With the dawn of a new iPhone comes the feeling that you’re living in the dark ages until you upgrade. So you’ve done it. You ignored the reasonable part of your brain that said, “Wait twelve more months and get a cheaper phone when it’s in contract! What are you doing you insane fool? Don’t you remember how you’re late on rent and Big Tom’s going to mess you up?” Big Tom can wait. Here are some surprises about your brand new device.
1. It’ll make your old phone feel tiny.
Whether you got an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus, they’re both going to feel comically large in comparison to your old iPhone. There are obvious benefits to this: more room for typing, more icons on the home screen and a bigger screen for watching low-resolution cat gifs. The iPhone 6 should still fit comfortably in your front pants pocket, but the 6 Plus and skinny jeans probably aren’t going to be best friends, so it might be a good idea to book time with your tailor.
2. The power button moved.
There’s nothing more humbling than buying a pricey new gadget and not being able to turn it on. The power button, which, since the dawn of time, has been on the top of the iPhone, is now on the side. But this is a good thing, because you can turn it off and on without having to shift your hand to tippy top of your now-giant phone.
3. It’s super tall, but there’s a trick around that.
The power button isn’t the only thing that was redesigned with the giantness in mind. If you’re holding either version of the iPhone 6 in one hand, a bunch of the icons at the top will be out of reach of your thumb. But not for long! If you double-tap the Home button (don’t click it, just tap it), the upper icons will shift within reach. This is the closest you’ll ever get to a Go Go Gadget Thumb.
4. It’ll last.
Battery issues tend to plague new devices, but it seems the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hold their own. Don’t plan on going away for a long weekend without a charger, but you should be able to go about 36 hours without a plug. Which, these days, is the best you can usually hope for from a phone.
5. Your dog looks insane in super slow motion.
Slow-motion video was introduced with the iPhone 5S, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus amp things up with the ability to shoot EVEN SLOWER. If you don’t think this is useful, you clearly haven’t seen a video of your dog drinking water at super slow motion.
6. It knows what you’re going to say.
The larger screens of the new iPhones do make it a lot easier to use the touch-typing system, but to speed things up even more, the newest version of iOS 8 introduces predictive typing. Based on which words you frequently type, suggestions will pop up on the keyboard as you’re half-way through a word. It’ll even know if you’re typing to a friend or your boss and suggest more or less formal language, depending.
7. It’s moderately more beach-friendly.
Using a cell phone on a sunny day can be pretty awful. Apple clearly knows this because they added a new screen polarizer to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which makes it more visible in sunlight. Sand and saltwater, however, remain your new phone’s mortal enemy.
8. If you get a 6 Plus, things will look weird for a little while.
As we’ve discussed previously, the iPhone 6 Plus is freakin’ huge. The bigger screen makes browsing sites easier, and Apple did include an scaling program to smooth out the rough edges of older apps, but many app (like Kindle) won’t look quite right (i.e. a bit blurry) until the apps are updated to natively support the 6 Plus. So no, your eyesight isn’t going bad.
9. Quick searches.
Nerdy protip: You can search things super fast in the newest version of Safari just by typing the name of a site, followed by a space, followed by a topic. So “MTV Rihanna” will get you listening to “Monster” in no time flat.
10. The camera’s pretty damn powerful.
11. It’s still not quite finished.
Even after you’re well-acquainted with your new iPhone, you should know that it’ll continue to evolve. There are a few features that haven’t turned on quite yet. The big one: Continuity. This lets you share your browser sessions and documents from your phone to your computer and back again (hopefully killing the need to do annoying things like emailing yourself to get files from your phone). C’mon future, hurry it up!