In the past, I've recorded my thoughts when I've purchased a new phone with my iPhone XS & iOS 12 impressions and Initial Reactions to the iPhone 7 . It's interesting to see any predictions I make either come true (3rd camera lens) or burn in flames (force touch).

Since there are far better reviews on the web of the iPhone than what you'll find here, I've instead opted to record just my initial reactions thoughts after 2+ weeks.

  • Getting my phone past first boot took roughly a halfhour, but getting all my applications and photo previews took pretty much the entire day. Ugh.
  • I still miss the headphone jack.
  • At first, MagSafe seemed cool, but seeing the real-world applications, I've yet to purchase a single accessory that uses it. I don't see myself doing that any time soon.
  • LThe lightning port needs to die in this USBc world. It served its purpose as a big upgrade over the other USB formats of its conception for usability, but USBc solves it and is widely used by everyone, including Apple. It feels more and more like a cash grab.
  • The iPhone 12 Pro needs a mini version. I'd love that. The iPhone 5 remains the greatest iPhone design for size/weight to screen.
  • The iPhone 12's hard edges are so much better. It's a return to the iPhone 4 and 5. I imagine we'd seesaw between round and hard edges in 5-year cycles until the iPhone's death as a way to shift the look and feel between generations.
  • Apple's premium phones feel fragile still. It's less so than the XS, but a case feels required.
  • There's a noticeable increase in sharpness that I didn't expect over the iPhone XS. Photos look as good as ever but still not as sharp as any DSLR with even mediocre glass. It's all about the physical surface area of the sensor to capture those photons.
  • The iPhone 12 Pro's cameras big improvements over the 11 seem to be software that feels a bit spiteful of the hardware.
  • II didn't expect to notice the speed increase over the XS, as even with my iPhone 7, the performance had hit "fast enough." A lot of it appears to be the 6 GB of RAM. Apps rarely reload. I wish they'd just ripped the bandaid off and gone with 8 GB for a bit more future proofing, but I suppose they need something to upgrade in 2 years. While I'll certainly be wrong, in the iPhone's constricted form factor, I doubt we'll be asking for 16 GB of RAM in 2022.
  • The CPU upgrade shows in exporting vids. It's noticeably faster over my XS.
  • The Wide-angle is pretty useful. I wish we'd finally get a quad lens setup with 0.5x/1x/2x/4x as that'd be 13mm, 26mm, 52mm, 78mm, or perhaps 0.5x/1x/2.5x/5x for 13mm, 26mm, 65mm, 130mm as that'd cover the bases for standard photography. Reviewers complaining about the lack of increase are missing the fact that a tiny phone with a huge optical zoom stretches the limits of handheld photography. A 2x is far more useful as 52mm is close to the stand by considered the "human" lens (although eyes are not cameras). A 78mm would be near the photojournalist 85mm "portrait" lens, which does wonders for outdoors with its compressed Z access.
  • Night mode works fairly well but doesn't work miracles. It's a massive improvement over my XS and bound to be improved upon each generation (mostly through software).

iOS 14

  • iOS 14 was problematic for health data and required a reinstall on the phone to work properly with my XS. Stupid
  • Widgets are overhyped, but users love them apparently. I'm not big into customizing my phone. I run it in dark mode and reduced motion to conserve battery life, and I have the same lock screen as the iPhone 5 and the same background as my iPhone 7. Wigets far best used on the widgets screen. Polluting my home screen doesn't do much for me. There's not a lot of data I need every single time I look at my phone. On the widgets screen, I've added the battery life.
  • I wanted smart folders but this implimentation? It sucks.
  • App organization is still god awful. Folders are artificially small. They do not have custom icons, and they can't do folders in folders. Also, why can't we vertically scroll on-screen like Android? iOS 14 failed to deliver much meaningful change.
  • Am I alone that Memoji is tacky? I'm probably an island of one here.
  • Small Siri is nice, but I liked seeing what my phone interpreted my voice commands as real-time instead of waiting and seeing.
  • Picture-in-picture mode is probably great on an iPad, but it doesn't feel very meaningful on my phone.
  • Translate looks cool, but I can't travel now because, y'know...
  • Apple sign-on is great.

Things I was wrong about

  • FaceID: It's overall an improvement over Touch ID and lateral than I thought it'd be.... but now we all wear masks.
  • I wasn't willing to ditch the larger phone format with dual cameras. Now I want three. If they add a forth, I'll want that too.
  • I regretted not getting 512 GB of storage.