Nine quick things about the iPhone 5

by Casey Newton


So far she doesn't have a name but I decided she's a girl and I keep thinking "Lola."

So far she doesn't have a name but I decided she's a girl and I keep thinking "Lola."

  1. It turns out you don't have to pre-order if you're going 64GB. There will be a model available at your local store on day one, and you can walk in an hour after the first wave of buyers walks out and escape with your new phone in 20 minutes. I wasn't going to go 64GB originally, but my colleague Josh pointed out that no one ever complains their phone has too much storage, and I was eligible for an upgrade so why not #treatyoself to the big model?
  2. Like most normal people, employees at the AT&T Store do not understand iCloud. After my purchase they asked me if I would like to "transfer my contacts," and given that I wouldn't be able to restore the phone from my 4S backup until the evening, I was like, "I guess?" And so the saleswoman walked me to a technician area where they hooked up my old phone and my new phone to a giant, hideous machine whose entire purpose (I was told) was to "transfer contacts." The technician hit "go" and we stood staring at the hideous machine for in excess of five useless minutes, at which point a second technician said "Is he on iCloud?" and I said "Yes!" and he said "Just sign into iCloud, it will restore all your contacts." The first technician unplugged the machine and handed me my new iPhone and I signed into iCloud and all my contacts appeared automagically. Not sure who manufactures the giant useless hideous "transfer contacts" machine but time to find a new business model! Also a new designer and some engineers.
  3. The bigger screen is a plus, but contains a minus! The extra screen real estate encourages you to use the phone as a reader more than the 4S did. I used it last night before I went to sleep and wasn't immediately reaching for my iPad, as I usually was with the 4S. (Shout out to Pocket and Flipboard for updating their apps for iPhone 5 right away.) However, that extra half-inch of screen really does make it harder to use the phone one-handed. I have fairly large hands, and reaching the top-right or top-left hand corner, where many apps put important UI features, requires effort the way the 4S did not. Hopefully developers will relocate those features a little bit south.
  4. Still not using Siri for anything. Anything.  
  5. Given that developers told me re-making their apps for the iPhone 5 was no big deal, it was surprising how many of the 100 or so apps on my phone were still letterboxed on day 1. It's not that big a deal, particularly when you're using the phone in the dark, but I'm hoping that in a week or so I'm going to be seeing it a lot less. (In fairness, everyone who I talked to for that story had updated.) 
  6. Why is the headphone jack on the bottom now? No really, why?
  7. "Chamfered" is my new favorite word, and I thank the iPhone 5 for bringing it into my life. It's a tiny detail, but it goes a long way in making the device look super-premium -- the mirrored edge makes the iPhone 5 jewelry in a way that previous models aspired to but were not. 
  8. I miss transit directions. :(
  9. As much as you hate to give AT&T credit for anything, their LTE network exists in San Francisco, is significantly faster than their fake "4G," costs the same as the old data plans, and in a day of use has not dropped a single call. I'll take it.