back to article Can you get excited about the iPhone 13? We've tried

Smartphones aren't very exciting anymore, but Apple insists its mutually optimised operating system, online services, and proprietary silicon combine to deliver an uncommonly fine experience. I decided to put that assertion to the test with both an unusual and extreme workload, and with general smartphone tasks. For the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's an iPhone

    Historically "new technology" in iPhones like "retinal display", "OLED display" and "wireless charging" are technologies Apple bought from Samsung long after they appeared in Samsung products but Apple's brilliant marketing convinced their fanbois it was new, unique & exciting. That well has pretty much run dry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: It's an iPhone

      Also, historically, great and innovative things are rumored for the iPhone, most of which don't make it into production. But fear not, as soon as an iPhone is announced, all the things that didn't make it are rumored to be coming with the next iPhone with additional great and innovative things as well.

      This is what happens when you have a captive market, built by Jobs' technological innovations and Ivy's design chops, and when they are gone you turn it over to a bean counter.

      As long as the fanbois keep buying every new iPhone, the investors and execs are happy and nothing will change.

      1. Tilda Rice

        Re: It's an iPhone

        Someone who chooses a different companies product to you is a "fanboi"

        How old are you?

        Do you accuse anyone who doesn't drive the Ford you own, and call a Fiat drive a fanboi?

        Honestly. I know this is El Reg comments section, but seriously? Grow up.

        1. Ken G Silver badge

          Re: It's an iPhone

          I change the brand of my phone, tablet and laptop depending on who offers good performance for the price when I'm upgrading. Some people just always buy Apple even when it costs more or offers less, those are the "fanbois".

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: It's an iPhone

            Re "Some people just always buy Apple even when it costs more or offers less, those are the "fanbois"".

            Perhaps Apple products offer them something they want, like support for the potentially expensive apps they have bought, or a relatively low chance of getting a virus even without a performance sapping antivirus?

            I'm not criticising Android. If it's good for you, good. It's just people do have a legitimate reason (that isn't cost or more performance/features) to prefer one OS over another, and aren't necessarily fanbois.

    2. Dave 126

      Re: It's an iPhone

      'Retina display' was never an engineering challenge to implement. It *merely* required a decision. A decision that the benefit of a higher resolution screen was worth the extra part cost and the hit in battery life. To fully realise that benefit, the OS must be updated, legacy apps must be supported, developers must be briefed, power savings must be found in the rest of the system because a reduced battery life would attract bad headlines. This means you talk to your SoC design team, your fabrication partners, check they're on track to hit their efficiency projections...

      I say *merely *, but in reality it is these sorts of complex decisions that bring improvements to the user's experience. Think about the skill set of someone who has to make such decisions. Yeah.

      Comparing devices by which was the first to incorporate a certain component is the definition of reductionism.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: It's an iPhone

        Somebody bought me a very expensive iPad pro for Christmas and it's my first personal foray into the IOS world. It's a lovely piece of kit and the display is superb. It updated to the latest OS version overnight and has added more or updated features. The camera is great and I've done some great shots. However I cannot find a firewall app such as No Root Firewall, that I have on all my android devices. I'd like to block everything except say safari, weather and news from connecting to the internet. I do this on my Android devices quite happily but not on this thing. I don't really understand that given Apple are supposedly so hot on privacy.

        There are apps that will block websites, pop ups and filter suspicious traffic from and to the device. There are those that use a VPN to route all the data via their servers to prevent your location etc. being revealed. There's nothing that is purely local that allows me to block apps from communicating. I cannot find a way to do that, am I missing something?

        1. ThomH

          Re: It's an iPhone

          Lockdown is an iOS app that provides a local virtual VPN in order to block adverts, etc, in all apps. It even does that bit for free. A real VPN for secure browsing and changing your apparent region is the upsell, which is fairly easy to ignore.

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: It's an iPhone

            Lockdown is an iOS app that provides a local virtual VPN in order to block adverts, etc, in all apps. It even does that bit for free. A real VPN for secure browsing and changing your apparent region is the upsell, which is fairly easy to ignore.

            Somebody already mentioned Lockdown to me (offline) and then backtracked and said it doesn't do what I was looking for. Using it, can you block all outgoing traffic from the apps including the Lockdown app itself?

            Well you can go to each app and disable background refresh which stops it trying to update when not running.

            Also have a look at privacy as that allows you to turn off more features.

            But most of the built in apps can now be removed except mail safari and the core system, so if you don’t want them delete from the machine - you can restore them later

            Thanks I'll look into those suggestions.

            1. Semtex451

              Re: It's an iPhone

              The point of the walled garden was that you didn't need a fw as outbound could be 'trusted', but since everyone one else wants to tear the walls down, you'll need one sooner rather than later.

              Time was you did not need to act paranoid with an iPhone /iOS device), it was the point of owning one.

        2. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: It's an iPhone

          Well you can go to each app and disable background refresh which stops it trying to update when not running.

          Also have a look at privacy as that allows you to turn off more features.

          But most of the built in apps can now be removed except mail safari and the core system, so if you don’t want them delete from the machine - you can restore them later

        3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: It's an iPhone

          I think that there is a version of Little Snitch that runs on IOS. That might be worth a try.

          I invested a small amount of money in a Raspberry PI Firewall. That sits between my WIFi hub and the router. It blocks a huge amount of dodgy spyware/data slurping connections as well as all Social Media sites.

          If there is some site that I need to get to but is blocked, I have another WiFi access point that I can connect to that bypasses the firewall but don't tell my grandkids about it...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's an iPhone

          @JimboSmith

          Yes

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's an iPhone

        I'm not sure the ability to say "Make this work or you lose your job" counts as a "skillset". But perhaps in the business world it is seen as a desirable attribute...

        1. Dave 126

          Re: It's an iPhone

          >I'm not sure the ability to say "Make this work or you lose your job" counts as a "skillset".

          Wow. Well, the skillset is in determining *what* needs to go in - that it is expected to actually work is a given. And the consequences of these decisions can make or break a business in a sector worth billions. If you think that a company in the real world would take such valuable decisions lightly then good luck to you - those companies have gone bust already.

          Okay, you don't like the term skillset, so let's use the word information: what would you need to know to make the optimum decision? You would need engineering data, data from partners in the supplier chain as to availability, you would market data as to what customers want, you need to project, what will consumers want in 9 months time when you sell it, what it the competition doing.. you need complex information from a wide range of sources and disciplines, and then weigh up competing and interrelated solutions.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: It's an iPhone

      "Historically "new technology" in iPhones like "retinal display", "OLED display" and "wireless charging" are technologies Apple bought from Samsung long after they appeared in Samsung products but Apple's brilliant marketing convinced their fanbois it was new, unique & exciting."

      Bullshit.

    4. martyn.hare
      WTF?

      Some folks still don’t get it…

      Apple’s number 1 “innovation” is proper long term support of all their products, so that you only buy a new device when technology has actually moved on, not just because a new model is out. If Apple were to follow the track of its competitors and lock new features behind rapid hardware repurchases, they’d lose their USP. It really is that simple.

      The iPhone 5S came out in September 2013 and received its last update in September 2021. We’re not talking half-arsed stuff either. We’re talking about all the support for COVID exposure and the like, as well as all the newer apps. Mac Minis from that era will run Catalina which will still be good to go until October 2022.

      I’m on an iPhone SE and here’s a list of recent notable improvements:

      * Keychain 2FA codes now sync across devices (with E2E encryption)

      * Transparent censorship resistance (for UK high court blocked sites)

      * Automated private email forwarder integration across all apps (Hide My Mail)

      * Full custom domain support for iCloud+ replacing Office 365 (at no extra cost)

      * Various codec, image format and video frame rate improvements across the board

      * The ability to pick an iOS branch and pin to it for extra stability without MDM

      * Many enhancements to noise cancellation so that it’s safer to use while working

      * Proper CoreAudio multi-device switching (Music on speakers but Swyx calls on AirPods)

      * Better warnings about ISPs which try to spy on you at the DNS level (e.g. Sky Broadband)

      * An actual way of managing my digital legacy (this completely replaces LastPass now)

      * Cleaner reciprocal location sharing (Google retired this recently but Apple improved it)

      * HealthKit now has better tracking of walking/running, eliminating the need for a fitbit

      Most of the above has actually replaced paid subscriptions and/or third party apps with a cleaner, better integrated solution, saving me a lot of time and money over the long term. You don’t need to be a beancounter to understand why users still continue to use iPhones despite the “lack of innovation” being claimed.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Some folks still don’t get it…

        "Apple’s number 1 “innovation” is proper long term support of all their products, so that you only buy a new device when technology has actually moved on, not just because a new model is out."

        I have a closet full of fully functional Macs that beg to differ with you.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Thanks!

    I'll be sure to keep steering far, far away from Apple.

    Both Android and iPhone suck hard, but Android talks to other things and lets me get work done.

    So it doesn't have a fingerprint reader? Even my cheap shitty Moto G6 has one.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Thanks!

      The iPhone SE, which is the cheapest model available, has a fingerprint reader.

      1. spireite Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Thanks!

        Yeah, but it's still an Apple device... that's the problem.

    2. ThomH

      Re: Thanks!

      Which work are you having difficulty with? Lack of USB input on the phones is the only thing I can think of that would push you to an Android rather than an iOS device in terms of productivity.

      Otherwise, Office and Photoshop and Exchange and Slack and everything else is no big issue. Apple even finally started offering specs for AirPlay to partners a few years ago, so you can screen cast to your Roku, Samsung TV, etc.

      I seriously can't think of a strong objective argument to prefer an iOS device over an Android or vice versa these days. It's just marginal preference amongst a sea of unexciting devices.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Thanks!

        Well, the issue is actually getting anything to/from the iPad... for example a PDF to read at lunch.

        There's simply no way to do it from Linux. And when you talk to Apple, they tell you to "get the manufacturer of your Lee Nooks to write a transfer application"

        With Android, you can use adb or an FTP client. I couldn't find any FTP clients for an iPad (at least not 2 years ago)

        Also, I can't write an app to turn GPS/cell on/off as necessary for my garage door app. I can root my Android device and then it'll let me do so.

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Thanks!

          You are going to hate me, but there is a pretty janky way to do it: install WINE on your linux box, and install iTunes for Windows. Is it janky? Yes. Does iTunes cause me more grief on the regular when it does something unexpected? Very Yes. But it is a way to shove PDFs into the books app outside of using iCloud or some other internet connected file sharing service as a transfer point.

        2. ThomH

          Re: Thanks!

          Ugh, yeah. I have a Mac and in the past had an iPad but my Kindle was always first choice for PDFs despite the paperback-sized display with awkward panning and zooming due to the e-ink refresh rate, precisely because I can just drag and drop to it.

          Well, that and not wanting to read off LCD when it can be avoided.

          I haven’t had an iPad for the better part of a decade because I never really found any other use for it either.

        3. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Thanks!

          When I had an iPad (the original iPad mini), I used to email stuff to myself.

          For all my Android devices and the laptop, it was pretty easy to throw files using Bluetooth. Newer things could do WiFi Direct. Those that weren't smart enough to get it right can run Google Files to do it.

          But the iPad? Getting things on and off of it was always difficult. Either the behemoth that was iTunes and a very half-assed UI, or the typical option of emailing it to myself. In 2016. FFS.

        4. Martin M

          Re: Thanks!

          Try “Secure shellfish” - scp client, gives you access to browse and download via the Files app.

          Sync and share cloud services are also very slick for doing this, albeit often poorly supported on Linux desktops. I’m sure ownCloud or NextCloud would do it natively, Dropbox still has a Linux client I think, or - marginally less conveniently - rclone up to almost any service. Drag/drop to cloud synced drive, run rclone (if necessary), into the iOS app and download for offline use.

          I have to say, I’ve not had a problem with this since pretty much the dawn of the App Store.

        5. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Thanks!

          On iDevices, you can connect to a Samba server and copy it across using the files app.

          1. ravenviz Silver badge

            Re: Thanks!

            Or use Airdrop.

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Thanks!

              Indeed, but the question was how to get files off a Linux machine. I don't think Airdrop is available on Linux. Samba most definitely is.

        6. herman

          Re: Thanks!

          You can email the files to yourself, or you can buy a Macbook and copy/paste between your Apple devices.

        7. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Thanks!

          "Well, the issue is actually getting anything to/from the iPad... for example a PDF to read at lunch.

          There's simply no way to do it from Linux. "

          Go to iCloud.com in your Linux browser, open iCloud Drive, and drag & drop any files you want accessible on your iDevice. Job done.

          Or you can email them to yourself if you only need one or two.

        8. martyn.hare
          Linux

          HOWTO: Adding a PDF to an iDevice on Linux

          0) Make sure you’re using a DE with GVFS support and have appropriate packages installed

          1) Plug the iDevice in while it is unlocked, so that you receive an offer to trust it

          2) Trust the computer, just like on Windows/macOS (this may or may not need a PIN entry)

          3) Select the iDevice from the left hand side of Nautilus/Dolphin/Files

          4) GVFS then beautifully mounts it using libimobiledevice and FUSE

          5) Drop the file into the appropriate app folder for use on your iDevice

          It’s easier to use libimobiledevice+gvfs+fuse than it is to use iTunes on Windows and ironically it is easier to use securely from your desktop environment than adb is! You just need to know what tools you need installed ahead of time.

          You can also do it using these methods if it’s easier:

          * Samba shares are supported in the iOS Files app and elsewhere, just make an SMB share!

          * WebDAV shares are supported too, again, just share it from your Linux desktop with ease!

          * Cloud services are supported, including NextCloud from within the Files app. Use those?

          * Resilio Sync allows you to sync over your local LAN and is free to use. Use that?

          * VLC Media Player for iOS supports a network file transfer facility, use that to do HTTP uploads!

          I hope someone finds this useful :-D

        9. Rob Daglish

          Re: Thanks!

          I tend to transfer things on and off using the OneDrive app from my PC as most of my data is synced between my various devices this way - but could you not just setup an SMB share on your linux box and use the Files app on the iPad?

        10. Norman Nescio Silver badge

          Re: Thanks!

          Well, the issue is actually getting anything to/from the iPad... for example a PDF to read at lunch.

          There's simply no way to do it from Linux.

          ifuse: A fuse filesystem implementation to access the contents of iOS devices.

          I suspect you are using the technique to exploit the fastest way to get a correct solution on the Internet, which is by posting an incorrect solution and waiting for the replies correcting you.

        11. Apple2

          Re: Thanks!

          You can send an email, copy to Dropbox , copy to iCloud on your pic, Wi-Fi enabled external battery with SIM cards

          And all you do is click on the fil and forward to “books”

          What I do is send them to my kindle email and cc to my main email so I have them on both

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Thanks!

      "So it doesn't have a fingerprint reader? Even my cheap shitty Moto G6 has one."

      Why do I want a fingerprint reader?

      I've taken the unusual approach to security by only using my mobe as a telephone and naught else. I look at things such as fingerprint readers as just one more thing to go wrong.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I get excited about an iphone?

    Nope.

    Now if you had asked about a new shiny with blinky lights and a forehead mounted laser...

  4. xyz Silver badge

    So...

    That's the doings that go on inside the iPhone-o-sphere then. All seems a bit wanky. Glad I'm not suitable, given that I'm currently sharpening my chainsaw chains so I can go to work on my 4x4 quad in the morning. Sending this via my satellite dish running off solar power. Now that's cool IMHO.

    1. Dave 126

      Re: So...

      I don't quite grok how your environment negates iPhones. It sounds like a power efficient, waterproof, robust handset fits your bill. An iPhone would tick those boxes as well as offerings from Samsung and Sony et al. Personally, I've found a Spigen case has kept my Samsung safe from many drops over years - and they make iPhone cases too.

      If there's an Android-only app for sharpening saw blades, I've yet to see it.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: So...

      I'm currently sharpening my chainsaw chains

      If you had a chainsaw made by Apple, you'd not doubt have to swing by your nearest Apple store to get the chains sharpened by an iGenius

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: So...

        If you had a chainsaw made by Apple, ...

        ...the chains would only cut applewood, and certain other approved materials that bore the "designed for iChainsaw" logo.

        But the chains would at least look fabulous. Rounded corners, made from ultra-thin, ultra-light exotic alloys. Oh, and prone to getting bent and scratched easily. Fortunately there'd be a vast industry of protective covers for your iChain blades.

  5. werdsmith Silver badge

    I’m happy to be stuck with an iPhone 8, given that there is no incentive to change up and I can’t stand the alternative popular phone OS. The only thing on later iPhones that I would like are the cameras but not worth hundreds to acquire.

    I do have one device running Sailfish and it’s the best phone to use by far. Just misses a couple of vital apps.

    I would happily switch to Sailfish otherwise.

    At the end of the day, Apple can sell all that they can get made for them, so their biggest problem is supply, same as everyone else. I doubt they’ll lose much sleep over a few nerds sneering about them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Classic capitalism methinks. Better half has moaned for years about a certain stately home nearby which used to be a regular, if infrequent, treat to visit, particularly with the attached child friendly animals and adventure playground or for just the price of parking the grounds were a lovely walk, maybe tea and scones in the cafe afterwards.

      These days the parking alone is expensive enough to kybosh regular visits for us but the place is always full. We suspect capitalism in action. Raise prices as far as possible and still sell all the tickets - who cares if 'ordinary folk' are priced out. Bonus, the sort of people who don't mind spending that money to park are also the sort who buy expensive tat in the shop.

      What they are missing out on is repeat visits by locals and the kind of goodwill this brings. When tourism - particularly visitors from overseas - dries up for any reason, the locals won't necessarily be there to fill the gap.

      Apple has a similar model. If your cheapest phone is £350 and you can still sell all of your production of your £1,200 model, you don't need to think about those who would probably like to buy in to the system but can't afford to.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Apple and Bluetooth?

    Only Apple could make it so that a standard like Bluetooth only works properly with other Apple kit without needing an app to make it work when using "foreign" devices.

    FFS, The whole point of Bluetooth is that devices negotiate transmission power and device capabilities such that, no matter the OS combination and no matter the device manufactures combination, it "Just Works"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

      I have a bunch of Bluetooth devices (HRM, speakers, earphones etc) that all work with IOS without apps. I suspect that example was an oddity.

    2. Anomalous Cowturd
      FAIL

      Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

      I have yet to find an Apple device that will accept a file sent over Bluetooth from an Android device. Is there such a beast?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

        No, because iOS doesn't implement the OBEX file transfer protocol (even though MacOS does).

      2. Dave 126

        Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

        What is about your situation that you can use another method to send the file? My first thought is that you don't have internet access on one or both devices. If this is the hurdle, one device can still act as a wifi access point.

        Some additional methods are below:

        https://www.computerworld.com/article/3262126/8-essential-android-to-ios-file-transfer-tips.html

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

          My first thought is why you'd want or need Internet access. Two devices a couple of feet apart ought to be capable of transferring a file. They're communications devices, aren't they? Surely bluetooth or even a trusty cable should be enough.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

            Knowing that Apple is a bit less enthusiastic about leaving entry routes open to an otherwise reasonably well protected phone I can understand why they may have skipped OBEX implementation, also because it could allow the sandboxing to be bypassed.

            As for Bluetooth, I have plenty devices that work out of the box with iOS - heck, I even managed to connect a Logitech Anywhere MX 3 mouse to it for a laugh, which I deem probably the most pointless thing I've ever done - it's of more use on an iPad but I have the pencil thing for that.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

              I can understand why they may have skipped OBEX implementation, also because it could allow the sandboxing to be bypassed.

              So the excuse for not allowing them to be received by OBEX push but allowing files to be read via SMB is?

              Bear in mind Apple could probably port the OBEX handler from MacOS in an afternoon.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

                For me, it was a problem with the user experience. So my camera had WiFi or could be tethered by cable. So I figured get some iPads and clients could view images on those as I took them. But no such luck in simply push/pull images into Apple's walled garden.

                I guess it's usability vs security theatre, but basic file transfer has been a thing since serial ports and x-over cables. Especially when devices also get locked down so you can't swap via memory card or USB stick.

            2. Stork Silver badge

              Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

              I seem to remember that I once connected a USB mouse to a smartphone (Android). The reason was that it had been dropped, the display worked but the touch not - and we wanted to get stuff off it before switching off for good.

    3. Dave 126

      Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

      Yes, iPhones haven't always supported all bits of the Bluetooth standard. *However*, in this specific case it's worth noting that Samsung Buds don't play as nicely with non-Samsung Androud phones as they do with Samsung's own handsets.

      If I were ever to buy an iPhone, I would have no worries at all of having a wide range of 3rd party, fully iOS-compatible earphones to choose from. Samsung buds just work better with Samsung phones, is all.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

        The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ from my old S20+ paired flawlessly with my iPhone 13. The only thing I would need the app for is to change the tap assignments or the bass level, but they are still as I set them on the S20+, so I haven't needed to install the Samsung app.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

      "Only Apple could make it so that a standard like Bluetooth only works properly with other Apple kit without needing an app to make it work when using "foreign" devices."

      No, in this case if I'm starting out unfair, it's Samsung that did that. Samsung's earbuds are designed to automatically connect to Samsung phones and have deep system integration to accomplish that. They don't have that in the iPhone and an app bridges the gap with some glitches thrown in. This problem as noted is Samsung's fault.

      The reason that was unfair is that Apple did do the same thing--the Apple headphones also have system integration with Apple phones. But in both cases, it's the choice to use headphones that have system integration with a phone made by someone else. With Android or IOS, if you use normal Bluetooth headphones, they work just fine.

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Apple and Bluetooth?

      I've not had any problems with Bluetooth so far... Samsung Galaxy Buds+ paired without any problem, my Polar fitness watch connected without problems, the car entertainment system, the kitchen radio, the soundbar in the lounge... All about as easily as they did on my Samsung Galaxy S20+...

  7. anatak

    Iphone to linux?

    Did you test if you could transfer a file /picture from iPhone to linux without using iTunes?

    That’s the biggest drawback for me using an iPhone but it outweighs the long use life of getting updates long after most android phones that i looked at stopped being supported.

    And also the fact that iPhone is ridiculously popular here (Japan).

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Iphone to linux?

      If you only care about pictures, that is easy. You can connect the USB cable and the phone will enumerate with MTP. That only gives access to the photos taken with the phone, though.

      Transferring files: There are some ways available, but it's less convenient than Android. Emailing the file over is perhaps most familiar, but you can also use iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or an analogous file sharing system. If you want to self-host, Nextcloud has the same integration and lets you keep things to the local network or only equipment you run. Some apps will also have a web interface with which you can do the same, but the former options work with almost everything.

    2. Vin

      Re: Iphone to linux?

      I, personally, use the Files app to connect to a samba share on my Linux server.

      This is my primary method of copying photos and video from my iPhone to a computer. Once in the shared folder I can access it from any machine.

      I also have a selection of FLAC, and video files on the server which the Files app can stream over the network.

      I was as surprised as anyone when iOS got native support to access network shares years ago. It’s proved invaluable, though.

      I also use it to quickly copy photos to a windows desktop machine, via samba share.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Iphone to linux?

        I, personally, use the Files app to connect to a samba share on my Linux server.

        That info would have saved an iPad from the hammer a couple years ago...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stuck in Outbox?

    Did this review get stuck in someone's email Outbox? It's about 3 months later than it should have been! :-P

    All those fanbois who were desperate for an iPhone 13 will have bought one by now. Although if they were serious fanbois, they'd probably have bought one regardless of any review.

    But the main points: iPhone battery life always insufficient, and Face ID much less useful than Touch ID, we know this already. Sadly, Apple still haven't improved in these regards. iPhone SE 2 still has the best features : price balance for me, although being smaller (or insufficiently thick) its battery life is even worse (only just gets you through the day on medium-heavy use).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stuck in Outbox?

      I disagree on the battery life - that seems *way* better than its predecessors, and the Face ID works quite well (and if you have an Apple Watch it tends to unlock even if you wear a mask).

      However, where I would agree is that Face ID is far less useful, but for a different reason: it has forced Apple to add a "start" screen you have to "wipe" up before you can use the phone.

      I measure usefulness by how much gets in my way before I can use a phone, and in that respect the fingerprint reader was a very clear winner: you grab the phone so that your designated finger is on the reader and wham! - you're in the main screen. So grab, use.

      With FaceID, Apple clearly decided it didn't want the phone to open up if you just looked at it, so they had to add the slide screen which does *nothing* useful. So now it's look - slide - use, and in the morning it's even worse because then it adds a welcome screen - more barriers. When I find some time I'll start digging in the manual* to see if there isn't a way to kill all of that off.

      Frankly, I prefer the fingerprint reader.

      * yes, there is one, it appears for free download to Apple Books as soon as an OS or device is released

    2. Yorick

      Re: Stuck in Outbox?

      Well, as a serious fanboi, I aim to replace an iPhone with another iPhone every 5 to 6 years. Can you imagine Greta’s scowl otherwise?

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Stuck in Outbox?

      I'm getting around 2 days battery life out of my iPhone 13 Pro, about the same I got out of my Samsung Galaxy S20+.

      1. Tom 7

        Re: Stuck in Outbox?

        I get about 5 days on my Samsung Galaxy A22 5G.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Stuck in Outbox?

          And I get about 5 days out of my company iPhone SE... But it has a very different usage model.

          The point being, my use of the Galaxy S20+ and the iPhone 13 Pro are more or less equivalent and, with my average usage, I'm not seeing any real difference between them, even though the Samsung has a reputation for good battery life and the iPhone, in general, rates poorly.

  9. Pangasinan Philippines

    My first iPhone

    My two year old Huawei was dying. It has a 'huge' (I thought) 64 GB memory.

    Where did that go? I couldn't update the few apps I had installed because of low memory.

    It kept on bitching (non woke word) to me to clear memory space and defrag the disk space.

    It lost its ability to connect to the phone network around the time iPhone 13 became available.

    Apart from sitting in a queue for an hour to collect my pre-purchased phone, the change over was almost painless.

    It was an early Christmas present. In January, my wife gets to replace her iPad.

    I'm very happy with the phone (fast enough, nice display) and have relegated Candy Crush to my (now) wIfi only Android)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmmm

    My experiences of upgrading from iPhone to iPhone is just as seamless as your Samsung to Samsung. As for cost, I get a new iPhone every year and sell the old one. I make a profit doing it because of the tax laws here. Can’t do that with an Android phone as their value tanks.

    As for headphones, you have your Samsung buds you got for your Samsung phone I’m guessing. Perhaps you should have tried the iPhone with the same options like a pair of AirPods?

    I’ve tried Pixels and Galaxies and having owned from both camps, I’ve found the iPhone works best for me. I get that many of the posters here like their Android phones. I’m glad you do but, the decision that’s right for you doesn’t make you universally right. Of course, the level of vitriol does suggest there’s more to the opinions ;)

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    USB-C

    So did the curious inclusion of a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box (but no charger). That's an odd choice as the installed base of USB-C chargers is vastly smaller than USB-A devices.

    It could be in order to facilitate faster charging. Apple may have even added support to take advantage of Power Delivery (PD) modes to ramp up the voltage. Check the specs/may be buried somewhere there. Try the USB-C charger from your X1 Carbon, as it will support PD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USB-C

      Yup. It charges *significantly* faster when connected to a power supply that can deliver (even at 5.2V it can draw a good 2.4A when charging, according to my charge station). It can also pick up 14W via wireless charging if your wireless pad supports it (most are 7.5W which will work, just slower). And yes, it will charge off a PD device (i.e. laptop USB-C charger) so clearly it has the signalling and the power handling for it built in.

      This has a major benefit: now you can travel with one single power supply for MacBook, iPad and iPhone because they all charge fast enough to share - no need to leave something hooked up (which is also better for the batteries).

    2. Dave 126

      Re: USB-C

      There are lots of USB A to Lightning cables kicking around, most iPhone users will already have some. The USB C to Lightening cable being included with the phone is less common, but would be useful to:

      - owners of newer Macbooks with USB C ports, for charging the phone and transferring big files such as video.

      - people wanting to charge from a wall adapter or power bank. USB A can do USB PD, but many power banks only output from their USB C sockets. Ditto 12V car adaptors.

    3. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: USB-C

      The lightning port supports both USB-A and USB-C. If your previous phone was an older iPhone, you have a USB-A to lightning cable. Which will charge slow with an old USB-A charger and quite fast with a newer charger. So no need for a cable.

      If you have a USB-C charger, you _need_ a USB-C to lightning cable. Which will then charge the phone _fast_. The charger could be from a new MacBook or from an Android phone that came with the USB-C charger. If you don’t have a USB-C charger today, you leave the cable in the box until you get a USB-C charger. If you look at usefulness vs cost (and you as the buyer pay for the cost) that cable is the best value for money.

  12. Annihilator

    FaceId

    I bemoan the lack of TouchID at the launch of every premium iPhone. Even without masks, it’s a ballache to use Apple Pay compared with TouchID on the SE2 that I’m stuck with. Would love a bigger screen without a home button, but until they stick a fingerprint reader on the power button (like one of the iPads - so they have the tech already), they’re losing money, as I’ll stick with the cheaper phones. I doubt they care though.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can tell you one exciting thing: it's *definitely* waterproof

    .. although watch makers call it water resistant, I think.

    I'm only half awake, so excuse me if you've heard this before.

    Picture this. Here I am, caught out and locked in place by unexpected and fairly explosive interactions between things I recently ate (one of the reasons I dislike travel). Finally, the pressure is off and cleanup starts, next the water floweth, taking the last remnants of trouble away, and I start the process of repacking what in decent circles is kept hidden from view.

    The problem: in the process of getting up, I tip the shiny, brand new just-given-a-case-and-screenprotector iPhone 13 off its perch, which then slides at increasing speed past the words Armitage Shanks to follow the path of recent, er, emissions. The water may already be clear, but still it floweth. And somehow manages to steer that iPhone around the bend with it while I desperately grab for it whilst having my legs tangled in my trousers.

    Thankfully it - and the flow of water - then stops because I'm not sure that even Find My Phone would work down a sewage system. If you had not witnessed it going in you would never know there's a phone stuck there other than the fact that the toilet is now merrily backlit like one of those Japanese super thrones - I store that idea for later. But I digress. Retrieval of the phone takes several minutes, because it turns out there is only one very specific spot and angle wide enough - a feat apparently easier performed by coincidence and flow hydraulics than by manual manipulation. But, result, the apparently flushable shiny emerges, still happily showing its setup screen as if nothing happened.

    On retrieval, there's (1) thankfully no, um, residue to clear off - clearly decent toilet hygiene routines work, (2) no water slipped under the screen protector and (3) nothing really entered the Gear 4 Snap case which seemed to have done its job well. So, after some careful drying and cleaning (let's not take chances) it turned out to be perfectly happy, functional and in no way even remotely impaired, impacted or even impressed by its short and turbulent underwater voyage.

    Now I hasten to add that I don't make a habit of giving my phones a bath and I generally protect them quite well, but this happened while it was literally hours old - I had it in said location because my innards had already warned me I was going to need some quality time (cough) so I could use that occasion to set it up - a sort of multitaking for men. I did read somewhere that it was made water resistant, but I wasn't expecting or planning a live demonstration thereof.

    So, that was exciting :).

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Excited? No

    Astounded at the price? Yes

    Flippin’ ‘eck!

  15. Barry Rueger

    I'll stick with Huawei

    Honestly, our households' Huawei phones do everything we need, have stunningly good cameras, are tough, and are thankfully free of manufacturer added dreck.

    From the description in the article I'd say that a current Huawei model is as good or better than the iPhone, and a lot cheaper

    Sadly the Trump era attacks on Huawei will likely make the phones' OS much less capable than it used to be. That's a sad thing

    Ultimately now, in phones as in any other computer, what I want is something that "just works", has more or less the same UI as last year, that doesn't break the apps and functions that I rely on, and that doesn't spring surprises on me.

    Finally, I resisted fingerprint ID for ages, until forced to use it. Wow. I was so wrong, and can't imagine using facial recognition instead

    1. X5-332960073452
      Big Brother

      Re: I'll stick with Huawei

      free of manufacturer added dreck - what model?, every one I've seen has 'crap' on it that can't be removed

      Hi-Suite software to transfer photos - my $deity what a mess

      Don't use for security, something you cannot change!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why oh why do so called “experts” keep missing the point?

    The iPhone 13 is the perfect phone for two reasons:

    1. It is made by Apple.

    2. It is the newest model you can buy.

    Next year will come the iPhone 14, which too will be both revolutionary and perfect, and we will all throw away our iPhone 13s or sell them to council estate dwellers.

    And as for pairing an iPhone with a Samsung device? Ugh. That’s literally like how Jimmy Savile paired himself with the silent vessels on the lower levels of Stoke Mandevile hospital. I always knew cyclists were weird, what with their Lycra and sore nipples.

  17. Robert Grant

    Fun to see articles with "emotional payoff" and "it doesn't quite meet the moment with a new experience that satisfies" in. Definitely the sort of nonsense parody article that I love El Reg for. Imagine someone really writing that about a telephone.

  18. John 104

    "During deep lockdown I found myself reverting to using a payment card just to save the fumbling of repeated unmasking."

    OMG! Are you OK? I know a good therapist.... ;)

    So, the article is confusing. You say that using the phone on Zwift was great but killed your battery permanently. Yet you later say that the battery is great?

    And the Blue Tooth thing. WTH? You needed an app to pair? Talk about a non-starter.

    I'm a dyed in the wool Android user, but I did consider getting an iPhone for security reasons. But, the price tag is a total joke. I can buy a really nice laptop that will last me years - or - I could buy a phone that might last 3. No thanks. I'll stick with my LG V-40 (2 years in) until it dies. And its' paid for.

  19. J. Cook Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Long term apple iThing review here...

    The only major complaint I have with the iPad/iPhones comes with some of the UI wonkiness on the devices and inconsistant behavior with syncing it to a windows PC using the windows port of iTunes.

    The major complaints I have are thus:

    When setting up a new device, if you are pulling the config and data from an older device, the first time you sync the new device with the PC you'll screw over your music collection on the device and possibly the PC, because either the device or iTunes isn't smart enough to realize that music that's on the device is the same as the music on the PC, so you get duplicate tracks on either the device or the PC (or both), which requires you to either nuke the duplicate tracks, or nuke the entire album off the device and re-load it from either a PC sync or re-download it.

    I ran into an instance where a brand new device that was set up this way and was synced with the PC for the first time ended up with not only duplicate tracks, but the album art for everything got corrupted. Badly. In my attempt to fix this without a factory reset, I managed to trash all the playlists on the device.

    When I went to put the music back on the device (via a PC sync, iTunes decided to nuke all the playlists I had. (this was the subject of much cursing.) Oh, and the album art on the device got even more corrupted, requiring a factory reset to finally fix it. (this was the subject of even MORE cursing, in several dead languages, and some data loss due to some idiocy on my part.)

    Once I got that situation fixed, I decided to try and pull the playlists from another device that had then, thinking that it would pull the playlists from it. Nope, the playlists evaporated off the device like liquid nitrogen poured on the ground in Death Valley at noon on a summer day.

    This leads me to the other complaint: Why can I not export a playlist that resides on a device outside of using iTunes? I can share audio, I can share the playlists to other apple users (assuming I have the Apple Music subscription, that is), but I can't export a playlist to either an XML file, text file, or even one of the various playlist file formats that exist? Surely it can't be that difficult to do, iTunes has a way of doing it from the PC side. But when you can't trust the PC side to not nuke the playlists off the device you are trying to extract said playlists from, that gets a little difficult...

  20. Occams_Cat

    Up to 1TB storage and a 'lightning' port that's USB 2?! That is breathtakingly patronising! And still that massive, ugly, unnecessary notch.

    I now regret my impulse acceptance of the 'upgrade' from my carrier. Straight on eBay.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      “Lightning port that is USB-2” - of course it isn’t. All newer iPhones support both USB-3 with a USB-A connector _and_ USB-C.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        No, it's still USB 2 as far as I can find out. Lightning is dead weight.

        USB-C can carry USB 2.

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Pretty iPhone

    If Vulture South are to succeed where West and Central have failed...

    Need some "major sucking up"...

    See - 1'40"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FyvZuFzuxc

    Still, journalistic independence is worth more than fawning over something to be in Apple's good books

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Meh

    Not even worth reviewing anymore

    When cellphones first came out, they were boring because the telcos locked down every feature they might have. Want to run software? Costs extra. Want to play music off your memory card? $5/month, that is.

    Apple changed all of that with the iPhone. They took power away from the telcos and let technology surge ahead. Google then gave us a Linux based phone OS that could do anything! Phones got exciting for a moment. You could buy a phone with any crazy feature you wanted and customize them. Many Android phones even had good 3rd party OS support.

    Now we're full circle. Apple and Google are the ones strangling features for personal profit. Apple sells a slab that only talks to their money-grabbing app store. Google did everything possible to prevent removal of factory spyware and disable use of non-cloud storage. Qualcomm is lurking in the shadows making sure that 5G doesn't work too well too soon.

    Damn, phones are boring now. I only buy a new one if the old one wears out.

  23. jzl

    Mini Mini Mini Oi Oi Oi!

    The regular iPhone and the Pros? No. Nothing interesting there.

    The Mini though is lovely. I've bought one and I think it's my favourite smartphone out of all the modern era smartphones I've ever owned. The form factor is perfect (iPhone 5 size, just right) but the screen is closer to a phablet from the old days (iPhone 8 Plus).

    It's an absolutely gorgeous piece of kit. I love it.

    1. Rob Daglish

      Re: Mini Mini Mini Oi Oi Oi!

      I bought a 12 mini last year following a spate of "Apple won't make a 13 mini" articles, and the size is great. Don't get me wrong, I love the screen on the 13 Pro, but I just can't be on with carrying something that size around if I'm ever allowed to leave the house again.

      That said, I'm looking longingly at the Galaxy Fold - it's a bit thick when it's folded, but a really nice sized screen for watching videos on the train when commuting, and I *need* some form of android device so I can demo my employer's android support to customers....

  24. big_D Silver badge

    iPhone 13 + Samsung Galaxy Buds+ here, I just paired them as usual and they worked fine, no need to install the app.

    I agree about the Face-ID and masks, that is a pain. Apple's answer of "buy a Watch" isn't really helpful, putting a fingerprint reader into the power switch (like the iPads) would have been a much better solution for pandemic times.

    Other than that, I'm happy with my iPhone. I only go food shopping once a week and I use a card for that anyway - joint account and I only have my personal account in ApplePay - so that isn't too much of a hassle. After years of using a Huawei and Samsung Android phones, I found the migration relatively painless. I used the Apple app to migrate - it moved my photos across (offered to move SMS across, but that was just one-time codes for various services, so I didn't bother). It also installed the free apps that were available on both platforms.

    Using a password manager meant that setting up the applications on the iPhone was a breeze. I had everything set up and running in a couple of hours and had reset the S20+ and given it to my daughter within 2 days. The only thing that took time was re-scanning the QR-Codes for my 2FA tokens.

  25. Tony Horrocks 1

    Get over yourselves peeps

    Well it's not really a review is it? Like it doesn't compare it to other phones in the same category. The first part of the piece is comparing it to a desktop for Pete's sake. Really it's just an entree for people who have emotional issues with Apple to vent a little bit and show off their geekiness. Which is no bad thing in these times of stress. Also, come on. Something exciting in the smartphone world? LAt thing I noticed was the folding phone. Look how that overtook the world. You should lower your expectations.

  26. Ry D'arcy

    Do a compare of the Iphone 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max - difference nearly nothing. Price difference NOT nearly nothing.

    As long of the hoards of narcissists/half-wits want to pay???

  27. MrMerrymaker

    Notch

    My Mix 4 doesn't have one.

    Apple are behind. Especially with these wireless charging speeds

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