iPhone 6 Plus – Tablet or Smartphone?

Here is an interesting article I read today from http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/gadgets-on-the-go/iphone-6-plus–more-tablet-than-smartphone-20141003-10pptl.html

I certainly would agree with the author because of some apps that where once exclusive for the mini is now part of the iPhone 6 Plus.

iphone 6 and iphone 6 plus

Apple’s first phablet behaves more like a tiny tablet than an overgrown phone, but it’s not just for businessfolk on the go.

Two years ago Apple abandoned its one-size-fits-all approach to iPads with the release of the 7.9-inch iPad mini. It was a watershed moment in the post-Jobs age – an acknowledgement that Apple needs to abandon the role of benevolent dictator and stop deciding what’s best for everyone.

This year Apple has done the same for smartphones with the release of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus alongside the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. You could argue that the iPhone 6 Plus also belongs in the iPad camp and it will be interesting to see who buys it and what they do with it.

The 6 Plus can make phone calls, so technically that makes it an iPhone. But it’s also inherited many of the iOS tweaks reserved for the iPad, such as rotating home screen icons when you turn the device on its side and two-column views in apps like Mail and Notes. The 6 Plus is certainly useful when it comes to getting things done and it can be frustrating to switch back to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, let alone something smaller.

With both new iPhones on loan from Telstra, I’ve found myself reaching for the iPhone 6 when I need to make a call but the iPhone 6 Plus when I want to look something up in Safari. As I result I find myself holding the 6 Plus more often, because when I reach for an iGadget it’s usually not to make a voice call.

Apple has really put that extra screen real estate on the iPhone 6 Plus to good use. Native apps like Safari can show you more of a webpage, rather than just make everything larger. You actually see more of the page on the iPhone 6 Plus than you do on an iPad. With time third-party developers will also update their apps to make the most of the larger iPhone 6 Plus screen.

While I love the extra screen real estate, I still balk at the idea of carrying around the iPhone 6 Plus and keeping it in my pocket. And that’s coming from someone who actually has large enough hands and pockets to come to grips with a 5.5-inch phablet.

If your hands are on the petite side then you might be even more reluctant to embrace such a large phone – even if you’re going to keep it in a bag rather than a pocket. But don’t write-off the iPhone 6 Plus without weighing it up.

Moving the power button to the side is a sensible change, but iOS8’s Reachability feature is less convincing. You can double-tap lightly on the home button to move everything down the screen so it’s easier to reach, but it feels impractical for many apps when the bottom half of the interface is lost. You might just need to come to terms with the fact that sometimes two hands are required to use a large touchscreen device.

The general consensus has always been that phablets are aimed at productivity-focused business travellers who don’t want to lug around two devices. That makes sense but I think there’s also a market for the iPhone 6 Plus at the opposite end of the spectrum – people who don’t spend a lot of time on the road but can’t justify two devices just for those times when it would suit them to have a larger screen at their fingertips.

If you spend more time sitting on the couch than on a plane, you might decide that the benefits of a larger 6 Plus screen outweigh the downside of the extra bulk in your hands. If you slip it in a bag before you walk out the front door, and you don’t tend to make a lot of calls when you’re away from home, then the extra bulk might not bother you. If it mostly comes out when you want to take a photo then the iPhone 6 Plus’ larger screen and optical image stablisation might win you over (even the iPhone 6’s camera is a step up from its predecessors).

In return you’ve almost got that iPad mini you’ve secretly wanted but haven’t been able to justify when you already own a smartphone and a notebook or desktop computer.

When you look at it this way, the iPhone 6 Plus is perhaps more likely to appeal to shoppers in the market for a small tablet rather than a large phone. It’s a big decision when you’re probably stuck with a new phone for two years and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that someone buy the iPhone 6 Plus sight-unseen. But if you’re sitting on the couch, quietly wishing you had a tablet of your very own, then you shouldn’t dismiss the iPhone 6 Plus without a closer look.

I just hope our previous post on iPhone Emulaor works on the new iPhone 6 especially that the new OS has a number of bugs and still needs a lot of tweaking from apples developers.  Also with today’s file size and the limited space in the new smartphones, you might consider getting an online video storage for your videos or pictures or movies.  Although I will thoroughly discuss it in our next post.


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