What I like most about iPhone is the ease at which I can get things done. Now I’m not saying that it’s perfect, nothing is, but the way it does most things suits me.
I’ve used other phones, but I always come back to iOS. I found with Android, that there are almost too many options, that you can spend more time customising the phone than actually using it. That’s good if you’re technical and want to spend that amount of time messing around with ROMs and settings. Something I enjoyed myself, but not so much anymore, as I don’t have the time to.
Sometimes you just want something that will work without too much effort.
The most underrated feature of the iPhone for me, and one that’s been there since the beginning; is the volume switch. One flick and it’s on silent (or vibrate if that’s your thing). This for me is so handy in my daily life. I go in to a meeting and it’s quickly on silent. No need to press a few buttons, you don’t even need to take it out of your pocket.
The home button, so simple to use, and it makes a ton of sense if you think about it. Press it once and you’re home, press it twice and you’re in the app switcher, hold it down and you’re with Siri. It’s always there like a beacon; I say that because I always explained to new iPhone users that this was a way to get home – if you were lost.
iMessage is so seamless you hardly notice it’s there (that is until there’s an issue). It’s integrated into the messaging app, iOS automatically decides what to send, be it iMessage or SMS. Most of the people I know have iPhones, so this makes my life easier.
Apps are the core feature of iOS, you know how it goes: “there’s an app for that”; and it’s true. Most apps are developed for iOS first, and designed for iOS to begin with. I’m a content consumer, I use all the old reliables: Tweetbot, Facebook, LinkedIn, Feedly. And I’m always discovering new apps.
What I find interesting is that the iPhone is actually a great ‘Google’ phone: if you are tied in with a lot of Google services, then their apps are available in the App Store too. I’ve migrated most of my stuff to iCloud now at this stage though.
Lockscreen notifications are one of my favourite features. It’s very handy to have the notification pop up on the lockscreen, and a simple slide takes you to straight to it! Banner notifications, another great feature, they’re unobtrusive and you can tap or dismiss.
I find that that the notification drawer was pretty much useless to me up to now. I tend to use it more with the new today view in iOS7, but it does need a bit more of a redesign. I also have frequent locations turned on; and it’s cool to see the driving time to home or elsewhere pop up there in the notification centre occasionally.
The ecosystem is also very important to me. iTunes store is where I get my music and movies now. Having an Apple TV, makes AirPlay a very useful feature for watching videos or even showing a few pictures.
On the subject of pictures, I use PhotoStream a lot. I take loads of pictures on days out, and I share them with my wife on PhotoStream. Much better than emailing a batch of them or MMS, and they’re always there in my albums, and easy to find.
iCloud of course is great if you are using Apple devices. If you happen to have iPhone, iPad and a Mac – apps can sync data between them. Notification sync, introduced in Mavericks, is great as you can be on any of your devices and the notifications follow you!
iCloud backups are, of course, very important. Having your phone backup automatically can be a life saver – I can’t count the amount of times in the past that someone I’ve been dealing with has lost everything because they didn’t have a backup!
These are just a few of the features I use daily, there’s more there that I probably don’t even think about; and that’s the best thing about it. I know “it just works” has become a bit cliched at this stage – but for me it does!