The invitation said the function starts at 9pm and ends at 1am. It wasn’t for a social event but for a phone launch which would seem odd until you hear that the launch was for the new iPhone6S and iPhone6s plus arriving in South Africa.
Together with a mix of hundreds of people which included South African celebs from the music and TV industry to regular MTN premium customers, we were all gathered at the MTN Innovation Centre while being entertained until midnight where the first phones were officially sold to happy MTN customers.
As you know, I don’t own any Apple products and yet by some twist of fait, I am writing this post on a MacBook 12inch Space Grey beast of a machine (which is on loan) and then a client drops off the new iPhone6S for me to use.
Since I don’t have any previous iPhone experience, I cant comments on “how this is the new best iPhone ever created” or “what a step up for iPhone 5 users”. What I can comment on is first impressions of a mobile phone.
No 2nd Chance to make 1st Impression
Its gorgeous. Its premium. Apple has never had an attention-grabbing image issue and the new iPhone6s certainly continues that legacy. From the moment you hold the phone you realise its quality everywhere. From the buttons, to the screen, to the design they all scream “Look at me I am amazing”.
Note to the newbie – its slippery. Not in an ice-cube-can-not-hold-it kinda way but its so polished that when you handle it, it slips and slides. Maybe its because its still new but a cover it definitely on my immediate purchase list.
The Operating System
When you use one version of Android, the next Android phone is virtually the same and most of the functions and features are pretty much in the same place. As I have not used iOS in the past (except on my Apple Air 2 challenge), I am a self confessed iOS-newbie. I wanted to see how easy it would be for me to get to grips with the phone’s functionality.
Turns out its straight forward all the way.
The phone has iOS9 and steps you through the initial set up process. Just note, that unlike other devices, you need to have a SIM card in the phone in order to complete the initial setup. You can not just use WiFi.
You need or should have an iTunes/ iCloud account as these are the heart of everything. Simple to set up and this allows you access to the Apple Store where all the apps are just several taps away.
Two noteworthy initial cool features on the iPhone6s which I had to try right away:
3D Touch –
This is a new way to interact with your device. On Android we have the long-press concept which opens new options. On iOS 9 with the hardware in the iPhone6s, when you long-press in specific applications the app reacts to that touch. For example: if you long tap on the camera icon on the home screen, it will open a new menu while blurring everything else and gives you the option to Take a Selfie, Record a Video, Record slo-mo or take a Photo. Similarly when you long-press the Map icon, it will open a menu asking to choose from Directions Home, Mark My Location, Send My Location and Search Nearby.
There are many examples of 3D Touch from within apps too such a long touch on a photo whilst swiping up and it will ask you to share, copy, favourite and delete that image.
I see this feature becoming useful as I work out what it can do within each application.
By default, it is ON but you can disable it by tapping into Setting, General, Accessibility and set 3D to Off.
Hoe Gaan Dit Siri –
Siri has had a tough time in South Africa. After hearing about how Siri is incredible to how it doesn’t understand South African accents,I had to try Siri.
Siri is witched off by default so you have to enable it. Just searched for Siri in the Settings and set it to on.
Of course my kids knew exactly what to ask Siri – “What is 0 divided by 0?” and then waited for Siri’s sarcastic reply…they chuckled.
Overall I am enjoying the experience.The phone and operating system feels “ready” and mature for those who just want the phone to work without playing too much. Open the box, stick in the SIM card and you are ready.
Also having the icons automatically snap into position and not letting me customise my screen the way I want it, is also frustrating.
I need more time with the phone and run it through my work week but I have a feeling I will be adapting to it more than it will be adapting to me. And perhaps thats not a bad thing.
As soon I had the phone in the box, my 10 year old claimed it as hers and was driving me mad with “can I open it now Dad?” when we got to our destination and I said she could, both her and her older sister (13 years old) were excited to get their hands on the phone. When I asked them why they are so excited, they summed it up for me perfectly
“We don’t know. Its an iPhones. Its just cool”