UPS arrived punctuational on time this morning around 9:12 or so, well before their 10:30 deadline. I heard the truck pull up so I rushed to the door like a kid at Christmas and greeted the driver before he could push the doorbell.
He asked “How are you doing today?” but before I could answer, he added “I guess you excited now” as if he knew what it was he held in his hands. As I scribbled my signature on his pad, he continued.. “Yea, we have a lot of these to deliver today.”
The small brown corrugated paper box was covered with a UPS label on the top and a fairly plain white label on the bottom. A single strap of 1.5″ packing tape held the opening side of the cardboard box closed. Walking back into the family room, the first sharp thing I found was a pair of scissors in my wife’s couponing area. How dare I use her scissors for my tech lust. It felt so good slitting the tape and peeling back the box to reveal a quaint black box inside.
I looked around, very well done shrink wrap. I pressed my (lack of) thumbnail into it to open it. No Joy. Seems my nail-biting habit is really a problem after all. Try two, try three. Damn. So I got up and got a steak knife and carefully pierced the plastic wrap enough that I could tear the rest of the wrap off. I don’t want to damage the packaging.
The phone itself is light and feels really good in my hands. I peeled off the clear protective covers from the front and back, and when I flipped it over to see how ugly the two-tone back is, I was pleasantly surprised. It looks pretty sharp. The photos online look ugly, but the device itself looks pretty darn awesome.
Unpacking continued by removing the new ear pods from their hard plastic case, the new lighting-USB cable and the charging block, carefully putting their plastic protection back into the box. I looked through the paperwork and found two Fan-Boy stickers in the paper work. Woot! Thumbed through the small manual, which was all about how to use it, which I promptly put back. No instructions on setup. How bad can it be?
My iPhone 4 had just finished syncing with iTunes to make it’s final backup. I powered up the iPhone 5. It had about 80% charge. I plugged the USB connector into my Mac Book Pro, and slipped the lighting connector into the phone. What a joy. Nice fit, no worry about the connector becoming partially unplugged letting me brick it (which happened to my iPad yesterday installing iOS 6….. It’s back but I lost all passwords, etc. and had to redo all my app pages).. Yea it sucks for all those 30pin connectors you have but believe me in the end, you are going to be much happier with the new connector!
Painlessly, after setting up a wi-fi connection, getting it through the registration process was pretty easy. And so the sync and restore process began. Nice and painless.
Did I say this thing is light and feels good in your hands?
Once the sync was finished, a quick run of Speed Test on my 3 bars of LTE gave me a 66ms ping time, 10.39mb down and 3.2mb up speeds. That’s about what I get with my AT&T Uverse service (well I only get 1.5 up with it). So for 3 bars, that’s pretty good.
Of course while I was syncing, I had to try out the ear pods. I was never a fan of the ear buds that shipped with previous iDevices. I found them uncomfortable and after a while my ears would hurt because they were just a bit large for my ears. The first thing I noticed was how comfortable they are. Instead of being round the are more oval and fit in my ears better. I hardly notice them.
People have worried about the sound quality. Sure, they are not some nice $500 Bose noise canceling headphones. But the sound quality is “good enough”. My volume on my Mac Book Pro is maybe at 5% and it’s sufficiently loud for my 51 year old ears.
“What about the cool iOS6 features?” “How is using it?” It’s an iPhone. It works just like my iPhone 4 did (and I’ve been running iOS 6 for some time since as a developer we get early access to it to test our apps on), so there is no “Newness” factor for me with regards to how to use the phone.
I’m looking forward to my upcoming trip, so I can give Passbook a go. I should be able to use it for my United flights I have coming up. Despite everyone’s dislike for the new maps, I find them quite good. At least we have free turn-by-turn directions even though it may put you in the middle of a field from time to time (that’s okay Google maps puts you in the middle of fields too) and the vector based maps should draw faster than Google’s tile based maps when you’re in the middle of that field with practically no signal.
Coming from the iPhone 4 to the 5, Siri is something new to me, I’m just not sure how much I want to talk to my phone yet. One of the coolest features of iOS6 is the change in the sharing menu. Instead of rectangular buttons with text like “Email”, “Tweet”, etc. You now have standard iOS looking icons to send pics to Facebook or Twitter.
That’s it for now. Hope you have an equally pleasant iPhone 5 day!