Buying 1st iPhone -- minimal use planned

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by garycurtis, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. garycurtis macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    Our family is switching over to T-Mobile, and so I'll be getting an iPhone 4s as part of the plan. Until now, I've had a 'dumb' phone. It was enough for me. Retired, over '70. Being a sort of a minimalist. I'm not often seduced by gadgets.

    First, I have to learn how to work the thing. I foresee needing voice calling, much less texting, and perhaps since I don't have GPS nav in my car, the voice driving direction feature.

    Are the Apple Tutorials at their Support Website to instruct me? Is there a brief book on the iPhone? Above the level of 'Dummies Guide to..' but below the level of programming.

  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
  3. magilla macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    I too, am a "minimalist" user having recently converted from an old LG flip phone to a 5s iPhone. Don't download music or watch streaming videos or watch TV on my phone - "old eyes" - phone screen's far too small for those kinds of things. Better done at our age with a larger computer screen.

    the bad things about iPhones are of course, their tiny screens and most notably, the touch screen. There's no "tactile feedback" and the keyboard sound clicks, even when set highest, are fairly low. The battery life, unlike those of the older generation "dumb phones" is definitely NOT comparable, due to the amount of power these little guys consume. There are however, a number of settings you can make within the phone to reduce it's overall battery useage and extend it's charge life.

    Unlike older phones, the batteries aren't generally "user replaceable" and, once a battery ceases to take a charge up to a certain overall charge percentage, you have to go back to an Apple store to have the battery replaced (at an additional charge.) I estimate that, with normal everyday usage, that would be about 3-4 years, but for more minimalist users it may be a bit longer.

    This would seem like a downside but, to most technical users, a 3-4 year old phone is hopelessly out-of-date and simply needs to be thrown away and a new one purchased. Again, with older users, as long as the phone's operating system is relatively up-to-date, it would be fine for continued use.

    Other than getting used to the touch screen and the keyboard usage, the MOST frustrating thing is that these smartphones are relatively fragile as compared to older "dumb phones." My old LG flip phone was dropped numerous times (not that I'm all that clumsy or inattentive) but if you do that with a modern smartphone more than a couple of times you're apt to run into mechanical/electronic problems.

    My 5s is is so slim (designed to fit comfortably in a shirt pocket) and slick that it's actually difficult to handle (if you have medium-to-large hands) and most people go right out and buy a protective aftermarket "case" to fit around the phone to help in handling and further, to help protect the corners from inadvertent drops which will inevitably happen.

    As T5BRICK replied, his second link to David Pogue's iPhone book is a Godsend. It's concise without being terse and doesn't have the forced silly humor that the "Dummies" series seems to eschew. It really IS the book you need to get.

    I see from your posting that you're a 27" iMac user. The 4s & it's ilk is going to be like a teeny-tiny postage stamp sized thing for you to use. Some of the "add-on" apps that you can get are great as well as being truly helpful. I've only been truly lost once in my life and could't figure out were I was going or how to get there, so the GPS navigation apps don't really do anything for me. The one app I DO like is the universal barcode/QR code reader from NeoReader which can be downloaded from the App Store for free. It allows you to scan barcodes on products and do a product search to see how much people like are selling the item for.

    Good luck, and don't be afraid or embarrassed to stop into a local Apple Store if you have any questions. They're usually pretty friendly with us "old folks."
  4. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    My son, who uses a Droid phone, suggested I consider a Samsumg because of the larger screen. My eyes aren't that good.

    Yes, I do have a 27" iMac. Mostly for photo work with Aperture. In my career I flew 747s, so in retirement, I shy away from complex technology.

    I've got Pogue's Missing Manual for OS Snow Leopard. What a guy!

  5. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    You can visit the Apple store and they can help you navigate too. If you are already using a Mac, going to an iPhone is basically the same.

    Plus the manual is downloaded to iTunes. Just open iTunes - click on help - click iPhone user guide.

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