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Apple iPhone 6, bigger and better | REVIEW

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Apple iPhone 6, bigger and better | REVIEW

8 of 10
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The essentials

We should never forget the bit that comes after the ‘i’. This is still a phone, no matter how much some people might consider it to be a top of the range internet-browsing tablet.

The iPhone is still a very capable device for phoning, although some features are still missing: smart dialling isn’t available from the dial pad, meaning you’ll constantly have to dive into the contacts menu unless you come to terms with the way the ‘favourites’ work in the multi-tasking pane.

There’s also a slight issue with network connectivity: while it’s not a problem, the iPhone 6 isn’t as adept at holding a signal as other top-end smartphones. On various train journeys I noticed more dropouts than on other Android handsets, and in my notoriously poor signal house the places I could receive calls were fewer.

It’s nothing terrible, and I experienced no dropped calls during my time with the phone (bar one where I suspected it was the other person), but Apple still hasn’t made the best calling machine out there.

Messaging

But when it comes to messaging, things are a lot, lot better. The new keyboard, for instance, is one of my favourite upgrades on any phone ever, ever, ever.

This isn’t because it’s amazing, but more because I loathed the old method so much, with its tiny, inaccurate space to peck into and the amount of times I accidentally hit above the letters and shut down the pad.

Now, with more screen to play with, there’s more space, more accuracy and the algorithms that predict words are so much better than before. If you’re one of those that never changes the keyboard on your phone (and if you’re a lifelong iPhone user, then you won’t have) then the inbuilt option is so much more accurate and consistent.

The essentials - all present and correct

The essentials – all present and correct

And that’s before remembering that other keyboards are on their way. I’m going to be downloading SwiftKey as soon as I can for the iPhone 6 (as it’s not out before the full iOS 8 release) but in the short term the current option is more than fine.

The improved messaging experience through iMessage is good, but I still wish there was some more consistency in using the features to non-Apple devices. I like WhatsApp, but the fact iMessage is now doing a lot of the same things built in is favourable.

If only it could be installed on Android phones to make my life simpler when talking to others during iPhone use… that’s not too much to ask, right, Apple? Have a word with Google. Patch things up. I’m sure you can still be friends.

Internet

The internet browsing experience on the iPhone 6 isn’t vastly different than before, although iOS 8 has brought a few changes.

I really like being able to swipe back and forth to move through web pages (and this trick works on both Chrome and Safari, although with the former it lets you swipe through tabs, not pages) and with the default browser I liked getting a prompt when Reading Mode was available – it generally only seemed to pop up when I could use it effectively.

I always see the option to save articles for later and intend to use it more – but yet I still go back to Pocket time and again. I can’t explain why, as it’s actually more convoluted, but the fact that Apple’s inbuilt system hasn’t lured me means it probably needs to be more prominent.

 

8 of 10
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