Six Months (And a Bit) With The iPhone

iPhone XR smartphone available in several colors

Last September, I started using an iPhone as my main phone for the first time. I’d had Samsung Galaxy Android devices prior to that as my main phone, although I’d had an iPhone as a work device at points. TL/DR: I like having practical knowledge about lots of devices/platforms. In the end I went for the iPhone XR, and just over six-months on there is loads that I love about it. There are though still a few little gripes.

iPhone XR smartphone available in several colors
Apple’s iPhone XR

Things I Love About my iPhone…

In September, I praised the device’s battery life. It is still significantly better than any previous device I’ve had, almost always lasting the whole day – even in this FaceTime-heavy period! I also remain convinced that FaceID is one of the most underrated Apple features. The joy of the largely seamless experience it provides, particularly when accessing my password manager or using Apple Pay, still hasn’t lost it’s novelty.

There are other things though that I’ve really come to appreciate too. Some of these are fairly basic ecosystem things like cross-device photo and video syncing via iCloud. Another would be the Podcast app. I predominately listen to Podcasts on my phone, but it allows me to listen to shows easily across any device without the need for anything. As hoped, it has got even better with the arrival of macOS Catalina. In general, consuming content of all kinds on the iPhone excellent.

I find great use in the Health app too, and particularly like that it syncs with other iOS apps like Streaks. The camera, despite not being up to the standards of the ones on the iPhone 11/Pro, still holds up incredibly well. Other things I like – the scan tool, for instance – are hidden a bit deeper in the operating system but really make a big difference, as does the arrival of Apple Pay’s Express Transit function in the UK.

…And Things I Don’t Love so Much

Sadly, I found Apple Arcade didn’t provide enough value for money and canceled my subscription. Maps is unacceptably bad and had to go. Furthermore, I replaced the default Mail app with Sparks across all my devices (Mac mini, iPhone, iPad).  It is definitely an improvement on the default.

Overall, the good more than outweighs the bad. Here’s to the next six months!

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