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iPhone 6: The little things make it a real star

Galen Gruman | Sept. 23, 2014
The iPhone 6 is the first major redesign of the Apple iPhone since 2010's iPhone 4. The design is new, with the aluminum side band gone and the glass and aluminum halves directly welded for a sleeker, less-industrial look. The iPhone 6 is also bigger, a long-desired improvement in screen real estate. That's normal change in the smartphone world.

The iPhone 6 also supports automatic sending of phone calls over Wi-Fi rather than the cellular networks. This saves bandwidth for the carriers and provides phone access for you when a cellular signal is not available but a Wi-Fi network connected to the Internet is. However, only T-Mobile in the United States and EE in the United Kingdom have turned on that capability in their networks, so I could not test it. Both AT&T and Verizon say they'll have it in the United States next year. Sprint's network supports the technology, but the company has been silent about enabling it for the iPhone 6, and the store staff I asked had no clue.

Security for work and home

The iPhone 6 and iOS 8 together are a powerhouse when it comes to security if tied to a mobile management server such as those from Citrix Systems, Good Technology, MobileIron, or any of several other vendors. In addition to supporting Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) policies:

iOS 8 has more APIs for security and management than any platform, BlackBerry excluded (when using its BES server).

iOS 8 provides a broader set of management capabilities, such as for e-books, than just security management.

It has vastly more user privacy controls than any other platform personal security is anathema to Google's business model and not a concern in other mobile OSes, but should be.

It has hardware-protected biometric security and now credit card security no one else provides.

iPhone privacy settings Nothing comes close to iOS 8's privacy controls over the data gathered by the iPhone's hardware and accessed by apps.

For corporate security, iOS 8 and BlackBerry 10 are essentially tied when used with a management server. Nothing matches BlackBerry's backbone network security, but even those backbones are open to national governments' spy agencies. Most businesses long ago decided they weren't so worried about the backbone anyhow.

What iOS ostensibly lacks is support for the notion of separate device personas, but that's more style than substance given the internal separation possible in iOS between personal and corporate assets. It's telling that persona-separation technologies such as BlackBerry Balance, Divide for Android, and Samsung Knox for some Android devices have gained little uptake despite massive attention.

About the supersized iPhone 6 Plus ...

I was unable to buy an iPhone 6 Plus to test, and Apple declined to loan InfoWorld one for review. But I spent a few minutes with one at Apple's Sept. 9 launch event and a few minutes more with units at several stores this past weekend.

What's different about the iPhone 6 Plus is the size and rear camera. In every other respect, it has all the positives and minuses of an iPhone 6.


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