Touch ID and Apple Pay
top-left of the screen, and if you hold your iPhone in your right hand, even though Reachability brings this vertically down closer, it’s still not easy to reach across the iPhone to tap it with your thumb.
Some of the ergonomic concerns can be solved with a case, since it can make it less slippery and easier to grip, covers up what for some are the unsightly lines on the back that allow for the antennas, and also solves the irritation of the camera lens sticking out at the back, but as soon as you put a case on you break one of the loveliest features of the iPhone 6: the screen’s rounded edge.
Hey, good lookin’
It looks good – we’re still delighted by how light catches and flows around the curved edge of the screen – but more than that, it feels wonderful under your fingers. Whether you’re scrolling up a list and your thumb rolls off the right edge, or you’re swiping back a screen by dragging your thumb in from the left edge, that softened perimeter between your phone and the rest of the world is a treat every time you encounter it.
There are, of course, more advantages than just a pretty design and a slightly larger screen (which is just as well since, unlike on the iPhone 6 Plus, you don’t get extra features from the larger screen such as the iPad-like landscape split screen option.)
A quick sidebar: yes, apps have to be updated before they can properly take advantage of the extra pixels on the iPhone 6’s bigger screen, but that will happen (slowly in some cases) for most apps that most people use, and at worst, all you’ll get is a slightly softer, blown-up app. The high pixel density (the same 326ppi as the iPhone 4–5s, though lower than the 401ppi of the 6 Plus) and more-than-competent scaling together mean the effect isn’t too egregious, although the slightly differing keyboard in scaled and native apps can play merry hell with your muscle memory.
The camera, though it doesn’t have the Plus’ optical image stabilisation, is improved; most noticeable is the new faster focussing. It actually takes a while to train yourself out of having to wait a beat for the camera to focus if you’ve been using iPhones before, and the continuous autofocus is especially welcome when shooting video of unpredictable and fast-moving subjects such as children or pets. It’s not flawless – if only because it’s having to pick what to focus on algorithmically in dynamic situations rather than being directed by a human – but it’s a big improvement. Also welcome is the ability – thanks presumably in part at least to the more capable A8 processor – to shoot Full HD at 60 frames per second for buttery-smooth results, and to shoot (albeit at the lower HD standard, 720p) at 240fps for hugely impressive slow-mo videos. iOS 8 unlocks the cameras’ creative abilities too, not only offering sliding exposure compensation in the builtin Camera app, but also letting developers create apps (such as Camera+ and Manual Cam) that give full manual control; in short, the most popular camera in the world
When you see how slim the iPhone is, you realise why Apple wanted to switch to the Lightning port! Note that for many, the slimness will feel a little disconcerting in the hand.