One Week: iPhone 5 + iOS 6

 My iPhone 4 Has Seen Better DaysIn short, it's the best phone I've ever put my hands on.

My most recent phone was an iPhone 4 whose contract was up in March of this year and had definitely seen better days. The great thing about the old iPhone is that it still worked. The only thing that frustrated me was that the home button wouldn't always work. Kind of a big deal, that.

I had a handful of folks push me to get a new phone both because of the phone's appearance and because of new phones on the market.

Here's a breakdown of the notes I jotted down over the past week on those aspects of the phone / software that have most affected my use.

Ordering

The ordering process was fairly straight forward. I was one of the "lucky" ones up at 3am to place an order from the first batch via the AT&T website. While the phone was supposed to arrive on the Friday following, there was a bit of a blip in the process.

When tracking the package through UPS, the delivery was being delayed due to a mechanical problem with one of their planes. When I called UPS to see if I would be able to pick it up at the UPS facility, I was told it would arrive on Monday. Blagh.

Of course, when I arrived home, there it was! Bad weekend averted.

Service

We've been on AT&T since day one. It's been ok. A little frustrating here and there but overall, the service has generally worked. I thought about moving to Sprint, simply for the native Google Voice integration but when I called Sprint to better understand how the transition process worked, I was greeted with a long list of irrelevant questions.

(Really, Sprint, just have a list of three things needed to move from one service to yours. I'm not asking for details, just how the process works.)

I stuck with AT&T.

The LTE service here in New York has been lightning fast. I've had a little issue with voicemails not being redirected to Google Voice but this may be a small tweak / setting I need to update.

iOS 6

It's been fine. There are some really good updates (VIP, Shared photo streams, Individual mail signatures, etc.). I've used Apple Maps a handful of times and it's been no big deal. While cool, I don't really need to see the Brooklyn Bridge in 3D. You know, because I live here and all.

(Side note: We're part of iOS developer program so I've been exposed to iOS 6 for some time now.)

The transition from the old iPhone to the new iPhone was crazy easy. I don't mean "Hey, look! All my apps are on my new phone!". I mean, "Hey, all the settings for my apps are on my new phone!".

Scary simple.

The Phone

Here's the thing I keep telling everyone when they ask me my thoughts on the iPhone 5:

"I know I'm holding something, I just can't believe it's a phone."

It's silly light, but yet it feels super durable. (No case for me.)

I know I'm coming from an older, beat up phone, but this thing is super punchy when I'm interacting with it. I was concerned about the new size of the phone and how it'd fit in pockets, especially in shorts pockets. I could definitely tell it was there when I'm wearing shorts but for pants / jeans / sweats, it's barely noticeable.

(I thought maybe my shorts pockets were smaller than my jeans / pants pockets. Turns out, they are bigger - 10" v. 9". The material used in the shorts pockets is thinner than the jeans / pants pockets but I don't remember there being a difference with the earlier iPhone. Could have simply been I had the iPhone 4 for 2+ years and just got used to it.)

The headphone jack, now at the bottom of the phone, works great for me. When I have an untucked shirt / sweater on, I usually drop the phone under the shirt / sweater so the headphone cord doesn't hook onto something and yank it out of my hand. Having the jack on the bottom gives me more room with the cord.

The camera is really nice and as dumb as it may sound, the panorama photo option is fun. I've already used it a bunch of times, including on my Twitter profile.

Siri

[dork: type=alert; size=huge]Siri is fantastic. I lay the phone on the dresser in the morning / evening and work through my morning / next day schedules through voice. Again, I didn't have access to Siri on the iPhone 4 so I'm only now seeing how great this can be. Requests for the time, calendar, weather, etc - they may be little things, but those little things add up to a lot of big things and a lot of time savings.[/dork]

Conclusion

I haven't had to travel so it's been a cinch to explore the phone and the city over the past week. Yes, I agree Apple could have handled the maps introduction much better but the lack of travel has made it insignificant to me. I don't think the Podcasts app is as polished as it can / will be as I keep having older episodes being added to my subscriptions.

A super-terrific upgrade with some needed tweaks that will no doubt come along over the coming weeks.