Apple iPhone 6S Plus – iCloud, Apple Watch – Part 3 – The Lows, Highs and Findings

It will be nearly two weeks with the iPhone 6S Plus and Apple Watch. It has been 2 weeks of jubilation and frustration, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Lows

iCloud Photos and iTunes Match. Apple senior support had to remote access my macbook to resolve the mess left by iTunes Match. iCloud Photos had a mind of its own, and has taken nearly 2 weeks to get in sync. In fact, I nearly decided to go back to Google Photos but gave it one more chance. Again it took Apple senior support to help resolve the issues initially with iCloud Photos.

The issues I had with the iCloud services drove my mad, to the point a few days in that I wondered if I had made a mistake switching my main phone from the LG G4 to the iPhone 6S Plus.

High mobile data usage. WiFi assist is a great feature, but again I think my upload speed at home meant it was uploading 4K video using my mobile internet and wifi. Consequently my first week with the phone used 2.5gb, which is normally what I use per month. By default, this setting is left on. It is worth noting this could happen. I also noticed at the Apple store Plymouth, the genius employees were deactivating this on 3 phones while I was there.

The Findings

Fortunately, when matters get crazy frustrating, I have patience and try to find what the rules/parameters software and hardware work to. My conversations with Apple senior support where also about trying to establish the rules and parameters of what does what under given circumstances.

If you are going to use iCloud for the very first time like myself, make sure you have fast internet for both upload and download speeds. My upload is slow and I do believe this contributed to the issues I had. Thinking back when I uploaded my music to Google Music it took 6 weeks. I also have to remember that I have used Google for years and years continuously so it has all my data already and knows what I do and when I need it. Apple, iCloud and Siri are on a learning curve, the data needs time to upload and sort itself out. Sometimes, it appears as if the cloud isn’t doing anything, and that may be the case as its having a coffee break. But it does start again and once my library was stored correctly future uploads are fine.

The Highs

I am pleased I gave iCloud Photos another go. It all works dandy now. Changes appear instantly across any Apple devices, and if I use my Chromebook and go to http://www.icloud.com I have access to my photos there as well. In fact, despite Apple refunding my iTunes Match subscription I am thinking about giving it a go again, but this time after my Apple Music trial has expired. When I switch iTunes Match on again, I will do this at a place with a fast upload speed to avoid any time out issues.

The phone itself is a wonderful piece of technology. iOS 9 is a bit of a learning curve for me as there are a lot of new ways of doing stuff and features but it is so good to use. 3D Touch, Apple Pay, the camera and all the apps are superb. The camera is not the best at one single aspect eg still shots goes to the LG G4, but as an overall package across all the different modes it is consistent and a decent shooter and always only takes a single shot to get that perfect shot. The Photos app allows for non destructive editing which syncs the edits across several devices. The features of the Photos app are excellent too. The iPhone is the only phone that has a burst mode that can take 999 shots in one go. In fact, I am not sure my DSLR could manage that many and then save them in such a short time either. So with 4K video, decent photos, you can use iMovie to create a slick movie in seconds. I miss not having iMovie on other non Apple phones.

Apple Pay really does just work. Raise your phone and near a terminal, your credit card image appears automatically, hold the Touch ID button and voila. All of one second. So far I have used it at MacDonalds, Costa Coffee and Marks and Spencers. I actually have used the phone once and the Apple Watch for the other 2 purchases.

And finally apps. A year ago if anyone had asked me I would have said android and iOS were equal when it came to apps. In fact android had some advantages due to its sharing options. With iOS 9, Touch ID and 3D Touch and gaming on iOS in my brief time with the 6S Plus, my view is swinging to iOS having an advantage. Apps feel and run smoother on the iPhone. In fact the whole user experience of the iPhone 6S Plus is a joy to use. Even Apple Maps has not failed me yet for car directions and even walking.

Link all of the above with the Apple Watch, iPad, MacBook and any other Apple eco system component and the benefits of continuity and handoff occur.

Now, in case you’re wondering if I am ditching android all together, this is not the case. I have several devices on test at the moment along with several reviews too. I also use a BlackBerry Curve daily, as this is a work issued phone.

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10 thoughts on “Apple iPhone 6S Plus – iCloud, Apple Watch – Part 3 – The Lows, Highs and Findings

  1. Good summary Gavin. Agree on the app smoothness experience. I’m using a Xperia Z5 while my iPhone 6 gets repaired but, in general, app scrolling is laggy and some of Google’s own apps (YouTube) just are so poorly designed on Android, wasting sooooo much screen estate, compared to their iOS counterparts. Once my iPhone 6 is back, I’ll be selling my Z5, passing the 6 to my wife and getting a 6s/6s+ for myself.

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  2. Not had much time to test it tbh – auto focus is incredibly fast though. So far, overall, the experience just isn’t as snappy/reliable as the iPhone though – not wholly convinced by some of the shots I’ve taken either – focus not always looking right in superior auto mode – will do some more daytime testing later.

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  3. So how would you rate the iPhone 6S Plus camera compared with the original 6 Plus? Some reviewers are saying that there isn’t much difference. I’m toying with the idea of getting a 6 Plus because it’s quite a bit cheaper now.

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    1. Have a look at my 6 Plus album here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/albums/72157647679181549 and then the 6S Plus album here which is still expanding – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/albums/72157658700413220

      Both take great photos. Video goes to the 6S Plus in all resolutions. Front camera is 5mp vs 1.2mp. I think there is more difference with the 6S Plus, but the 6 Plus is marginally better in very low light at it can allow 0.5 sec shutter speed vs 0.25 with 6S Plus.

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