iPhone and the small things

So I finally joined the dark side and I got myself an iPhone.

Now, if you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that often it's the little things that interest me.  Small bits of functionality and the tiniest ideas sometimes make the biggest impression.

With that in mind, here are the top things that have impressed me about the iPhone.

1. UI during phone calls

When I'm on a call and I'm holding the phone up to my ear, there's no need for the screen to be on... so it's not.  If I take the phone away from my ear, the accelerometers in the phone notice this and I get a useable display again.

A tiny thing, but it shows that Apple is thinking.

2. Music in my car

I connect the iPhone to my car stereo using a standard 3.5mm headphone plug.  Great sound. It works perfectly. Not that impressive.

However when I get out of my car, I pull the cable out.  The music stops.  It could quite easily continue - there are speakers on the phone after all, but it's smart enough to assume that having unplugged th speakers/headphones/whatever, I probably don't want to listen to the music any more.

Again, it's simple but intelligent.

3. Silent switch

My old phone was a Nokia E71 and I loved it.  It did everything I wanted it to, but I'm a sucker for stuff that's nice to use (usually) so of course I wanted an iPhone.

One very slight annoyance I've had with every phone thus far (including the E71) is that to turn the phone to silent, it takes a few steps.  On the E71, you have to unlock it, press the power button at the top, scroll down to Silent, press the OK button, and lock the phone again.

On the iPhone, you flip the switch on the side.

4. Network connection switching

I've set up my iPhone with the details of my home wireless network and the network at my parents' house.  I did each setup a grand total of once.

Now, whenever I'm at home or at Mum and Dad's, any browsing I do uses those networks.  The phone never asks me, never checks to see whether I might actually want to pay for access, no.  It assumes I'll want the fastest (and cheapest) connection available.

5. Application Installation

Hands down the cleanest installation for any software I've experienced.

Go to the app store and find something you want, touch the price button and then install, and you're done.  There could be a couple of extra touches here and there and you might have to put a password in so your account gets charged too, but it's incredibly easy.

It downloads in the background, there are no restarts, and you can immediately see it in your list of apps ("springboard" apparently).  Brilliant.

So that's it - probably not the same list as anyone else, but like I said, it's the small attention to detail that impresses me.

Damian Brady

I'm an Australian developer, speaker, and author specialising in DevOps, MLOps, developer process, and software architecture. I love Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, and reducing process waste.