iPhone: The First 72 Hours

20151215_205529857_iOS (1024x768)As I wrote in September, after more than a decade as a Windows Mobile/Windows Phone user, most recently for the past two years with a Lumia 1020, I decided to make the switch to an iPhone. I got an iPhone 6s at the end of last week and have spent a few days getting accustomed to it. Here are my initial impressions:

iPhone Pros

  1. The availability and quality of the apps. It’s like discovering an oasis after wandering through a desert.
  2. The phone is thin and light and feels nice in my hand.
  3. The phone feels much faster and more responsive than my previous phone. I don’t know how much of this is the Apple vs. Nokia/Microsoft platforms, how much is that the new one is part of a two-years-newer generation of devices, and how much is software crud that built up on the old phone, but whatever the reasons, the difference is noticeable.
  4. Ditto the above for battery life.
  5. Touch ID.
  6. Siri. It’s very convenient to be able to summon her hands-free. I don’t know yet if she’s significantly smarter than Cortana, but in my initial use she’s been at least as good if not better.

iPhone Cons

  1. No ability to pin tiles to the home screen for deep links to things within apps: People, OneNote notebooks, etc.
  2. Siri doesn’t automatically offer to read incoming text messages to me when the phone is connected to Bluetooth.
  3. Swype reliability. On Windows Phone 8.1 the equivalent functionality (called “shape writing“) is built in. I don’t mind paying the extra dollar for Swype, but frequently I find that the Swype keyboard has been turned off and I have to manually press a couple of buttons to re-enable it.
  4. I’m dependent on the Groove Music app to play my OneDrive-based music collection, and my use of it on the phone has surfaced a couple of serious problems:
    1. The app frequently cuts out mid-song and starts replaying the song from the beginning. Sometimes multiple times. I don’t know why this is happening but it makes the experience almost unusable.
    2. When playing music on the car’s audio system via Bluetooth, the name of the artist isn’t displayed. The album and song name are both displayed, so I’m not sure why this is failing. I’ve seen this with two different cars, neither of which has this problem with the Xbox Music app on Windows Phone 8.1 or with other music apps on the iPhone.
  5. The default podcast app isn’t that great. I’m trying Overcast and it seems to be better.
  6. No separate button to launch the camera app and take pictures.
  7. Porting existing custom ringtones to the iPhone is a bit of a hassle.

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