Being a long-time user of Apple'ish things (iPods, MacBooks, iPhones), I have reasonable expectations of a new product: It will work perfectly and make me ecstatically happy!
Most of the time this happens, more or less. Getting my iPhone 5 order via FedEx yesterday and firing up this long-awaited replacement for my iPhone 4 was right in line with previous Apple experience. After a few glitches, bliss.
What threw me off at first was iTunes, which strikes me as disturbingly un-Apple. iTunes looks and acts like something a Microsoft programmer would produce. Functional, yet rather difficult to use and understand.
Firing up my black 32 GB Verizon iPhone 5 started off smoothly.
I was easily able to enter my home's wi-fi network password, and tell the iPhone that I spoke English and lived in the United States. But then, after informing the iPhone that I wanted to restore from an iTunes backup of my old phone, problems started to pop up.
Earlier that day I'd backed up my iPhone 4 to make sure all my apps, photos, and such were transferred to the iPhone 5. However, when I connected the iPhone 5 to my laptop, iTunes told me it couldn't do the sync because I didn't have the most recent version of iTunes, 10.7 as I recall.
OK, no big deal. On the iTunes menu bar I found "update," clicked on it, and was met with a "you have the most recent software" message. Hmmmm....
My wife often says to me, "Given that you know so much about computers, and still have problems with them, what do grandmothers who are clueless about technology do?" (That's a sexist, ageist remark, but since my wife is a woman almost as old as me, she's entitled to say it.)
I knew enough to check the App Store on my MacBook Pro, which indeed was offering me an OS X update that included iTunes. After downloading the update, iTunes started to "restore" my iPhone 5 with iPhone 4 content.
Except... I got worried when I saw how fast the transfer was going.
I've got lots of apps. I've got almost 1,000 photos. I've got Navigon, which has large map files. When the iTunes sync was completed in just a few minutes I was pretty sure something had gone wrong. When the iPhone 5 had restarted and I checked to see what was on it, I knew something had gone wrong.
No music of mine. No apps of mine. No photos of mine.
Fortunately, I did the right thing while I thought what should I do now? Which was, nothing. The iPhone 5 was still connected to my MacBook and iTunes. On its own iTunes started to transfer my backed-up iPhone 4 files.
(When I later fired up my wife's iPhone 5, the apps and such transferred smoothly right away; don't know why my phone's sync experience was so different.)
After that, my remaining problem was with Navigon. I'd heard that the new Maps feature sucked, since Apple had ditched Google Maps, so I wanted to be sure that Navigon was working in case I needed turn by turn directions.
The Navigon app, though, wasn't functioning on the iPhone 5. Navigon's web site was distinctly uninformative about how to fix the problem. Phoning customer support, I reached a helpful guy who spoke perfect American English (thanks for that, Navigon!). He told me to delete the Navigon app, then download it again from the App Store at no cost -- since Apple knew I'd already paid for it.
Bingo. I then was able to reinstall the Oregon database. Navigon was back in action.
I've played around a bit with the native Maps app on the iPhone 5 and found it accurate for the simple task I gave it when I went to exercise yesterday. I'd told Siri "Where is the Courthouse Athletic Club in Salem, Oregon?"
Siri promptly gave me a list of the various Courthouse clubs in town and asked me to pick the one I wanted. After choosing the River Road club, the Maps app led me there with clearly audible turn by turn instructions. Cool. I'll stick with Navigon for serious GPS navigating, though.
I'm enjoying my iPhone 5, two days into our relationship. Siri is a kick. She's fun to play around with. I got ideas for some intimate questions to ask her from this post. Siri alone is reason enough to upgrade from an iPhone 4.
Moving from AT&T to Verizon is another reason. AT&T just announced higher-speed LTE service in Portland, but so far there's zilch LTE anywhere else in Oregon. Verizon, though, has an extensive LTE network, which even reaches our house in rural south Salem.
Here's what's impressive about LTE: I've found that usually we only have one LTE bar showing. Sometimes two, but not more than that. Yet before writing this post, with that one LTE bar showing, I installed the free Speed Test app, turned off wi-fi, and tested our Verizon download/upload speeds.
Verizon LTE showed 4.82 mbps down (a measly .08 mbps up, but who cares about up?) By contrast, our Qwest DSL wi-fi showed 3.69 mbps down and .29 mbps up on a SpeedTest.net test. Verizon LTE with one bar on my iPhone 5 is faster than Qwest DSL!
Nice. Not surprisingly, I'm finding that checking my email and such goes way faster than it did with AT&T. All in all, I've got zero regrets about upgrading to an iPhone 5. And it looks like we'll get as much as $250 for our iPhone 4's if they're sold to Amazon.
Since the iPhone 5 cost us $299 (with a two year Verizon contract), we could end up paying just $49 extra for each new iPhone. Love it!