Getting to Grips with the New Apple iPhone 7
By Glenn Cowan
When the iPhone 7 was launched there was a fair bit of chatter suggesting that the phone wasn’t as ground-breaking as some potential users would have liked.
Apple took the opportunity to build on what they had been doing for years and years,quite successfully, by the way and kept many things that the previous model had.
So when it comes to the screen, it’s business as usual with the same IPS LCD technology, as opposed to the OLED’s that Samsung favor so much. However, brightness is improved, thanks to supporting the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which essentially means the newest iPhone can display a greater number of colours.
Expect a better “out of doors” experience now too, thanks to less reflection when used in daylight / sunshine.
A significant plus point is that Apple have increased the RAM from 1GB to 2GB. So more of what you are doing is held in memory, allowing applications to run faster due to not having to reload over and over again. For the layperson, your favourite apps will more often open in the same state as you left them, rather than having to load up from fresh.
Smartphone users like to take a photo from time to time! With this in mind, Apple have significantly upgraded the technology used in the camera dept.
The latest iteration features improvements with a 12-megapixel camera and 6-element lens construction (f/1.8 aperture), coupled with optical image stabilisation (OIS). This compares favourably with the predecessor's 8-megapixel camera and smaller f/1.8 aperture lens.
Selfie lovers will also be impressed with the new model using a 7-megapixel sensor with auto image stabilisation, representing a substantial improvement over the outgoing 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera.
Sound & Music
When it comes to sound, Apple have made some other sizable changes. Perhaps the most significant is the removal of the “industry standard” headphone jack, forcing sound lovers to either go wireless (Bluetooth) or use the newly included 3.5mm-to-Lightning adaptor. Thankfully this means that you don’t have to dispose of your current headphones!
The speakers are much improved, both in terms of loudness (supposedly twice as loud as the iPhone 6) and also Apple have included stereo speakers. However, it is hard to tell the actual degree of stereo separation provided and audiophiles might also pick up on them lacking in bass. All things considered the new speaker set-up is a definate improvement.
Battery Life & Storage
A slightly larger battery hasn’t delivered the battery performance that many users had hoped for.
The latest iPhone features a 1960 mAh battery, which has only a little more capacity than the iPhone 6 1810 mAh unit.
Of course, users of an iPhone 6 will be using units with diminishing battery power, so you will likely find that the battery life on your shiny new iPhone 7 would be better anyway. It’s just not quite as good as the 2 additional hours that the manufacturer has suggested.
The all important storage levels have taken a tweak too. Apple have done away with the 16GB base model, so the new range starts at 32GB with 128GB and 256GB versions available at extra cost.
Worth the Admission Price?
Choosing whether to upgrade or not isn’t the easy decisions it perhaps once was.
The reality is that new phones are quite as exciting as they used to be. If your looking at your iPhone 6 and thinking that it’s still pretty useful, then that’s because it is still a good phone.
Part of your decision process should probably be around what you use the phone for most.
Light users aren’t really going to benefit much from the performance enhancements that the new model affords. In this case you might just be spending your money for a status symbol (but isn’t that part of Apple’s marketing success in the first place?)
Heavy users might be a little aggrieved that their new investment struggles to make it through the day without the power light starting to blink like mad…
Audiophiles could also be a little upset as it's now much harder to hook up those prized headphones that you have.
All that said, those who are into taking pictures (and who isn’t by the way!) should definitely consider forking out for the upgrade. Some great new features have been added which allows the phone to take noticeably better pics in pretty much any condition.
One thing is for sure though. Thanks to Apple’s main competitors shortcomings, the new iPhone 7 has a much easier task of getting established. The two-horse race for high end handset sales has seen one of the major players hopes go up in smoke (literally!)
Apple’s iPhone uses a 4.7 inch screen, which isn’t as large as some of the handsets that are available. The “plus” version of the handset takes the screen size up to 5.5 inches, which is likely to offer a better user experience if you use the phone to browse the web.
While a great many website owners now have either dedicated mobile or mobile responsive websites there are still a huge volume that are missing a trick.
Even on the larger screen size, a non-mobile friendly website will be difficult (in some cases near impossible) to navigate around.
For most website owners traffic that has originated from a mobile device or tablet accounts for more than half of their total visitors. Sadly the experience that users are offered on these smaller screened devices are still lagging behind that of their desktop counterparts.
This means that for more complicated sites you are faced with having to consider re-loading the content on a larger screen, or as in the case of many other people they will choose to use view another (mobile-friendly) website.
Screen sizes are pretty much maxed out on handsets nowadays. While we have seen a shift to 5.5 inches, mainstream handsets don’t seem to be much larger than 6 inches. So with this logic in-place, website owners need to come to the party and give their visitors the optimal user experiences that they can.