billion dollar technology firm, so I don’t know what kind of pressures they’re under. But I would have thought it would have been relatively easy to offer an iPhone 5S with a) increased storage above and beyond the existing 64GB model already offered and b) do something more substantial about battery life. Single digit improvements simply don’t cut it, as far as I’m concerned.

Unless something significantly changes, I’m going to hold out for an iPhone 6 which I’m hoping will have:

  • Significantly better battery life
  • 128GB of storage
  • A larger screen

Why the obsession with storage? Well, as phones become more powerful, so do the apps that run on them, taking up more space in the process. Better screens make it easier and more enjoyable to consume video, which also takes up more storage. I’m hitting the buffers on my 64GB iPhone 5 on a regular basis through a combination of podcasts, language courses and music.

As it looks like they’ll never offer the functionality to use SD cards in any way, I’ll have to continue pining for larger built-in storage.

It wasn’t a complete washout. The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S is exciting and I’m assuming only a flavour of what’s yet to come in terms of secure payments and truly joined up devices.

Rumours point to an iPad event in October. Let’s see if anything there can excite me and convince me to upgrade my iPad mini.

  1. Agreed.
    Gold? Barf.
    No larger capacity? Damn. Same size? Damn. My old eyes can’t take it.

    I *need* a new phone. Now, I’m wondering if buying a new but outdated 5 isn’t the answer… Or still wonder about the Samsung IV.

    I don’t like it when I don’t know what to choose.

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    1. I think the iPhone 5 is excellent, which is why I’m not chomping at the bit to get a new handset. It’ll do me just fine until something *significantly* better comes out.

      I think the price of the iPhone 5 will come right down, now that it’s being discontinued. And you may be able to snap up a bargain. Less “pain” than moving platform completely and switching to Android.

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      1. I already checked with ATT’s inventory (nationwide, online) and they have zero 64GB iPhone 5 (new) in either colour. Damn.

        That would be the best bet for me, I *think.* The HTC One was also highly recommended. Basically, it’s better (marginally) than the Samsung GS4 *but* for the camera, which isn’t good at all (except in low light, where it’s better, oddly). While the camera isn’t my buying point, the crappiness is a drag (when viewed at pixel-level).

        I’ll probably end up getting a 5s at this point but I don’t like feeling like I’m not getting what I ‘deserve.’ Whatever the hell that means.

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        1. Frustrating! How about network free, via eBay or Amazon? Is that even possible in the US?

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          1. Oh, god that’s WORSE! And it’s not possible if you live in most areas. Very few areas are covered by Tier 3s. I have to go with ATTbastards and they’re ATTbastards.

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  2. I might be getting my first iPhone! My son Philip will most probably be getting the 5S and I will inherit his old iPhone 4 Not exactly the new kid on the block I realise but is a start I suppose… Just trying to make head nor tail of smartphone tariffs here in France.. in French of course, it’s not quite the same as UK! I will report back once I know if Philip is taking the leap for the 5S or not, he’s in the US at the moment working in New York…

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    1. Hurrah! And just in time for iOS 7!

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      1. Still not confirmed yet, hope to speak to him this weekend, he’s just got back from 10 days in New York!

        One thing I have discovered with iOS7 on my iPad3 (wifi only) is that by turning off background app refresh, the battery lasts a lot longer now than it did with iOS6, now when I flip the cover it’s effectively turned off. I like that!

        I’ve had to turn on a couple of things in accessibility due to my eye sight issues mainly. I’ve gone for increased contrast and bold fonts. The interface is now a lot better for me, no more squinting! Also turned the brightness down on the screen (another battery saver) so overall I’m happier with 7 on the iPad.

        I wish you could do the same trick with regards turning off background refresh on iOS6, need to investigate what can be turned off to bring similar gains.

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        1. Turning off background downloads definitely helps with battery life. I personally find it easier to read on the iPhone, but less so on the iPad Mini – but I haven’t turned on any accessibility options yet. Anything that can be done to help with Apple batteries is very, very welcome!

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  3. Couple of late additions to the comments:

    Firstly I think iOS7 is a big improvement. It looks lovely and feels lovely to use but there are some great functional improvements too.

    The notification centre view you get by pulling down is now much better laid out and control centre saves you having to trawl through Settings for some of the often used functions. The swipe to go back works so well, I can’t believe it wasn’t there before.

    However, I have a few minor gripes (and these are minor, I definitely prefer new system):

    – The new notifications on the lock screen are too big so you can only see two without scrolling

    – I don’t like having to scroll within folders if you have more than 9 apps in them

    – I don’t like the Safari “tabs” view where the pages are piled up like bits of paper. The flat system used to navigate between apps when you double-click the home button is great, so why not use the same method for Safari?

    – Settings is still a trawl if what you want isn’t in control centre. Actually it seems bigger than ever.

    Anyway. This all sounds very negative but I do think it’s a great improvement an hope some of these things are included in future versions.

    Secondly, I have ordered a 5S (standard grey, not the gold one!) I do like the idea of not having to type out my password every time I pick up my phone and very keen to have 4G (although I wait to see what the coverage is like).

    4G is potentially very useful to me as I often tether my laptop or wifi only iPad to the connection.

    And my contract is up anyway so…

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    1. Thanks for your insight, as ever. I agree with everything you’ve just said. For me, Safari is the worst bit of iOS 7. Not at all intuitive and quite fiddly in parts. It’ll take some getting used to.

      And it would be nice to be able to configure control centre. As you point out, the general settings is a black hole of endless menus…

      I now have to backtrack on earlier comments and confide that I bought an iPhone 5S this morning. I’ve only had time to unbox and set it up in the last while, so nothing to share as yet.

      Hope I won’t regret it!

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