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iPhone 6S Review

Monday, September 28th, 2015

I recently upgraded to an iPhone 6S from the 6 through my family’s upgrade plan (I buy a new phone and give my old one to one of my parents). Normally I wouldn’t upgrade now, I wasn’t due for another year, but my mom needed a “new” phone and I bit the bullet and bought the 6S. Admittedly I am a techie and an Apple fanboy so it wasn’t a hard bullet to bite down on.

While the upgrades from the 6 to the 6S aren’t huge there are a few I noticed:

  • It has the fabulous brand new A9 chip! Woo! I can look at Facebook so much faster. I don’t play many games on my phone or render HD videos so faster processors are lost on me.
  • It has the snappiest fingerprint reader. It almost too fast for me. I can’t use the home button to check the time anymore because it unlocks when I push it to wake it up. Other than that it’s better than the 6, which didn’t work for me about a third of the time.
  • The new camera is cool, I guess. I’m not so good with that stuff. I like the time-laps and slow-mo, but that was already included in the 6.
  • The “live” photos is pretty ridiculous. It’s just a picture that can be a movie if you touch the screen and it’s twice the file size. The only thing it’s useful for is the lock screen used in conjunction with the new Force Touch.

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  • The new pressure sensitive Force Touch is pretty cool. It took me a while to get used to it, you have to push harder than I initially thought. On the lock screen you can put up your “live” movie-photos or use one of the pre-loaded images of fish or smoke. The harder you push the more the photo advances. The Home screen uses the force touch for quick menu items that the app provides. Push hard on the Messages and you get quick access to the last three people you texted. Phone your first three contacts in your “Favorites” list. Safari, a faster way to get into porn mode…er, I mean Private Browsing. A few apps offer pop-n-lock: quick preview in messages or emails, which, if you push harder, you can pop into the message. It gives you a quick pulse buzz when you activate a Force Touch enabled app, a nice physical feedback. The Force touch isn’t a necessity but it is fun and can be useful. I can see it getting bigger fast.
  • Always on “Hey, Siri,” Apple’s response to Googles “OK, Google.” This was available on the 6 only when the phone was plug in to conserve battery. I have been testing it to see how much battery Siri eats up and so far only 2% in the last 24 hours. The feature can be toggled on/off if you don’t want to use it.

iOS 9 has a few feature that I love and a few that I hate. First the love:

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  • The button to go back to the app you were redirected from. When a app or notification takes you to a new app there is a button at the top left hand of the screen to take you back to the app you were redirected from.
  • The battery settings are easier to find, it’s not buried in the “General” settings anymore.

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  • The phone will go into “Low Power” mode when the battery is lower than 20%: the auto-lock is shortened to 30 seconds and all background running apps and pushes are temporarily disabled. This can also be toggled on/off at any point.
  • iCloud Drive app can be toggled on/off. This app has all the files that are saved on the iCloud in one place. So for me it’s Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iMovie files.

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  • Quick access to audio features on the lock screen when headphones are plugged into the phone in the form of the small, quickly disappearing, button in the left hand bottom corner. Some how my phone remembers different headphones. When I plug in my running headphones, iTunes pops up in the corner. In my car, Audible pops up.

The one thing I hate is they brought back the search page as the furtherest right-swiped page on the home screen (just left of the first page), but they also left the search page accessible by pulling down from the middle of any page of the home screen. Both have the search bar but the former includes more: recent contacts; nearby food, activities, amenities; and top news from the new news app that can’t be toggled on/off.

Bottom line: The phone is great if you are ready for an upgrade and don’t have a 6. If you do have a 6 I suggest you wait for the 7 next year.

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