Yesterday we presented you with a rundown of five things to love about Apple’s new iPhone line-up. We pointed to the design, the screen, a better camera, choice in size, and NFC as some of the highlights.
I’m willing to wager this post is the one you are all waiting for, though. No doubt, even some of the Apple faithful will admit the device is far from perfect. So, what bothers us about the new iPhones? Here are five things we dislike about the phone...
Call it "Bendghazi", or "Bendgate". Apple has a problem on its hands when it comes to the iPhone 6 series and its choice of manufacture materials. It chose aluminium for the body, an easily malleable metal, and a thin piece of aluminium at that. Making matters worse, the glass used also appears to have a good deal of flexibility to it too. What does this equal? A perhaps too flexible phone.
Earlier this week, reports started to flood in indicating just a bit of pressure can cause the phone to deform. Hipsters and the general tight-jeans-wearing public are the most at risk at suffering from this issue. Don’t try to bend it back either: those who tried ended up with a cracked screen. Not a positive mark for Apple’s Quality Assurance team.
2. The iPhone 6 Plus
How can a whole phone be something to hate? Size matters. The iPhone 6 is a monstrosity and an accident waiting to happen, as there’s almost no way to use it one-handed.
iOS 8’s "Reachability" feature - which brings the top of the screen halfway down the display to reach those top buttons - is really only useful on the iPhone 6. You still need two hands for a 6 Plus regardless of what Apple says.
I can only imagine how many people are going to drop this thing trying to use it one-handed. Honestly folks, if you really need a device that big you should be thinking about an iPad mini. It’s going to be a much better user experience overall, and with iOS 8 Continuity you can make phone calls from it if you really, really need to.
This issue was something that can and should have been avoided. Apple doesn’t like tipping its hands on new products, and this is where it’s coming back to bite the company in the rear end. Scaling is a great feature because it makes any app automatically usable on the iPhone 6 series’ bigger screens from launch. But as anybody knows, scaling up comes at a cost: clarity.
Scaled up apps look huge on the device and with the trend towards minimalist design that started with iOS 7’s release, more amateurish. It’s also a little weird to watch the top status bar from your home screen double in size when you load up a non-optimised app. And for whatever reason, Apple isn’t doing much to fix it.
Major apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Google’s Chrome and Gmail apps all still hadn't updated their UI’s when we checked back in the middle of the week. At least three of these have been updated since iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were launched. Why is Apple still approving apps that haven’t flipped the switch yet? It doesn't make sense.
4. A not-so-quiet silent mode
Upgraders will notice one huge difference between previous models and the iPhone 6: the vibration. While I do have to say I am no longer missing calls because I just didn’t feel the phone vibrate, the vibration is, well, loud.
I am not quite sure whether this is a result of the variances in composition of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, or if the vibrator is in a different place and is also vibrating something beside it, but you really hear it. I’m sure for people looking for something to pick apart the iPhone on, this is going to be something else to complain about.
5. The NFC walled garden
While I cheered the addition of NFC previously, I did not mention there’s a major downside. Apple is limiting use of the technology to its Apple Pay service only, at least initially.
CNET got confirmation from an Apple spokesperson that developers will be locked out of using NFC for at least one year, and declined to say if there were any plans to ever let developers use NFC in their apps.
For a company that has certainly made some strides since Cook took over to open things up, this is a step backward. While I understand limiting NFC for payments to Apple only (hey, it’s the company's device), why lock developers out from using the chip for other innovative purposes? It doesn’t make sense. Pairing devices via bluetooth by a tap, or sending information by tapping a device to another. There are all kinds of cool uses out there but iPhone users won’t be seeing those any time soon.