Another year, another iPhone comes out, and like clockwork, I purchase it via the iPhone Program that I'm a part of. It is a guaranteed purchase that I make every year, no matter how small the upgrade is. This year I purchased the iPhone 14 Pro Max in Space Black. I like to consider myself an average hardcore user of the device (does that even make sense?). I am pretty much tied to my phone all day. Everything I do is accessible via this device and I run multiple automations through it. I love this thing.
That being said, I don't use the camera much besides random photos and Snapchat Stories. I just don't have that desire to constantly be taking photos on the device or have that eye. I know the camera is definitely better than previous generations, but that is to be expected right? The camera is amazing, just like the last 10 iPhones have been.
There were two big changes though that I was SUPER excited about: Dynamic Island & Always-On Display.
One of the big changes has been Dynamic Island; that pill shape thing that replaced the notch. That thing looks awesome. When I first saw the rumors of the pill, I was definitely confused, but I just accepted that it was just a way to get rid of the notch and get closer to that full-screen iPhone. It felt very much like the next step. What I didn’t expect was for them to make it a feature of the phone. That was awesome….at first.
Don't get me wrong, I do love it and have been super excited about it, but at this point, it started to become the same thing the notch became for me; I forget about it constantly and it has blended in. Yes, cool animations are up there and when I'm paying attention to it, I notice it and think it looks awesome. They did a good job with it and I'm super excited for the Live Activities to be up there for sports scores and such. This just isn't a reason to upgrade from one of the most recent devices.
The real interesting thing here is where they will take this Dynamic Island in the future. I'm more curious about now how they will improve Dynamic Island in iOS 17 and later generations of the iPhone. I can definitely imagine that Apple will find some great ways to utilize this space.
Another big thing that I was excited about the way the Always-On Display. I have one on my Pixel 6 Pro and I have been wanting for years to get an iPhone so when Apple finally announced it, I was hype! They also did it in a way that was unique way than just the black screen. I do enjoy the dimmed version of your screen although it did come with some growing pains for the first week or so.
At first, I would constantly keep thinking my phone was lit up because I saw the wallpaper. I would constantly be thinking that I missed a notification or that something that I was supposed to be looking at is on the phone. It took some time to realize that the screen is locked and nothing new was there for me to look at. I know some people don't like it and it is kind of an acquired taste, but I love it. I'm keeping the feature on. As for battery life being affected by this feature, I didn't have an issue with it. I do work from home though and have access to a charger at most times so I will say that it might take a little bit for me to notice any steps backward with battery life from the previous generations.
Issues w/ the Device
Even with my ecstatic love for the new features, I will say that there were a couple issues that I fell down with. On my previous iPhone 13 Pro Max, I was utilizing the Dual Sim feature (an e-sim for my personal line & my work line was provided by my employer on a physical SIM). I usually don't have a problem activating my e-sim on my device, but this year when I tried transferring my personal line, I ended up having to call Verizon support and it was about a 2-hour experience.
Now, I did use an iTunes backup like I normally do (I have a lot of music from my DJ library that I put on my phone, so it is just easier to use an iTunes backup normally) instead of just transferring from iPhone to iPhone. I know that method of transferring does transfer the SIM lines as part of the setup. After I got my personal line configured that way, I did end up with this feature to transfer my Work line over and it worked flawlessly so I think I learned a lesson, and next year I'm going to switch the phones this way.
I also experienced the camera shaking bug in third-party apps that were being posted about. It wasn't every single time that I tried using a third-party application, but it did happen a couple times. Thankfully, Apple released the bug fix patch and it looks like I'm not having any issues at this time.
The Future and Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, I love this new phone. It was a very welcomed change and I do not regret buying the device. While this phone wasn't some game changer for my everyday life, it got me excited for the future and what the next devices will be offering. Between iOS 16 and the changes that the new Pro model iPhone brought, it shows that we are in a direction for some new things. Hopefully, next year brings USB-C.
Now I just have to wait for my Apple Watch Ultra to come in at the end of October.