Apple’s iPhone 5s surprises

“This year, Tim Cook introduced the riskiest hardware/software combination since the original iPhone,” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “The iPhone 5S wants to be more than just ‘new and improved,’ it attempts to jump off the slope with its combination of two discontinuities: a 64-bit processor and a new 64-bit iOS. Will it work, or will it embarrass itself in a noisome backfire?”

“First surprise: It works,” Gassée writes. “The phone is sleek and attractive, the house apps are (mostly) solid, and the many new Application Programming Interfaces (API) promise novel applications. Contrary to some opinions, there are fewer warts than anyone could have expected.”

“Surprise #2, the UI: I had read the scathing critiques of the spartan excesses, and, indeed, I feel the drive for simplicity occasionally goes too far. The buttons on the built-in timer are too thin, too subdued. When I meditate in the dark I can’t distinguish Start from Cancel without my glasses. But I’m generally happy with the simpler look. Windows and views get out of the way quickly and gracefully, text is neatly rendered, the removal of skeuomorphic artifacts is a relief,” Gassée writes. “The next surprise is the fingerprint sensor a.k.a. Touch ID. Having seen how attempts to incorporate fingerprint recognition into smartphones and laptops have gone nowhere, I had my doubts… But it works.”

Gassée writes, “A personal favorite surprise is Motion Sensing… ”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Computerworld reviews Apple iPhone 5s: Improves an already great experience – October 3, 2013
Apple takes the high-end with their 64-bit A7; leaves rivals to scrap for survival in low-end – October 2, 2013
Apple’s 64-bit A7 is no gimmick: New iPhone 5s offers major performance leap – September 25, 2013
Ars Technica: Apple’s Touch ID and 64-bit A7 are deceptively large advances in the iPhone’s evolution – September 24, 2013
Apple iPhone 5s reviews are universally positive, many crown iPhone 5s the best smartphone – September 19, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple iPhone 5c: A breath of fresh air that will be wildly popular this holiday season – September 18, 2013
Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 5s is by far the fastest smartphone in the world – September 18, 2013
John Gruber reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘This is what innovation, real innovation, looks like’ – September 18, 2013
AnandTech reviews iPhone 5s: Apple’s 64-bit A7 is seriously impressive – September 18, 2013
TechCrunch reviews Apple iPhone 5s: The best smartphone available – September 18, 2013
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘Makes the best smartphone even better’ – September 18, 2013
Mossberg reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – September 18, 2013


  1. A lot of the issues people have with iOS7 are things that can be tweaked to an extent – colours, sizes, spacing, etc. Previous versions of iOS went through minor changes, icons were revised, etc. Fundamentally I think the approach is sound. Personally I wouldn’t go back now.

      1. None of your links say anything about your claim. As far as I know, eye strain is not considered a cause for MD, so I doubt that the iOS fonts can cause anything there.

        The fonts may be harder to read if you already have MD, but not cause it. iOS has nice settings to adjust for such problems, though.

        1. how is not seeing buttons a good thing?

          good design makes all control elements obvious in their operation. iOS7 overall is crappy design. Lots of great function, byt crappy design.

          1. True but that hardly is related to MD is it. Such a claim is laughable and thickening the spindly times as they should is hardly going to save out eyes from disaster. These comments have a certain Chinese Medicine feel about them.

      2. Beware of people talking nonsense!
        “too thin fonts of iOS 7 can cause macular degeneration”
        The name of your “leading ophthalmologist” is?
        The risk factors for macular degeneration are:
        1. Age – the longer you live the greater the chance of degenerative changes.
        2. Smoking – most people think about the risk of cancer & heart disease and forget the other risks.
        3. High blood pressure.
        4. Obesity
        Your genetic make up may if you are lucky confer some protection but it would be unwise to count on it.
        Give up smoking and eat a healthy diet especially plenty of green vegetables.
        Lastly ignore comments by foolish people unless of course supported by proper scientific references and evidence!

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