Monthly Archives: August 2014

Life with the iPhone 5s

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After my Nexus 4 started developing problems with charging in April, I got an iPhone 5s. I needed a phone that would just work, and have enough battery life to get me through a busy day. I had originally planned to get the 32gb version of the 5s, but the T-Mobile store didn’t have it available, so I got the 16gb base version.

I’ll admit, I was “not the biggest fan of iOS 7”: when it first came out, but I’ve since grown to love it. At this point, I appreciate what a bold move Apple made with iOS 7, they’ve essentially started another major design trend1. That’s what makes them innovative, they lead the pack instead of just following others. I used to be a huge fan of the iOS 6 era design, but now it looks gaudy and overbearing compared to iOS 7.

I could easily go on and wax poetically about the fingerprint reader, the camera, the processor, and more, but you could just go and read an Engadget review if you want the details. The bottom line is *everything just works*. I don’t think about any of the features the 5s has, I just use them. The fingerprint reader works flawlessly, the camera takes good pictures quickly, and the phone is still just as zippy and fast as it was when I got it four months ago.

That, in my opinion, is the best feature of the iPhone. You don’t need to fiddle with options and a million third party apps to get a decent experience, and you don’t need to kill apps and toggle wifi/bluetooth/data/gps on and off to try and get decent battery life. After using Android phones for close to two years, it’s lovely to be able to just use a phone without thinking about it.

The iPhone 5s definitely has a much more premium feel as compared to a Nexus 4. It feels like a solid device, as opposed to the toy-like plastic feel of most Android phones. In addition to having fantastic hardware, I also love the Apple ecosystem of apps. The apps really are designed better, and function better, almost always better than their Android counterparts (if they even have Android versions). In addition, so much hardware is designed to work with Apple devices, like my car, or the treadmills at the gym.

The physical size is one of the 5s’ greatest features in my opinion, and I really am not too thrilled with the upcoming iPhone 6 being bigger. I love how the 5s fits into my pockets very comfortably, instead of sticking out and feeling bulky. Nowadays, my Nexus 4 feels bulky and unwieldy, as compared to the perfectly sized iPhone 5s.

The storage space being only 16gb hasn’t bothered me very much at all. I started using Spotify Premium shortly after I got the 5s, and it really has eliminated the need for a large internal storage disk. Streaming music over mobile data did not work very well in NYC, especially with the large gaps in service in the subway system; however, here in Phoenix where I drive everywhere under the open sky, I always get perfect reception. Now that T-Mobile has started allowing unlimited data for music streaming, I can stream in high quality without ever worrying about my data running out. It’s super liberating to be able to listen to literally anything at any time, without needing to sync or wait.

Battery life is no longer a concern for me, as the 5s always has enough juice to get me through at least a day and a half. Since I generally charge it nightly, I’ve never had a dead battery, or even gotten close to it. I wish I could say the same of my Nexus 4, where I had to ration my battery use at the end of the day and come home with 2% battery life.

Having the iPhone 5s is just a weight off my shoulders, as I can just use it without thinking about the technical aspects of it. I already spend most of my days staring at code and debugging, so it’s really nice to not have to do the same with my phone.

1. I know that Microsoft technically did flat design earlier than Apple with Windows 8, but nobody really caught on. When Apple did flat design, everybody and their mother scrambled to redesign everything to match the iOS 7 style. That’s what being an industry leader does.