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A week of living with the iPhone 6 Plus

Seven days on from getting an iPhone 6 Plus I thought it might be useful to report back on how I’m finding it. Apple and the iPhone range in particular is getting some bad press at the moment so I wanted to offer my objective opinion on what the new model is like.

After watching the Apple announcements on September 9th (sorry, attempting to watch what was the worst stream in the history of Apple event streams),  I was undecided on which option to take when it came to the upgrade I was eligible for with my phone contract. It took me a while to make a decision on which model to get because moving from a 4” iPhone 5 to a 5.5” iPhone 6 Plus was definitely going to be a mjor change. That said, I was more tempted by that model because of the supposedly superior battery life and also the Optical Image Stabilisation in the camera’s lens (in theory this allows you to take better, less blurry images in dark environments, and more stable video footage) . But it did take me a couple of days to finally decide that the 6 Plus was going to fit my pockets (in every sense).

Having placed an order with Apple for an iPhone 6 Plus just three days after release (I was in the US at the time and wanted to see them in person before choosing between the 4.7” and 5.5” model), I was more than a little disappointed to be told it would be the end of October before I received mine (there is a subplot, but I won’t bore you with that right now).

To cut a long story short, I got lucky last week […]

It’s iPhone season (again)

Morning all

I’m sure everyone has been reading all the rumours and speculation that the iPhone 6 will be announced on September 9th, so I wanted to address that briefly and remind you of a post I did about a year ago on how to get as much money as possible for your old phone once you have upgraded.

At this point there has been absolutely no confirmation whatsoever from Apple that there will be an announcement from Apple in September. That said, when it comes to the iPhone, September is usually the month when we see the next model, as well as tying in roughly with the pre-announced next version of its Operating System, iOS 8 .

As normal, I refuse to speculate as to what the new phone will bring to the table (Apple are notoriously secretive when it comes to new products so I’m more inclined to wait to see what they come up with), but I have been watching what my social media contacts have been saying they want.

One of the biggest complaints with the iPhone is, and always has been, its battery life. Like everyone else, 24 hours of use for me is a pipe dream, but I tolerate it because I’m not often in a position where getting a top-up charge is impossible. I always carry my iPhone 5 in a Mophie Juicepack Air case, which doubles the battery size, and have a charger permanently plugged in to my car for top-ups when I’m in it. As a last resort I normally have a Lightning cable and USB charger on my Cocoon Grid-It (I have several of these for different places/uses), as well as an Anker Astro E5 battery pack. Even if I was away from any electrical outlets and the […]

SSD Upgrades

With the advent of many of Macs moving to SSD (Solid State Drive), we thought it would be interesting to try an experiment to see what difference we saw by using a SSD-based system. To explain briefly, SSD storage is faster and more reliable (due primarily to a lack of moving parts) than the hard drives we’ve been using for the past few decades, but at this point, somewhat more expensive.

The system we looked at was a 2008 model MacBook, no longer a quick machine but it should be suitably powerful for a typical home user. Running Aperture 3, we were beginning to find that with an internal 7200rpm 500GB spinning hard drive (so, not the entry level hard drive that came wih this machine) and 4GB of RAM, that moving between photos in our library (which admittedly was getting large at 80Gb) was moving from sluggish to infuriatingly slow. Most other applications were running OK, typical things like Office and Safari were more than acceptable. But anything that required manipulation or searching of large amounts of data was slowing performance.

First off, we replaced the internal 500GB drive with a similarly sized SSD. We decided to try one of the slower SSD’s (price mainly), and the difference was phenomenal. Searching in Outlook was much snappier, browsing through our Aperture library almost instantaneous.

The next thing we tried was top replicate the existing machine on the lowest specification MacBook Air. So, now we had an SSD that was just about full to the brim, and just 2GB of RAM. And yet it performed better than the older MacBook. Obviously the Air had a better processor, faster memory etc etc, but the wow factor was this […]