Thoughts on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch

I just walked out of Apple’s keynote introduction of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch. After spending some time in the hands-on area that Apple set up for attendees, I thought I’d give you my thoughts on the products.

Having attended almost every Apple event since 1999, I’m used to the build-up the company uses to introduce its new products. This keynote was completely different. It only took Tim Cook seven minutes to introduce the new iPhone, and three of those were a video.

You could tell right away that Apple was moving towards something big, and it wasn’t just the introduction of the new iPhones.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

I’ve said for a long time that a bigger iPhone for the sake of being bigger was wrong—I still maintain that opinion, even with Apple’s larger iPhone 6 Plus coming in at 5.5-inches. To be clear, it is a large iPhone—probably bigger than what you think it is. 1

IMG_0132

What is nice is that Apple figured out some new gestures to make the 6 Plus workable with one hand. For instance, double-tapping the Home Button will move items from the top of the screen, down to the bottom. This makes it easier to do things, like tap Safari’s address bar, without stretching.

Features like this will make the iPhone 6 Plus easier to use for many people. One-handed use of an iPhone is still very important to me, and many other people I’ve talked to about these larger devices.

I don’t know if the iPhone 6 Plus will comfortably fit in my pocket or not. With all of the security around, I thought it best not trying to stuff one in my pants pocket. I’ll need to wait to try that out when the device comes out on the market.

That aside, I’m hopeful that the iPhone 6 Plus will fit into my workflow because I do like some of the things Apple did with the larger screen. Giving apps a different view in landscape mode is a great move—of course, they do the same thing with the iPad and that works great as well.

IMG_0133

For people not interested in the larger iPhone 6 Plus, there is the iPhone 6. I have absolutely no concerns about the iPhone 6 and its larger screen. It fit comfortably in my hands and allowed for one-handed use throughout all apps I tried.

Upgrading to the iPhone 6 will be like upgrading from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5S—yes, it’s bigger, but it’s also very comfortable. It will be a very easy upgrade for most people.

That said, I’d be hard pressed to guess which model will be the top seller for Apple. The company has proven in the past that the inexpensive model isn’t always the top seller. I think many people will be like me and need to see it in person and see how it feels. It’s a departure for Apple, but one they could make work with iOS 8 and the special gestures incorporated into the software.

Apple Watch

I’m not quite sure what I expected the Apple Watch design to be, but in some ways it’s more like a watch than I anticipated. My personal expectations aside, this is a beautiful device. What Apple did with the digital crown is just genius—allowing users to scroll and zoom and move around the interface in ways that make sense, but were completely unexpected. That’s what Apple is all about—fixing problems and pain points.

I’m very impressed with the software on Apple Watch. Instead of porting the iOS interface over to the watch, Apple created a new way of navigating and interacting with a device that we’re all familiar with.

The way the apps kind of float on the screen and the ability to move around easily through them is what will make the Apple Watch appeal to consumers. The customized notifications will make the watch more usable as well.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Apple has three hits after today’s introductions. For me, these products will come down more to personal preference than any device introduction that we’ve seen in the past.


  1. I’m not sure why, but it was bigger than what I thought it would be. 



  • Did you hear anything about battery life on the watch, Jim?

    I heard “overnight charging,” but there’s a huge difference between “15 hours battery life if you don’t use it much” and “32 hours battery life.”

    • Rageous

      I’d wager they’re mum on it for now. A 2015 release date and nothing discussed today points to them working furiously on putting something together that will allow for a full day of abusive use. If the battery life was good, they would have bragged about it. They didn’t.

      • Bob1776

        Yea, I want to know more too. BTW: my theory about the release date is printed on the very bottom of every Apple Watch page … read the fine print about the FCC.

      • Tristan

        That makes the watch vaporware.

        • matthewmaurice

          True, but in only the strictest sense. Apple has a very good history, in the Post-Jobs’ return era at least, of releasing what they announce when they announced they were going to. Granted the new MacPro came pretty close to the limit, but something tells me we’ll see the iWatch released at a time that everyone agrees is “early” in 2015.

        • thats only relevant if one suspects the company in question is never going to release it. i think anybody can admit at this point that apple delivers.

          so…relevance?

      • Actually, the 2015 release is, according to the Little Birdy: “because it’s got a radio/gps/screen. FCC/CE/etc all require testing for “radiated emissions”. they have to file fcc (public documents) and it keeps people from buying competitors during that time.”

    • Apple is intentionally not saying anything about battery life. A little birdy told me it’s because they are still “tweaking” it.

      • This is kind of what I figured, but it’d be nice to know if it’s currently 12 hours or 18 hours would be helpful. If it’s 16 hours now, it probably won’t be 12 when they ship it. 🙂

        Probably won’t say anything until they hit their goal, though. Apple!

      • Ralph Juvensky Amilphat

        Good evening all moune

  • skullboy0

    Ha, ever since they announced today’s announcement I was wondering how many people were going to “test fit” the Plus in their pants pocket in the demo room.

  • Tristan

    You really like the Digital Crown? I think it’s a step backwards. It suggest that the watch is not optimized for touch.

    I’m not sure if you actually like it or just like it because you didn’t expect it…

    • Oliver Heering

      Just because you are able to make touch displays doesn’t mean physical controls are obsolete. Well played, Apple!

    • matthewmaurice

      That screen could only be “optimized for touch” for Edward Scissorhands or my 2 year-old nephew. That being said, with the pressure sensitivity and haptic feedback, I’d say it was “optimized for a different kind of touch.”

      • Exactly. I’m sure Samsung will come out with their S-Pick, though — a little pointer you pull out of the watch to tap at things on the tiny screen just so they can prove a tiny touch screen is possible.

        • Derek Ledbetter

          This is exactly what Fossil did in 2003 when they made a Palm OS watch. I had one. The pick folded in half to be stored in the buckle.

    • I have galaxy gear, and all I can tell you is touch screen smaller than 3″ isn’t worth it. It needs something physical.

    • Space Gorilla

      Actually the watch is almost over-optimized for touch, with added pressure sensitivity over and above a normal touchscreen, plus the digital crown which is very, very smart.

  • bricajo

    On the watch – I want to know about water. Water resistant? Waterproof? Can you shower with it? Swim with it? It looks pretty sealed except for the crown, and depending on how they did that, could be waterproof.

    • Water resistant. Apple showed someone showering while wearing it. No swimmers though.

  • lkalliance

    I need to see one in person, but both the 6 and 6+ (is that going to be a sanctioned way to put it? 5S, 5c, 6, 6+?) seem too large for me. I do understand the trend towards “phablets” (what an awful name), and the desire to have one device rather than two…but I think I prefer the phone to be phone-sized. I’ve always preferred the original iPhone screen size, and am perfectly happy with the current 4″ model.

    Paul Thurott, in his brief summary today, mentions his like of the new design, that the iPhone 5/5S design was “hurty” in his hand. I think that’s the perfect word for it: “hurty”. I didn’t mind the sharp edges of the iPhone 4/4S, perhaps because it was thick enough to offset those edges in the hand, but I haven’t been a fan of the 5/5S hand feel. Long live the 5c!

    (I am hoping that a year from now, if the 5c still exists, perhaps as a 5cS or some such, that I can still get 32GB instead of the minimum, and that the 5S camera and TouchID comes to the line.)

    As for the new design, my reaction is “eh.” I don’t like that the camera has a bulge, that’s new. But I also am not a fan of the “skinny” iMac that is only really skinny at the edges. I do appreciate Apple’s desire to un-bulk, but it went too far, for my taste.

    I couldn’t get the live stream to load on my iPhone today, so I went by Macworld’s photos. But my initial impression of the Apple Watch is a positive one, though probably not so positive as to make it a must-have. But if ApplePay takes off, then I would be more interested in an Apple Watch/5c combo than I would be in having one of the bigger new iPhones. I think it looks nice, at any rate. Perhaps I haven’t been looking closely enough at the other products (I’m not likely to go with another ecosystem), but it seems to be the smallest watch face available, though not the thinnest.

    It seems there is a lot more that it can do/is expected to do. Was “running out of time” code for “other functions aren’t ready yet?”

    And I don’t recall seeing that Tim Cook mentioned the purpose of the new building. Was it a hands-on area, as assumed? Was it filled with HomeKit devices and such, as Shawn hypothesized last week?

    • orc4hire

      Same here. I barely tolerate the bulk of the iPhone 5/5S. I’ve been carrying one of them for about two years now and it’s bugged me every day. Didn’t like it from the first time I put one in my pocket, don’t like it now. I’ve had to cut back on using it lately, in fact, because the stretch has been making my hand sore. I see no reason to think I’ll like an even bigger phone.

      It’s bitter irony that I may have to move to Android in a year or two, to get a comfortably small phone.

      • lkalliance

        Part of my own reaction is that I rarely use my phone one-handed. Extremely rarely. Nor did I ever get the hang of thumb-typing. I’ve always held the phone in the left and used my right middle finger to type. For me it’s mostly about hand feel and pocket feel.

      • i enjoyed the 5 the moment i slid it into my front pants pocket — it was so slim i couldnt even tell it was there. much lighter than the 4/4s, too. a win in my book.

        i do prefer curves, as on the 3g/s and 5c. so this seems like another win in my book.

        enjoy your android…

        • orc4hire

          Oh, thank you for pointing it out. I now realize that someone else’s experience was different, and I must have been mistaken about getting jabbed in the belly every time I bend over.

      • Prof. Peabody

        iWatch 2.0 might have a phone in it. It seems inevitable at some point.

    • Just to add a slightly different anecdote to this, I love my iPhone 5 and the screen size and lightness of it.The edges don’t bother me because it is so light, and I’m almost sad I put a case on it — although a thin rubberized clear one. The screen size is good and the old 3.5″ phones too small now for both my fat square thumbs and my gradually worsening eyes. The 4.7″ looks like about as big as I want. (I test phones for a living right now, so I get to use all sizes of phones, and anything over 5″ is too much for me, especially for a phone.)

      Don’t write off anything until you actually get it into your hands and use it.

      • orc4hire

        I”m not writing it off, but a phone that’s bigger than a phone I already consider too big is going to be a hard sell.

        • Just as a watch is a hard sell for me, no matter its features.

      • “Don’t write off anything until you actually get it into your hands and use it.”

        Yup – all commentary/criticism should be taken with huge grains of salt.

        • Space Gorilla

          Seems to me with the thinner design (and isn’t the screen more edge to edge?) the 4.7 inch iPhone probably won’t feel all that much different in the hand.

      • lkalliance

        All I can do is comment on what inputs I have so far. In my experience with the iPhone since its release (and with Apple products in general) I have found that my initial impressions have borne out in my hands-on experience. I loved the looks of the original iPhone, the 4/4S, and the 5c. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the 3 when it launched (I had a 3S, but it wasn’t as pleasant in the hand as the original) or with the 5/5S.

        The 4/4S design was, thus far, the pinnacle of iPhone design, and the last one that made me go, “I have to get that!” The 5 looked OK (better than the 3) but it got too light. It felt like a movie prop. The 5c feels a little heftier and more solid. But nothing since the 4S has felt or looked as good.

  • I had enough nightmares with Galaxy Note. I will have to see it in person, but I don’t think I will ever like Plus.

  • matthewmaurice

    Can you easily get the Notification Center pull-down with one hand on either of the new phones?

    • Apple says, ““double-tapping the Home Button will move items from the top of the screen, down to the bottom.“ Maybe that works with Notification Center.

  • Space Gorilla

    Any thoughts on a watch band with solar material that works with the mag charging on the Apple Watch? Possible? Not possible?

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    I find it amusing now that Apple has large phones, everyone in the blogosphere is now complaining about large phones saying they want a smaller phone.

    • lkalliance

      I can’t speak for “everyone in the blogosphere,” but I never wanted a large phone, I never asked for a large phone, and on the rare occasion I commented on it I said I didn’t want such a thing.

  • waldova

    $340+ for a big ass goofy watch thing? Sorry, I routinely drink the kool-aid but not feeling real thirsty today

  • I never thought I’d be tempted to wear, let alone purchase a smart watch. But the way only Apple can execute a product, that device looks stunning.

    Beautiful UI designs. And as for the Crown – very impressive move. Such an ideal way to get your hand out of the way of the display.

    Another first is the desire for a much larger screen. Last time work gave me a Samsung version I gave it back. Surely that Plus is going to be uncomfortable to carry but as you say Jim, until we get our hands on one, we won’t know for sure.

  • Anuj Tandon

    Does the Apple Watch have the Gyroscope? I am confused because it is not on Apple’s site but journalists are reporting it has the gyroscope.

  • Patb

    Is there any kind of security on this watch? What happens if it gets stolen? With Apple Pay, someone could have access to all of your credit card accounts, couldn’t they?

    • Not unless they stole your thumb, too.

  • daffydkjones

    Is Apple going to include a wagon for you to carry the iPhone 6+ in?

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/02/07/picture-galaxy-note-next-to-iphone-4s/

  • Ralph Juvensky Amilphat

    Apple is intentionally not saying anything about battery life. A little birdy told me it’s because t

  • Ralph Juvensky Amilphat

    I need to see one in person, but both the 6 and 6+ (is that going to be a sanctioned way to put it? 5S, 5c, 6, 6+?) seem too large for me. I do understand the trend towards “phablets” (what an awful name), and the desire to have one device rather than two…but I think I prefer the phone to be phone-sized. I’ve always preferred the original iPhone screen size, and am perfectly happy with the current 4″ model.

    Paul Thurott, in his brief summary today, mentions his like of the new design, that the iPhone 5/5S design was “hurty” in his hand. I think that’s the perfect word for it: “hurty”. I didn’t mind the sharp edges of the iPhone 4/4S, perhaps because it was thick enough to offset those edges in the hand, but I haven’t been a fan of the 5/5S hand feel. Long live the 5c!

    (I am hoping that a year from now, if the 5c still exists, perhaps as a 5cS or some such, that I can still get 32GB instead of the minimum, and that the 5S camera and TouchID comes to the line.)As for the new design, my reaction is “eh.” I don’t like that the