Well worth the 3.5 year wait
Well, after all the good intentions of keeping my iPhone 4S for one more iteration, I cracked on Friday. It didn’t help that the phone was really struggling to run iOS 8 (if you have a 4S, I don’t recommend upgrading to the new OS). On the way to work I stopped at a quiet, out of the way Softbank shop and had a look at the new iPhones.
I was originally inclined to get the 6 plus, as I liked the idea of having a bigger screen to read ebooks and surf the web. Then I saw the actual size of the thing…
The iPhone 6 plus is basically too big for me to use one-handed, which kind of negates the point of having a mobile phone. I also had trouble holding it comfortably. This thing really is big.
I asked what they had in stock, and ended up getting the 128GB space grey model. My thoughts so far:
- light, smooth, and beautiful
- great display
- very fast and capable
- the fingerprint thing is amazing. Never going back
- battery life much better than old iPhone 4S
- Softbank subsidizes the phone considerably, and they have a campaign to buy your old phone back too (I got 24,000 yen for my old iPhone 4S)
- camera/photos are amazing
- Softbank reset my contract, so it will expire around the same time I pay the phone off (instead of eight months beforehand)
- it’s bigger than I am used to, so still getting used to that
- pretty slippery without a case
- the camera lens sticks out
- Softbank has this obnoxious policy where they automatically sign you up for free trials of various services that will auto-renew and charge you, and won’t let you cancel them until the next day (call 157 to do this quickly and easily)
I love this phone. I’m impressed at how little it is costing me to buy it. It is a huge improvement over the iPhone 4S in every way. Right now I am really happy I upgraded.
I don’t know if it would be worth if for iPhone 5 or 5S users, but if you still have a 4 or 4S I would recommend checking the new models out.
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Another tangent, I’m afraid. If you don’t have an iPhone you can probably stop reading now. If you have an iPhone that is running iOS 5 or less, this may be of interest. But if you have an iPhone running iOS 6 and you haven’t downloaded the Google Maps App yet, keep reading.
I’ve been playing with the new Google Maps App on my iPhone 4S for a couple of weeks now. The short version is that it is amazing.
(it’s not just me that thinks so, either: here’s the Wall Street Journal version)
The long version:
- all the accurate data from before
- better interface
- amazing driving instructions (it’s better than any dedicated satnav I have used)
- sharpened up graphics
I’ve used it a few times while driving, and the app is amazingly user-friendly. Clear voice directions, simple screen, very user-friendly (I particularly like the way you can scroll around the map then get back to your route with a simple ‘resume’ button).
The local transport functionality is there too: this is probably the thing I use my phone for the most. When in an unfamiliar city, the app gives accurate local train and bus times and connections -so much so that I use it instead of the official websites to find times.
No negatives I have found at this time. If you don’t have it get it now -it’s free.
*this review is only talking about the Google Maps App in Japan. I haven’t had the chance to test it abroad yet 🙂
apple curriculum EFL language courses Language learning online resources technology textbooks
Reading about the new Apple educational push, I was pretty impressed. It seems like they ‘get’ the core issues:
1. textbooks need to be interactive and appealing, and take advantage of pictures, video, and audio
2. textbooks need to be affordable
3. teachers want to make these next-generation textbooks
Their iBook author app looks extremely interesting. Interesting enough to make me look up the price of new Apple laptops…
Perhaps that was the secret agenda ^-^