Initial Thoughts on the iPhone 7

This year, I took on the project of getting to know Android well. This allows me to do better reviews, articles and comparisons. It also greatly assists me in knowing who makes a good target audience for the device.

Two Worlds

Today, we can easily say, we really have two reliable worlds for our mobile computing:

  • IOS
  • Android

IOS is suited to some much better than Android while Android has a rapidly growing base and its user group, to be happy, is different than that of IOS.

Time to Return

I have been an IOS guy almost since the dawn of the device as everything I work with and enjoy my entertainment with is Apple. This doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed with Apple. I can and I am. Things are moving so fast now, it’s very difficult to keep up and certainly know where and what is going to work for you better.

If you’re heavily invested in Apple apps although it isn’t difficult to go to Android as the breadth of their app base is expanding to the point where they have apps for a lot of the key programs. But in some cases they don’t.

I’m an app guy and it is apps that drive my decision as to where I ultimately belong. Android to be sure, up front, is a better value proposition with as advanced technology as you can get. Apple’s ability though to question this through one technique called reality distortion gets you thinking that the product can’t fit in an Apple environmentor at least not well.

This is not the case. Regardless, I had to take stock of where I was and what worked better for me on the app front as although the phone itself can be expensive, if you’re heavily vested in Apple product and apps, the bottom line is that is probably where you should be.

I decided I’d keep my HTC a9, which I love but return to the iPhone as my primary device to Get things Done . This was most assuredly an app driven decsion as the time I would save in using the right device for the apps would provide a great return on my investment.

For the return, I could have gone for a 6s, I think one of Apple’s best phones they ever made or the 7. I decided on the 7 simply because it would hold a better floor price if I sold it.

The iPhone 7

First, before I get into my observations about the 7, I would heartily recommend that anyone who has an iPhone 6s not upgrade as you will gain next to nothing and could find yourself having lost something significant. It can happen!!!

So my return to the iPhone/Apple family was driven by my application requirements. There is nothing about the phone that said I have to have it over the HTC a9 as it’s such a great phone. No, in fact there were many things about the a9 to love such as the amoled display and the slightly larger display space.

However, this doesn’t mean I don’t have a few observations about the phone to share. There are some things that make the phone very worthwhiled.

One Very Cool Feature

There is one very cool feature I immediately took to. When you pick up the phone it lights for a few seconds giving me, at least what I feel is vital information, the time and today’s date boldly displayed on a great looking backsplash. Although this sounds trivial, it is far from it. On the HTC I have to manually activate it if I remember.

This feature a lone I in some ways, see as a killer application. It sounds so simple and almost trivial but it’s far from it. How often do you just want to know the time or you’ve forgotten the date but easily know the day. Pick up your phone as part of whatever you’re doing and there it is displayed boldly.

Applications as the True Driver

Although I’m extremely impressed with the way the HTC a9 works with my iMac, there are still a few things to be desired. These are solely applications. The Mac I have known has the best applications and generally the first to come out. I use some apps that are very important to me but they aren’t cross platform.

Cross platform is the way of the future but it’s not fully here today as it’s complex. If you use certain apps; rely on certain apps; you really need the platform that runs those apps. For me at the moment it is the iPhone that can run the apps and it makes a huge difference in productivity during the day.

The Hit List as an Example

At the Tech Group’s group of sites (dailymacview.com, newmacview.com and techtodayreview.com) the emphasis or overriding theme has always been on productivity. As part of that, a methodology and an application are essential to your success. The model I use (not totally verbatim) is GTD or Getting Things Done by David Allen. This is a highly logical model with proven results.

The application I most enjoy or find is the easist providing flexibility but a visual display that is just so understandable is the Hit List. The Hit List is a GTD based app. It helps you organize your goals and priorities is a very understandable way without being so intensive it gets in your way. Add to this it’s cost effectiveness and you have a winner.

However, for this to work, it really requires the right platforms and a logical way of approaching it which it seems designed to give you from the get go. So, although I chose 2do in my cross platform world (Android, IOS), an outstanding application, if I am just dealing with the Mac, the Hit List is the one for me.

I find that because I relate to the program, I’m more productive. This you have to translate to money. So even though an Android device might be less expensive, it will cost you in the long run if you can’t run the applications that you need for your job.

Apps should be your major driver for platform choice. If that happens to be the iPhone so be it. You will come out ahead at the end of the day.

The iPhone 7’s Dropping the Jack

This is, of course, one of the most noteable things about the iphone 7 that has generated much discussion. Feel free to comment on any of this at the end of the article. You’re input is greatly appreciated.

For myself, was the loss of the jack such a major problem. At first, I thought it would be but now I know it isn’t. The best way to handle this is to have a pair of bluetooth earphones as they don’t require a port. If you’re charging your phone, you haven’t lost anything as you can still listen to your music.

But what about the Investment in Your current High End Earphones

This is a problem but you can still use them with the adapter. However, sometimes the cost of progress incurs unfavourable outcomes. For some, using their jack to listen to music when they need to charge is too problematic and not efficient. In this case, the move to Bluetooth might be the only option to properly use the iPhone 7.

I did just say “cost of progress” so in that I’m suggesting that this is both progress and necessary progress which incurs costs. I believe it is a necessary move that Apple and now HTC has done it in their Bolt. As we push our technologies to the limit we’ve been able to do that by downsizing say the chips, making them more efficient and perform faster thus allowing them to fit in smaller containers.

The age of the jack isn’t important really as it is a tried and true technology but the space it is taking up is important. By removing it, it just ensures that there is more space for some of the new technologies we want in our phones. Downsizing will continue but finding a little bit of space is a logical alternative.

Performance

Personally, they indicate that the iPhone 7 is a better performer. I can’t really notice that over the 6s as they are both so fast. Yet, this is a performer. The phone is built well with an A10 chip that both is efficient and fast.

Build Quality

This is one area that few could criticize Apple on. The build quality of their phones is second to none. The only phone I find that matches the build quality are the HTC a9 and 10 phones. The iPhone 7 is a well built phone that just feels good in your hand.

Display

The display of the iPhone 7 does stand out as it is 40% brighter than its predecessor. This makes a huge difference in outdoor lighting scenarios.

The display is an LCD as opposed to an AMOLED display and there is no question that AMOLED displays are more vibrant. However, the iPhone 7s display looks very good. It doesn’t have the Pixel density of the HTC a9 but it’s hard to see a difference. They’re just both good displays.

The Colour Black

I just had to point out something that it seems few have noticed. The one thing that marks the iPhone 7 as a 7 and different from the 6 line is the colour black. Introduced in the 7, it has that understated elegance that only black can bring. There was no question when I got my 7 it was going to be black but of the matte variety – a little less prone to the finger print issue.

Sales

The issue of sales of the iPhone 7 goes anywhere from surprisingly good to not so hot and declining. Since one of my main assertions is that your apps should be the driver of the platform and you get a better value for the buck on current phones if you need resell them, it stands to reason that the phone should likely sell well.

In this article “iPhone 7 sales stronger, lack of the headphone jack no-issue: Kantar” indicates the phone is doing well. In this article “iPhone 7 is the top-selling phone in US while Google Pixel is the most promising, says report” again we see a view that sees the phone doing well while the iPhone 8 is likely to blow our socks off. And finally in this article “Strong iPhone 7 sales help Apple shrug off gloomy forecast” adds more fuel to the fire that the iPhone 7 hasn’t done as poorly as people thought it would.

App Utilization, Form Factor, Performance and Colour

There is no question, the iPhone 7 is expensive. However, that is mitigated by its ability to run the apps you might likely need. If you don’t, then an Android would probably do the trick and save a few dollars up front. However, if compatibility is compromised you may be spending too much time on that to get things to work upping your real costs.

Secondly, the iPhone has a great form factor. The 4.7” in particular was specifically chosen as it is less likely to cause tiring of the hand as you talk on it. I find this to be very true.

Thirdly, the iPhone has always been and remains a star performer. It seems, most phones are measured against the iphone. If you live in an Apple world it only makes sense to work with an iPhone although I have to point out, that depending on the applications you use an Android like the HTC a9 will work very well indeed with your Apple gear.

Finally, I have to make a comment on the colour. I used to love the space grey. Now though the matte Black has won my heart. It is very cool; very now; very iPhone 7.

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