Nov 252014

A few weeks ago, Apple launched their new iPhone 6 and the XL iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 is the one that interests me more than anything. I currently use a Samsung Note3, albeit one that long since jettisoned the original Samsungised version of Android that it is intended to use and one that now runs Cyanogenmod 11 (nightly).

I love and hate the size of the Note3, the screen is pretty good in all but bright sunlight and the lightly extended version of AOSP plus Google services adds up to a nice phone.

There are very few things about the Note3 that I dislike.

– The battery life is poor, I struggle to get through a busy day

– There are still vestiges of Samsung – the home button for example.

– The camera is really ‘not all that’ and when you run a third-party ROM you are giving up many things, NFC is a prime example of this.

So, why am I writing about the iPhone 6  ?

Because deep down I beleive that the Apple ecosystem is a better one than the Android / Google one.

I also realise that in order to enjoy the Android experience, I need to mix and match fairly heavily. I really like the size of the Note3 screen. I really like my Nexus4’s build quality, I especially like Google Now and specifically the Google Now launcher and dialler. I like the idea of Android more than I like the experience.

There is a Nexus 6 to consider I suppose, this is another Phablet with a 6″ screen. It is also eye-waveringly expensive, especially for a Nexus model.

But still, the iPhone 6 calls me.

It has an astonishing camera. The one in the Note3 is ‘OK’ at best, sometimes it simply refuses to work too. The camera in my iPhone 5S is awesome. The one in the 6 is even better. The fact that there is no lag when using iPhone cameras helps, but the quality if the photos from my iPhone 5S are way better than my Note3 and honestly the 6 is even better.

The Apple ecosystem is better. There is no doubt here, most of the apps I use (Endomondo, Strava etc) release on iPhone way earlier than they do on Android and they often work better too.

But then its another iPhone and my iPhone history has been a little bit difficult to say the least. My first was an original one, then a 3G, a 3GS, a 4, 4S, 5 and 5S have all passed through my hands. I still have the 5S, it is an excellent camera and great to use on my bike as a computer. But the screen is too small really…..

There is however a problem in my dreams of going back to the iPhone again. I am fascinated by the idea of a smart watch.

Apple launched theirs to great acclaim. But it is not yet available. It will also be twice the price of android watches.

And it will only work with an iPhone.

Recently I spent some time with the Sony Smartwatch 2. This is, at best, a remote display for an Android phone. It is quirky, awkward, fun to play with, interesting to use, but flawed in the extreme. It absolutely sucks the battery life out of my phone to use it and it is, really very awkward.

If the latest crop of android watches are no better, then I will pass. But I cannot see Apple releasing anything that is flawed to that degree. I am expecting that by the time the second version releases, it will be awesome.

That will be in 2016 I guess.

Which leads me to the realisation that smart watches are probably not really for me.

As I type this I am wearing a watch that is over fifty years old. It was given to me by my father. It was his 21st present from my mother. It tells the time, more or less. It is frankly impossible to tell if it is 3:16, 3:17 or maybe 3:18. As far as I am concerned it is almost twenty past three.

It tells me the time and the date. The date is a complication that I have never really used on a watch. I’ve never really found it necessary to know the date when there are so many devices around that tell me.

It does not tell me how many unread e-mails I have (17) or how many unread sms’s (0) or what my next appointment is. Nor does it tell me how many steps I have taken today, how many calories I can eat or what time the sun sets and what the weather is like.

I really do not need a watch AND a phone to tell me this. It feels a tad overkill.

My perfect watch is mechanical, it will tell me the time and maybe it has a stop-watch, but probably not. I think that simple elegance is more useful than eleganty functions…..

So, do I want an iPhone 6 ?

Obviously. I want one like I wanted the last few generations of iPhone…….


 Posted by at 7:27 am

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