Moving from Android to iPhone 6S : First Impressions

I recently moved back from using a Samsung Note 2 for almost 3 years to a brand new iPhone 6S phone. Before my Note 2 I had a iPhone going back all the way to the original iPhone.

I recently moved back from using a Samsung Note 2 for almost 3 years to a brand new iPhone 6S plus phone. Before my Note 2 I had a iPhone going back all the way to the original iPhone.

Why did I originally move to Android ?

Mainly because of the big screen and me being a voracious ‘binge sf reader’. iPhones didn’t offer large size screens at that time, and my eyes are having more and more difficulty reading tiny texts. Using a large screen and larger sized fonts on the Kindle app solved that problem for me and converted me to the big phablet phones.

Also, I became bored with my iPhone. Everything I could want was in there, but all the settings have been pre-selected by someone else. I wanted to see what I could do more with an Android.

While I definitely enjoyed tinkering with every Android setting possible, there came a time when I wanted to move back, especially when the iPhone 6 came out with the large screen variant.

The reasons why I moved back to an iPhone 6S Plus

  • The slowness of my existing phone: After using my android phone for almost 3 years, it became so very slow that I wanted to throw it at the wall. Having your phone ring and not being able to answer the call because the swipe you make takes 20 seconds to be recognised (and the caller has already hung up) is a major issue for me. Starting up your camera and waiting 10 seconds for it to come up ? Too much. I know that I could get some speed back by reinstalling, but really, this is not how it should work.
  • Not getting the 4G network: only 3G was possible. This is slowwww when you know that 4G is out there if you have the right phone.
  • No upgrade : almost every iphone gets an upgrade to the latest iOS for several years after. Not so with Samsung phones, which, due to the extra stuffing Samsung puts in, gets -maybe- one OS upgrade, and then almost a year after the upgrade originally came out. Then they promise another one, but never deliver. Anybody wanting to go for an Android phone, take a Motorola or Nexus phone, they upgrade easily.

Things that I noticed immediately on my iPhone

I’ve put a positive or negative score next to each item, to indicate how ‘bad’ I feel this is.

  • (–) No individual sound levels for sounds are available (eg. the alarm clock and the ringer share the same volume) !
  • (—) Worse, a bug that makes it that when you select ‘no sound’ for the alarm, only vibrate, the vibrate does not work!
  • (+++) The blazing speed of the new A9 chip !!
  • (+) Using 4G instead of 3G is nice, but to my surprise it is only a little bit smoother.
  • (+++) Integration with iTunes and Mac OS X in general is just so smooth and it. just. works. Photos sync, music syncs…
  • (-) Still no sd card integration, you must pay a premium for using the integrated memory, but I knew this already
  • (+) “Hey siri” works, but I don’t use it too much, not yet integrated in my old mind.
  • (++) Logging into your phone with the touch of your finger – nice !
  • (+++) Quickly checking the picture you have just taken – bliss !

Honestly, the thing that I could hardly believe was the alarm clock volume that is not separate from the ringer volume.

This new phone of mine can do just about anything, yet the alarm clock sound is stupidly fixed to the same volume as the ringer sound ! I kept looking for a setting that I missed, but no, forums confirm that this is not possible with the default alarm clock. It’s linked to the ringer volume.

I’m definitely not the only one having this problem… and meanwhile, in Android each app has it’s own volume setting.

Sure, there are plenty of third party apps out there that do, as well as workarounds. But really, for this expensive piece of integrated hardware and software to not have a user-optimised ‘John Ive’-fixed-it-for-you-way of doing this is beyond the pale.

Conclusion

I’m quite happy with my new iPhone 6S, it has wondrous new features and incomparable speed to my old phone, yet at the same time I’m stumped that basic things like individual sound volume didn’t get fixed or better said, *still* haven’t been fixed. All in all, it’s still a big improvement over my old phone and I enjoy using it every day, hopefully for the next few years !

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

gn2

After being fully integrated in the Mac World with iPhone / iMac / iTunes and whatnot, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 caught my eye. I don’t use my iPad that much, and am constantly reading Kindle ebooks on my iPhone cos I always have that close to hand.

The Note 2 with it’s 5,5 inch screen will hopefully be a bit more easy on my eyes than the small iPhone screen.

I’m off to try something new ! I fully expect to have some troubles integrating with iTunes, but so far I’ve already seen 2 apps that allow me to do just that.

And apparently, I’m not the only one who is switching away from an iPhone.

Parrot AR.Drone – instant lust.

Wow. I just saw the advert for a new type of remote controlled helicopter called the Parrot AR.Drone, and I experienced instant want-it syndrome. It’s controlled via your iPhone, it’s not out yet, somewhere in 2010 but from what you see in the demo it is amazing !

It is helicopter on steriods, typically geek stuff, and it looks damn cool.

Adobe Flex 4 or Flash CS5 To Be Used To Develop iPhone Applicaitons

Adobe is hard at work on giving developers the means to create iPhone application using Flash or Flex :

– how to develop iPhone applications using Flash CS5

– using Slider and Flex 4 to create iPhone applications

– Applications for iPhone Developer FAQ

While there are no public beta builds out as far as I know (the first one, Flash CS5 is promised for end 2009), this is exciting news for all of us using Flex or Flash to create applications !

How to recover all pictures / photos on your iPhone when they don't show up on your desktop

I’ve added a howto on my iPhone page that’s been very usefull to me (source from TUAW) : sometimes the syncing between iPhone and iPhoto goes a bit haywire and you don’t see all the pictures on your iPhone that you need to download.

The above howto shows you how to solve that.

New iPhone headphones have arrived: V-moda Vibe duo

This monday, my new headphone set for my iPhone arrived, courtesy of UPS.

It arrived in a largish box with a very small box in there, which contained the headphones and the ear fittings. You get two colors for the fittings : black and transparant. I opted to stay with the black ear buds. The smallest of the black ear fittings are already installed on them. The wire itself is a fabric cable that seems to be very flexible yet strong, and looks more like it is a woven thread than an audio cable. The microphone thingie with button is made of smooth polished lacquered metal.

You get a small black bag with the earphones to keep them in.

When you hold the headphones plus rolled up cable in your hand, they weigh almost nothing, except that the ear buds look like some glinting pieces of (red, in my case) jewelry. They do look to be very solid made, and give the impression of being indestructible.

I have to admit that I thought the gunmetal rouge would be more, you know, red, like they were shown on the website, where they are a bordeaux red. Instead it’s a more palish red, even going a bit towards the purple-pinkish side. And I don’t want to walk to work wearing pink earbuds ! But you can’t really see them when inserted, and my wife assured me I looked manly enough wearing them…
🙂

How do they feel in your ears ? If you are not used to inner-ear headphones, in the beginning they feel slightly strange. It also seems that I have two different ear sizes : the smallest plug fit tightly in my right ear, and was loose in my left ear. I tried them like that for a day or two, but the uneven fit quickly became an irritant feeling of unbalance : after half an hour I wanted to yank them out of my ears.

So yesterday I changed the smallish plugs out for the medium black ear plugs. They are bigger, but the feeling of imbalance vanished, and they still fit in my ear. What really surprised and disquieted me was the feeling of disconnection you then get, once the plugs fit correctly, with the outside world. The regular iPhone headphones are very loose in my ear, and if I keep the volume to medium, I can hear pretty much everything that is going on around me. These babies isolate you from the world, you feel more remote is how I would describe it. I wouldn’t wear them when running, although they certainly can stand up to the running, I would be too afraid of being run over by car coming from behind me when crossing the road.

The sound itself is everything as described on the V-moda website : crispy, deep, bassy, and since you are more isolated, you really hear even the smallest sounds. I heard cymbals or other instruments in familiar songs that I never really heard until I heard them via the vibe duo headphones.

I also had to turn down the volume on the iPhones – my usual volume is about two-thirds of the iPhone volume slider, and it is now set to about half. Turning the volume up to full I can stand it for a minute or two, but then it becomes very uncomfortable.

Conclusion : I needed a few days to get used to them, but they are very comfortable now, and the audio quality is sublime (mind you : this is not coming from an audiophile, but from a ‘normal’ guy). Your mileage may vary, of course. I can only say that I really enjoy them and the sound they provide me.

iPhone replacement headphones

My original iPhone headphone set is wearing out after one year of daily use. They still work, but some of the rubber is starting to peal off around the headphones. Nothing major, but enough to start looking out for other iphone-compatible headphones.

The local shops in Brussels don’t seem to stock replacement iPhone headphone sets, only for the iPod. So I hit the webs, and found the v-moda duo headphones. I also found out that the local shops are charging a lot more (109 € at the time of writing) than when you order them direct from the States.

These look damn good on the V-Moda site, which, by the way, has quite a few good music samples playing on it’s website. And for a limited time, it’s only 5$ to send them (non-express).

I’ll let you know how they sound once they arrive…

iPhone tip : use different keyboards

On my iPhone I send emails and text in different languages, and I had started to really hate the auto-corrector in the iPhone. It was set to dutch, and it always wants to correct words that are correct in my English or French text.
That is, until I activated in Settings, Keyboards the different languages I needed.
Now I only need to tap the globe symbol on the keyboard and switch to the language I am using. And autocorrect works as it is supposed to !!

iPhone 2.1 firmware is out (and cracked)

The iPhone 2.1 firmware was made available last friday, and already you can quickpwn the iphone first generation devices.

The upgrade process went very smoothly for my iPhone :

  • I upgraded to iTunes 8 and the new Quicktime
  • Then I inserted my iPhone and iTunes upgraded it for me to 2.1
  • Reboot the iPhone
  • Unlocking the SIM (Base) worked !
  • Then I started up QuickPwn (mac) and it hacked the device for me in 10 minutes.

Done !