Siri’s always waiting on you
Remember your old friend Siri? Well, thanks to the 6s’ integrated M9 motion coprocessor, your friendly handheld voice assistant is now always on standby.
Because of this, its setup process for the iPhone 6s differs from before. Upon first turning on the phone, you’ll be asked to speak to Siri a few times so it’ll learn your voice like a well-trained pooch. All you have to do is holler, “Hey Siri” several times.
You’re going to want to do this alone in an empty room. Not least because Siri’s hearing remains hit and miss in noisy environments, and talking to your phone in public remains a surefire ticket to the loony bin.
In the privacy of our own home however, hands-free Siri is the personal assistant we wish we could afford. We found ourselves asking her to play specific songs a lot, especially when our fingers were preoccupied with typing out emails, checking the news or working out calculations.
Yes, we’re busy and important people. What of it?
A touch quicker
Alongside Siri, Touch ID is another of Apple’s subtle innovations that we’ve come to rely on. Even though we weren’t blown away by the fingerprint scanner when it was first announced.
Added security, speedier access and phone-based contactless payments all sounded nice, but not exactly game-changing, right? But fingerprint scanning has proven to be way better than expected, to the extent that every major Android manufacturer has followed suit with its own take on the feature.
And now the iPhone 6s has a new Touch ID. And it's actually a pretty significant upgrade.
This writer is cursed with sweaty palms, meaning Touch ID can be a struggle to use. That’s not the case with the 6s though. We were so used to pressing the Home button to wake the phone, then resting our digits for Touch ID to kick in, that we were completely floored when we realised this is now a combined process.
The moment we hit the Home button, the fingerprint sensor had already read our print and unlocked the phone. Talk about fast reflexes.
Again, this faster Touch ID might seem like a small detail, but once you get your hands on it, those nanoseconds you shave off add up to something quite substantial. Especially when you consider just how many times you unlock your phone in a day. Clue: it’s a lot.
The lesson here? If 3D Touch evolves to be half as useful as Touch ID has become, then Apple will have scored another yet another winner. Not through flashy, headline-grabbing gimmicks, but by seemingly small improvements that work impeccably well.
That said, not every change is quite so welcome...