iPhone 5 Review

First, a quick note about my little experiment to “hide” my mail app on my iPhone and iPad (see my previous post) in hopes that it will keep me from constantly checking email. It worked beautifully! In just 2 short weeks I have effectively kicked my email habit. Not having that mail icon starring at me from my dock made all the difference. Now I only check my email when I have a need to do so rather than EVERY time I pick up one of my iOS devices.

I've had my iPhone five for a little over 2 weeks now. I could literally go on and on and on about the iPhone 5, but in spirit of keeping it short I'll just limited it to the major pluses and minuses that I found so far. I hope try and follow up in the coming weeks short blog posts on specific features of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 that I'm finding to be the most geektastic!

Look and feel:

Immediately, when I pulled the iPhone 5 out-of-the-box it felt much much lighter than my iPhone 4. The fit and finish on the iPhone 5 is amazing! It just feels incredible in your hand. This new iPhone feels so good in your hand this'll be the first iPhone out of all the iPhones I've carried that I am not going to put a case on. I just can't bring myself to put a case on such a slim, light, and beautiful device. The larger screen…is a bit of a problem for my elf sized hands. For the first day that I had the iPhone I felt like I was constantly stretching to get the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Then I realized that with the iPhone 4 I was using my pinky finger in the lower left-hand part of the phone to secure the phone and with the taller iPhone 5 screen I can't comfortably stretch while holding the phone that way. Without even knowing I was doing it, I've since adjusted my grip on the iPhone and I no longer feel like I'm stretching to reach the upper left-hand corner of the screen. My point in all of this is that if my child-sized hands can comfortably reach the entire iPhone screen I don't think anybody else will have any problem. Apple got the design right, it is a noticeably larger screen but still easily operated with one hand.


There is a huge speed increase from iPhone 4. Apps load much faster and the phone is just much much snappier. I didn't realize that the delays I was living with on the iPhone 4 until I got the iPhone 5 and the delays were gone. Multi-tasking and switching between apps is lightning fast making it that much more efficient to use in that way. I've also noticed a huge speed increase with apps that have to access the Internet for data and I'm still on AT&T 3G/4G (no LTE in my area yet) so it's not because I'm now on LTE.


For the first few days I noticed I was actually getting less battery life o the new iPhone as compared to my iPhone 4. I was really looking forward to getting a new iPhone so my battery life would be a little bit better so I was a little disappointed initially. However, I really haven't run out of battery over the course of an entire day yet. In fact, I found that the battery life has gotten better after the first few days of using the phone. I've also noticed the battery drains much faster towards the upper end of the battery than it does when he gets down to the lower percentages. Between self battery calibration and Apple tweaking the software I expect the batter life and accuracy to get better over time. Overall, battery life is not an issue. In fact, if you are upgrading from a 4s you may even notice a longer battery life.


I don’t know if this is because this the first iPhone I’ve used without a case, but I notice the device getting pretty warm after using for an extended period (especially when accessing cell data). I wouldn’t call the increase in temperature a problem, just an observation. With the faster A6 processor it only makes sense that the phone would produce more heat. Although, with the A6 Apple is able to selectively throttle the processor speed to save on battery life. So I expect processor speed utilization and heat management to also get better over time as Apple is able to tweak the software.

The new Maps app:

This one has totally been blown out of proportion by the media. I am really excited about the new Maps app. It loads and refreshed images so much faster than Google Maps and I really love the new turn by turn directions. You can even listen to music or podcasts with the turn by turn directions, the music just fades down when directions are spoken and then the music resumes full volume. There is definitely an accuracy issue with the new Maps app, but if you remember back when Google maps was just starting out they had the same issues. But Apple has one thing that Google didn’t have back then, hundreds of millions of users. Report map errors from within the app and Apple has been fixing those errors very quickly. This app will get much better over time (and its already really good right now). Don’t listen to the media on this one. 

The new headphones:

iPhone 5 now comes with new headphones called “Ear Pods.” I’m no audiophile, but I do own a pair of really nice over the ear Bose headphones. I am now not using my Bose headphone much anymore, these are THAT good! The original iPod headphones were ok, but let’s face it...they were essentially throw away headphones. These new Ear Pods are very comfortable even for extended periods of time and they sound fantastic. The bass is much more pronounced (even better than my Bose headphones). Will these new Ear Pods replace the need to buy a really nice pair...probably not. But you now have a really nice pair of headphones to take with you on the go without sacrificing much in the area of comfort and sound quality.

So I said I would keep it short. Believe it or not this was short. There is so much to be said about iPhone 5 and iOS 6! I’ll try and post VERY short posts in the coming weeks about my favorite new features and how I use them. I’m also curious to hear from all of you about whether you are getting a case for your new iPhone 5? I’m hearing a lot of people saying they have never used a case before but they are getting one for the iPhone 5 and I’m exactly the opposite. What are you doing and why?

iPhone5 and my email problem

So my beautiful new white iPhone5 32 GB showed up via UPS yesterday. I'm going to hold off writing any kind of review until I've had more time with it but I'm my initial thoughts are:

  • Extremely light weight
  • Lightning fast
  • Amazing craftsmanship

Now for my email problem. This really has nothing to do with the iPhone5 but I decided to take this problem into my own hands when I populated my new iPhone screen with apps. After alI, I had the wonderful problem of an extra row I needed to populate on my home screen. So here’s my little problem...I find myself checking email constantly when I'm on one of my iOS devices. It's become almost an obsession for me. I mean really, how many times per day does one need to check their email? So my solution is this… My email app is no longer visible on the home screen of my iPhone and iPad. It is been relegated into a folder on my home screen called productivity so the app is not clearly visible on my home screen anymore. I've always had this folder called productivity on my home screen so I didn't create just for email but now it's there and now it's not something that I can as easily get to as I could before. Now, you may be thinking: what if I want to just write a quick email? Well, there's an app for that. The app is called Launch Center Pro (and I highly recommend it). Launch Center Pro is essentially a quick launching app for your iPhone. So now with the touch of a single button I can open up mail and it brings me to a new mail dialog box. The key thing here is that this app is more than just mail it's all of my daily “go to” apps that I use almost constantly. So I still have all the quick functionality of being able to write an email quickly, but I don't have that constant reminder that I have emails waiting for me in my inbox in the form of a little red badge icon on my email app icon.

So that's how I'm attempting to cure my email problem/obsession. I'll report back soon on how well this does or doesn't work and also give a better more thorough review on the iPhone five. Until next time…

Why buy an iPhone 5?

This is not going to be a long review or recommendation for a product that very few people on this Earth have even had a chance to get to touch. Rather, I wanted to say a few words about what some in the media have been calling a “disappointing” product because of it’s lack of new features and only slight outside appearance change (were they expecting a new hexagonal shape). Even some of the most loyal Apple fans have admitted to be slightly disappointed with the unveiling of the iPhone 5. Why? It’s only natural to be caught up in all the hype and to get excited about new groundbreaking features. But what about all the things that makes the iPhone great today? You see, it’s not just about the hardware. Unlike most companies, Apple understands that in order for a product to be truly great that product needs to have the “total package.” For the iPhone the total package is things like:

  • The intuitive user interface
  • The incredibly rich app ecosystem
  • iCloud (and all the features and connectivity that comes with it)
  • The iTunes store
  • iTunes Match
  • iMessage
  • FaceTime

For me, my iPhone is a dependable and familiar tool that I turn to on a daily basis and depend on in order to get things done. I’m not so sure that I want Apple to radically change the design of my iPhone because I don’t think the iPhone NEEDS to radically change. I’m also not convinced that all these so called features that the iPhone 5 didn’t get are really something that I need. Apple puts an incredible amount of thought into their products and I keep going back to something Steve Jobs said about the most important decision you can make is deciding what NOT to do. I think Apple continues Steve’s vision with the iPhone 5 and “decided” NOT to include certain features for very good reasons. So I pre-ordered my iPhone 5 sight unseen at 3am eastern Friday morning and trust that when I get my hands on it next Friday that I will be able to continue to depend on it just like I do every day with my iPhone 4. David Chartier wrote an excellent post on the iPhone 5 design choices, a highly recommended read. Also, if you are on the fence about whether to get the iPhone 5 CNET has a great FAQ piece. I'm going to wait and reserve judgement on the iPhone 5 until I've actually had a chance to hold and use one. But honestly, as long the iPhone 5 is still powered by an "iPhone" I think I will be extremely happy!

So are what are your thoughts on the iPhone 5?

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