John Gruber’s iPhones 6S Review

This is the only review I was looking forward to, and it does not disappoint. A couple of highlights; first, on the more tepid feeling of the ‘S’ models:

The glaring downside to this tick-tock schedule is that we as a culture — and particularly the media, both on the tech/gadgetry side and the business side — are obsessed with “new”. And, well, the S-model iPhones don’t look new. This year there is a new rose gold aluminum finish, but at a glance, the iPhones 6S look like last year’s iPhones 6. Every year is an iterative improvement over the previous one, whether it’s an S year or not. But it’s hard not to see the S years as more iterative, less impressive, updates, simply because they look the same.

I think that’s a trap — a way to be fooled by your eyes.

On one aspect of 3D Touch:

I have only two bad things to say about 3D Touch. First, Apple missed an opportunity to borrow a great feature from Apple Watch. On Apple Watch, you can force touch in the notification list and you get an option to Clear All. 3D Touch has no effect in iOS 9’s notification list, and there remains no way to clear all notifications at once.


On the Taptic Engine:

Back in 2011, Apple switched to a superior oscillating vibrator in the iPhone 4S (and the Verizon/CDMA iPhone 4). All previous iPhones used a cheaper rotational vibrator. The oscillating vibrator in the iPhone 4S was noticeably nicer. For whatever reason, Apple went back to a rotational vibrator in the iPhone 5, and stuck with it through the iPhone 6. The new taptic engine in the 6S feels as good or better than the old iPhone 4S vibrator. It’s just stronger and more pleasing.

This is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to getting mine. I’m not joking; the vibration motor in the 4S always felt more solid to me than the one in my 5S, but the one in my Watch beats the pants off of either of those.

If there’s any review of the 6S you should read, it’s Gruber’s. All of the others pale in comparison.