Early experiences with the iPhone 6

I’m truly not an “Apple fanboy”
By John Halamka
08:35 AM

I’m truly not an “Apple fanboy”. I’m a believer in “do-acracy”, rewarding people and companies that create useful products which save me time.

I stay objective about every company. I recently emailed one of my favorite companies which has slowed its innovation, “we need products not powerpoint”.

So what about the iPhone 6?

Although I’m an early adopter of many technology ideas - social media, mobile, analytics and cloud, I tend to be a laggard when purchasing devices for myself. I do not drive a Tesla, I drive the simplest, most cost effective Prius. I used an iPhone 4S from 2011 to 2014, skipping the entire iPhone 5/5S generation.

After thousands of charges, my 4S started to falter so replacement with a 6 seemed reasonable. Also, since BIDMC will be developing several Healthkit applications, it’s reasonable to have an iPhone 6 for testing.

On Friday, I copied all my iPhone 4S data (not patient information) to the iCloud and then activated the iPhone 6 using my iCloud resources.

Everything worked flawlessly, although I did need to call Verizon because the volume of new iPhone activations caused delays in cellular account transitions. Verizon re-pushed my account transition and the iPhone 6 activated with my existing cell number.

I left the office on Friday afternoon to join a conference call while driving home and forgot the iPhone 6 charger. This would have been a major mistake for the iPhone 4S, but after 48 hours, the iPhone 6 still has an 80% charge.

The game changer for me has been the use of fingerprint ID rather than PIN code to access the encrypted device and the optimization of the hardware/software for one handed operation.

Also, as I’m composing email, I’m offered word suggestions that reduce my typing about 50%

Finally, the accessibility features work very well for me. I have glaucoma with a somewhat narrowed field of vision, nearsightedness (-7 diopters) and the presbyopia of age that reduces my reading focus. I use the iPhone 6 in Zoom mode which creates a very easy to read screen for all functions.

One last thought - given that the iPhone 6 is a bit larger than my iPhone 4S, I have yet to master how to carry it. I’m using a shirt or pants pocket until my holster arrives next week. Since my early Blackberry days, I’ve used a holster. It may be time to use a simple silicone case and carry the device with me in my messenger bag. I'll test the holster versus messenger bag for usability and report back.

Thus far, the iPhone 6 is a usability winner.