The iPhone 6 Plus is an awesome smartphone, but getting used to a device that has a 5.5-inch display after years with iPhones with screens ranging from 3.5-inch to 4-inch took time. In fact, initially I thought that the 5.5-inch display was too big.
But I realized that a lot of my problems were down to how I was using the hardware, and with a few tweaks I dramatically improved my user experience.
Here are some practical steps that I took to make the iPhone 6 Plus a workable part of my daily life.
1: Get a case
While Apple seems to put a lot of thought into making stylish devices, I don't think that ergonomics and robustness are as high up on the priorities list.
A good case for the iPhone 6 Plus solves two problems. First, it adds much-needed robustness. The display on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is unquestionably stronger than the displays on earlier models, but a drop can still destroy your expensive device and put a crimp in both your day and your wallet.
Secondly, a good case makes the iPhone 6 Plus much easier to hold. Smooth, chamfered corners might look good, but they give the hand little to grab onto. A few corners and edges make a huge difference in how easy it is to manipulate the smartphone.
2: Rearrange apps
For some reason I'd arranged my apps on the iPhone so the most used ones were at the top of the screen and I kept things like the Phone app and Music app in the dock.
I'm not sure why they ended up this way, but I see a lot of other people doing the same thing.
Since getting the iPhone 6 Plus I've reorganized my app layout to put the ones I use the most near the bottom of the display, and instead of putting apps that I think should be in the dock, I've examined my usage of apps to make a more informed judgment of what should take the best spot. I know that Apple has developed a gesture that brings the top of the screen down – a light double-tap on the Home button – but this is an awkward move to carry out when holding such a big slab of glass and metal.
3: Check out newer apps
If you're using apps that, for whatever reason, haven't seen an update in over six months then it might be a good idea to see if there are newer apps you could use that have been developed and designed with the larger display of the iPhone 6 Plus in mind.
The difference between an older app and a new one can be like night and day, so spending some money on new apps can help you get the most from your hardware.
4: Pocket carry is best
For years I've carried the iPhone in a belt pouch – I don't care if you judge me – because it kept my screen safe and left my pockets free for other junk. I experimented with different pockets, but found that the front pocket of jeans or an inside jacket pocket worked best for me.
Has my iPhone bent from being carried in a pocket? Not at all.
5: Use it horizontally
A lot of apps respond to the iPhone 6 Plus being held horizontally – or landscape, if you prefer – and many actually work better this way. Muscle memory wanted me to carry on using the iPhone "how I'd always used it," but after a few days of consciously using it horizontally, my productivity went through the roof.
6: Stop using cabled headphones
They're just too cumbersome. Time to move to Bluetooth headphones.
The bottom line is don't buy new hardware and expect to get the most out of it by using it just like the old hardware. A few tweaks to the way you work can help you get a lot more from your investment.