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Switched to iPhone 5s from 4s

See also iPhone Viewing Tips for Presbyopia and Vision Issues.

iPhone 5s as I configure it

My iPhone 5s arrived today; it replaced my iPhone 4s.

One measure of the value of a new model is whether it does regular “stuff” better.

After a day of use including a good hour on the phone, and some modest poking around, I found that for regular things, it has nothing to offer over the iPhone 4s for mundane tasks. Not a single thing I could point to and say “better”.

I am not commenting here on the camera (not evaluated), or games (I don’t play games), LTE speed (not available in my area), or anything specific that might involve CPU speed or so on. I’m just asking if it does any routine task any better than the iPhone 4s. Nope, it doesn’t, not for me. Though *maybe* it will drop calls less often but that is a wait and see thing over time (and my main motivation for getting the 5s).

Update: the iPhone 5s proves more disappointing than expected: its reception is inferior to the iPhone 4s in the mountains where I have traveled many times (4G network). It gives false signals too (showing it has the network), but fails when I try to use it for internet. This was the most important gain I hoped to see, and instead it performs worse.

Dock and case don’t like each other

Apple doesn’t mention certain things: I ordered the dock for the iPhone 5s, and it’s nice— but it is useless with the case attached, and I don’t want to remove the case just to dock the phone, this makes it a useless accessory.

Disappointing to waste money; this should be spelled out at sales time especially since I ordered the case and dock together from Apple in the same order. No warning given.

Cases for the iPhone 5s

I ordered the Apple leather case and the NewerTech NuGuard KX Case. Both are nice in their own way, but I suspect the KX case will offer much better protection and last a lot longer. The Apple leather case is smooth in the hand and more elegant, but it probably won’t look so nice after soaking up sweat in my cycling jersey pocket and getting the inevitable scuffs and dings (which the KX case shrugs off). Nor does the Apple case offer as solid a grip as the KX case. But it is quite nice otherwise.


It took me 10 minutes to sign into iCloud—very hard for me to type those tiny keys with my big fingers (relatively large hands), the password is hidden, and mixed case and numbers are a visual challenge to verify (tiny letters, and no way to see a mistake with bullets for every char).

Why does it have to be made so hard, so needlessly small? Rotating the phone doesn’t offer a larger keyboard for password entry. It is very bad design, but genius designers think fonts matter more than mundane usability issues (or vision issues). The same kind of reasoning that brings us the trashcan Mac Pro: pretty purity is the priority, productivity is a party pooper.

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