Over a week with the iPhone 5 and I'm convinced it's a keeper

Over a week with the iPhone 5 and I'm convinced it's a keeper

Summary: We have now all had our new Apple iPhone 5 devices for over a week and I have to say I am extremely happy with mine and look forward daily to discovery of new apps and functions.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPhone
73

I have been using my new Apple iPhone 5 for over a week now and still think the $820 was well worth it as I continue to discover new functions and reasons I find it to be one of the best phones available. There have been many excellent full reviews of the iPhone 5 posted around the Internet (links to my favorites below) so I thought I would focus on writing some of my summary thoughts on actually using the device heavily for a week along with an image gallery of 10 unique functions and features I find useful.

Check out my screenshot image gallery of my top 10 favorite functions and features on my Apple iPhone 5.

Hardware

Apple is pretty excited about the hardware of the new iPhone and I enjoyed the video from Jony Ive showing the attention to detail that went into its design. Even though the iPhone 5 has a longer display than the 4S, the device feels more like an iPhone nano than the next generation iPhone. It is very refreshing to have such a compact, high powered smartphone that fits even in a front shirt pocket. I have come to really like the small size of the iPhone 5 and am not really missing the huge displays on my other smartphones.

I love the use of metal on the back and the narrow width makes it feel more like a phone in my pocket. It is blazing fast and so far seems to take great photos. I know there has been lots of angst over the new connector, but as a person who hasn't had an iPhone for several months I personally find the new connector to be an awesome innovation. The microUSB folks sure could have done better and made a reversible connector. I often try to insert microUSB cables in the wrong way. I do wish Apple had launched with some available cables or adapters though since I now have to always remember to take along my cable to keep my iPhone 5 charged up.

Software

There are a LOT of improvements in iOS 6, over 200 according to Apple, and these have led to me being able to easily replace an Android phone with the iPhone 5. I like the notifications, Siri enhancements, Facebook and Twitter integration, and even iOS 6 Maps. I have used Maps a couple of times to navigate around and know that people appreciate turn-by-turn navigation for free. Apple does need to work on the map data, but if you recall the Google Maps experience was never that great on iOS in the first place and 3rd party GPS navigation solutions were ALWAYS the better option. I am checking out a couple of other GPS navigation apps (review coming next week), but if you are in a well populated area you may find iOS 6 Maps to be acceptable.

I have tried using phones without a huge app selection and for the most part I have been able to do something like 90% of what I wanted. However, the apps on iOS are so numerous and functional that I truly can do more with my iPhone 5 than I can with other devices. I just sold my Verizon Galaxy Nexus because I already know the Apple iPhone 5 will be mine on Verizon for quite some time.

iPhone 5 thoughts

The Apple iPhone 5 is commonly referred to as a minor evolutionary update and even if that is the case, it is still easily the best iPhone ever (aren't all the new ones every year?). Apple sold something over 5 million in the first weekend and in-store stock continues to be limited. With the iPhone 5 in my hand, I now have less reason to use Android or Windows Phone and am quite content with the device.

Apple iPhone 5 reviews

  • iMore: Long and detailed review that covers it all!
  • GDGT with a composite score of 8.9 from 38 reviews and 8.6 from 61 user reviews
  • CNET
  • The Verge

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone

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73 comments
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  • Where is the list?

    "There are a LOT of improvements in iOS 6, over 200 according to Apple"

    I looked on Apple's website and nowhere can I find a list of the 200+ new features. Can anyone provide the link to this list? I'm curious to see if this list includes the same type of "features" that we saw when they introduced Mountain Lion:

    http://www.apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html
    "Keyboard shortcut for Save As
    Use Command-Shift-Option-S to save a document using a different name and location."

    You can't make this stuff up.
    toddbottom3
    • and?

      make what up? The took out "Save As" but the functionality was always there, you could just use Export in most apps, or there was a duplicate function in some, and still do the same thing, but people got confused because of all the years of "Save As" being stuck in their minds... so Apple put a way to see "Save As" again for those who couldn't update themselves. Why wouldn't they list that so people knew they put the option in there for those who were demanding it.
      doh123
      • I shouldn't be surprised, Apple has conditioned you

        Apple has conditioned you to set the bar extremely low when it comes to defining what a "feature" is. Using this criteria, the Hello World program I wrote just now has over 2,000 new features. That makes my program 10 times better than Mountain Lion.

        Now, back to my original question: do YOU have the list of 200 bullet point items that Apple is calling "features"? I'm curious to see if these are items that normal people would call "features" or if, like Save As, only Apple fanbois like you would call a "feature". Why is it so hard to come up with this list? Apple did it for Mountain Lion. What is Apple hiding?
        toddbottom3
        • It is...

          it is a feature... you need to learn English. Wether its a worthwhile feature to you or not that you'd care about is subjective, but its still a feature.

          They didn't put up a bullet point list anywhere.. they describe everything out in a page so they don't list how they came up with the number... which is irrelevant. Number of features isn't any type of rating on how good or bad something is. An update could come out saying 2 billion new features, and be as useful as MS-DOS.
          doh123
          • view review at indiagsm

            check review there is all good anything bad is it in iphone check and let me know at http://indiagsm.in/apple-iphone-5.html
            websitedesign
          • You need to check yourself...

            You need to understand that "feature" is a word that is subjective. I agree with Todd, there is value in seeing whether the features are significant or not, and it's a scam for a company to market a numeric list of enhancements without actually spelling it out.

            Your getting caught up in some really poor logic, the guy is trying to truly see whether the features are relevant or not, and your jumping all over him for no good reason.
            Therminal
          • Your kidding right?

            He isn't truly trying to see anything. He only brings it up so he can call it a lie if nobody provides a link to the list or so he can bash the list if they do. Nobody said there were 200 new features that Toddy the moron would like. In his mind Apple could do nothing right so I don't bother feeding him info so he can post even more irrelevant drivel.
            non-biased
          • Definition of a "Feature"

            Something that stands out from the given norm. Something above average. You mate are getting confused with the word "Function". You are a dimwit trying to tell other people to use English properly - you TW*T
            mackydee1977
          • Talk about a dimwit

            Let me guess, you got your definitely from Toddy.

            1. a prominent or conspicuous part or characteristic: Tall buildings were a new feature on the skyline.

            2. something offered as a special attraction: This model has several added features.

            3. Also called feature film . the main motion picture in a movie program: What time is the feature?

            4. any part of the face, as the nose, chin, or eyes: prominent features.

            5. features, the face; countenance: to compose one's features for the photographers.
            non-biased
    • But apparently YOU can

      Nothing follows.
      bill@...
    • The "200 Improvements" is technically correct but marketing speak.

      Just because some improvements are trivial (you pointed out one), others are more significant. So, although the list of iOS improvements numbering close to 200 is technically correct, I find most are evolutionary improvements to existing features. (For example, Siri. Although I did not have experiences with Siri before my new iPhone 5 (and because Siri is a hard girl to get in touch with so many suitors asking for her attentions - Oh, she's a BAD girl, grin - I have found her assistance useful. She doesn't get everything right the first time, but she eventually does so ... like the old saying goes ... women, you can't live with them, you can't live without them ... and so, I will cut Apple some slack on this feature.)

      But I digress. Every point Matt makes I acknowledge as being a similar experience for me except the price. I was able to receive the subsidized upgrade cost.

      The hardware system speed is quite noticeable. As an owner of a New iPad with it's A5X chip, I can confirm that the A6 chip is faster at performing similar operations. Published Geekbench results indicate that the A6 chip is roughly 2X faster than the A5X design and I can believe that. Plus, for me, the Verizon LTE system is much better, under normal use for me, that the AT&T 4G LTE experience on my iPad 3 (although how much that observational impression is due to the A6 chip performance vs the A5X chip I can't say.)

      On a recent golf trip, I used a smartphone for the first time as a golfing GPS range finder using an available iOS app. The experience was excellent and this app actually had an option to use the iPhone cameras for an augmented reality display showing range distances and directional assistance to various hole points of interest. Quite neat. I imagine that the effect would be similar to the Google Glass augmented reality experience.

      Streaming video applications work great as well with the iPhone 5 hardware. One of the best interactive streaming apps I have ever used was the app designed for the recent Ryder Cup. My iPhone gave real time video and team score info to my golf playing partners during a break in our rounds. Too bad about the eventual Ryder Cup outcome but it was a result of Golfing Karma. Well done, EU players.

      The Map app, in my case, worked flawlessly. (I know, the criticism over this Apple App is justified but I have not personally experienced any problems with this app during my short experience with it. Besides, as has been pointed out, there are several alternatives to this application. Actually, in a way, the very fact that there ARE many substitutes for this native iOS app indicates the robustness of the iOS app ecosystem. As you have stated so long, Todd, consumer choice is great and in this case, consumers do have a nice selection of options to choose from.)

      This is a very good, if not great, smartphone design and those consumers wishing to own one won't be hurt by the experience.

      PS .. my iPhone 5 battery charge duration experience has been OK. I will say that the iPhone 5 charges back up to 100 percent much faster than my iPad 3 model does. I wonder if that has something to do with the new Apple "Lightning" serial port design?
      kenosha77a
    • This Cycle's Obsession

      That was a ML change that mitigated an awkward iCloud related change in Lion. Is a bug fix a feature? That's subjective. I think iCloud and auto-saving and forking documents is better than with Lion and the iCloud concept is progressive.

      As for iOS and over 200, yeah, it's marketing speak and it doesn't matter if it's 1 or 1000 if it isn't something you care about. I like DND. A lot. Did Apple do it first? I doubt it and I don't care. It's now running on my two year old iPhone. I'm literally sleeping better at night.

      So, stop it. You're beating an artist's rendition of a dead horse. It doesn't matter. It misses the point. iOS 6 is better than iOS 5 (except for Maps) and the iPhone 5 is better than the iPhone 4S. If the platform holds no interest for you, I understand. But I can't imagine any thing more useless than marshaling facts to convince others, who just don't care, that they should hate a platform.
      DannyO_0x98
      • Issues

        Better than iOS 5? Did iOS 5 have all these WiFi issues? What crap. (and I don't mean the product)
        Old Disti
    • I can find no such list either

      Only this:

      http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1578

      With the almighty Maps on top... Not Apple's finest hour, as they would put it.
      Smalahove
    • Funny...

      No one can point to the list "of improvements in iOS 6, over 200 according to Apple". I agree. It would be nice to see the list of over 200 just to see them and to compare them to already existing features in Android (or even Windows Phone 8).
      benched42
    • What surprise

      Just like every other Apple related article the one sitting in a basement frothing at the mouth over the iPhone is the first to post.
      non-biased
  • Yes. Wish I had one.

    But I am still very happy with my iPhone 4S. Have not updated it yet to iOS 6. Waiting for the bugs to get worked out first.
    NOmoreMicrosoftATall
    • for you

      yeah,,!! nice to have that kind of such expensive phone yet after years there could be another one much more higher and great application than ip4s... y not use 33 cel phone and donate your money to homeless instead?....
      kihdley tamayo
      • Dude what is your problem?

        Did you come here just to troll or do you have something relevant to add other than blasin someone for owning an iPhone or a smartphone in general?
        athynz
      • And - sorry for the second post ZDNet took the edit button away

        how do you know the person you replied to does not give money to the homeless? And why should people donate their hard earned money to people beging on the street who more than likely have smartphones and decent houses? IMHO a better charity would be to donate to cancer research, diabetes research, aids research, or homeless shelters.

        ZDNet can we PLEASE get the freaking edit button back?
        athynz