Published at 07:44 on 13 September 2022
Not quite as small as a candy bar phone, but pretty small nonetheless. About as small as I’d want to use for looking at web sites and reviewing emails. Small enough to make previewing PDF’s quite painful. (Thankfully the latter is not as important as small size to me.) That is, of course, one of the reasons I got it.
Sadly, “masses” are 5/6 “asses,” so overall small phones do not sell well, and as such the “mini” phones are being phased out by Apple. Now, even the regular-sized iPhones are smaller than most Android devices, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to minimize size, and glad that I waited for the iPhone 14 so that I could get a 13 mini at a discounted price.
It’s Surprisingly Hard to Integrate with iCloud
It literally took hours to complete this task, which was not easy or simple. Part of this, I think, is that my iCloud account is something of a mess, as a result of being one of the earliest such accounts (I got its predecessor about 20 years ago, when I purchased my first Mac.) As such, it has been grandfathered from a mac.com account to a Mobile Me account to an iCloud account, and apparently there has been some accumulated cruft along the way.
I now have two Apple accounts, one named with my full original email address, and one named with just the username part of that address. The accounts are subtly connected in various ways I still do not fully comprehend. Everything I do is as a result something of a pain, made all the worse by how some of the prompts and diagnostics on iCloud.com are not very clear. For example, when it wanted a non-iCloud email address out of me for account recovery purposes, it simply asked me for an “email address,” no further explanation. So of course I entered my iCloud address, which had a “problem” and was rejected. Neither prompt nor error message mentioned the requirement that the address be external.
While this is not an iPhone problem per se, it is still an Apple problem, and integration with Macs and iCloud is supposed to be a selling point of iOS devices and Apple products in general.
It’s Both Oddly Familiar and Gratuitously Different
A lot of its user interface is so dead-on identical (or nearly so) to what Android does that it’s positively uncanny. At the same time, one is continually running into things that are strangely different, to the extent that I’ve had to do a number of web searches on how to do things.
I Can Kill the Touch Screen!
This feature is “Guided Access” and is buried under the “Accessibility” settings. It is a big deal for me, and is one of the reasons I got an iPhone. I could not put my Android phone in a shirt pocket with the headset connected and walk around the house doing chores while talking, because the touch screen would get randomly triggered, activating features like randomly putting the caller on hold, muting me, or hanging up. Actually, the touch screen itself seems a tad less sensitive, which might reduce the need to do this, but I still would not want a smartphone without this feature.
Apple’s Shipping Is Weird
For some reason they shipped the phone and the accessories (sold separately) that I ordered in two separate packages. The packages moved across Canada in tandem, leaving from the same address and arriving in Vancouver in the same day. So I was expecting the FedEx guy to have two packages when he knocked on my door. He only had one. He mentioned a rendezvous in an hour to collect more packages, and sure enough, I got to say “Hi!” to him again soon enough.
On the plus side, the order got to me yesterday (the 12th). Its estimated arrival date was the 16th. This is the first time since the pandemic that I have had an order arrive earlier than first estimated.