Apple’s iPhone 6 sales record

Apple says it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in the first three days after the phones went on sale, setting a new sales record.

A year ago, Apple Inc. said it had sold 9 million of the then-new iPhone 5C and 5S models the weekend they launched.

By comparison, it took Samsung about a month to hit 10 million sales for its flagship Galaxy 4S last year.

“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

The company did not break down sales figures between the two new models, but CNET reports that according to three analytics firms, sales of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 have far outpaced the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

The 6 Plus sold out in some stores over the weekend, Bloomberg News reported, and on Apple’s website online orders for the 6 Plus are projected to take 3 to 4 weeks to fill. People try out the newly released iPhone 6 at the Apple store in Berlin

Both sizes of iPhone 6 were released Friday, Sept. 19 in the U.S. and 9 other markets: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. Apple says they will go on sale in 20 more countries this Friday, Sept. 26, and 115 countries by the end of the year.

Besides larger screens, the new phones offer faster performance and a wireless chip for making credit card payments, a system known as Apple Pay which will be enabled in an iOS 8 update next month. The larger iPhone 6 Plus also includes enhanced image stabilization technology in the camera.

With a two-year contract, the iPhone 6 costs $199 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $299 (16GB), $399 (64GB) and $499 (128GB).


iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on sale today in 22 more countries

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch is spreading across the globe, with Apple putting its newest smartphones on sale in more than 20 new countries starting today.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and its bigger brother the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus first went on sale last Friday , selling an impressive 10 million in their first weekend on sale . That was in the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, and six other countries or regions. Today sees Apple bring its newest tech to a host of new territories, including Italy, Taiwan and Turkey.

Thanks to the miracle of time zones, New Zealand is the first of the second-wave of countries to get its mitts on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, available to Kiwis from NZ$999 and NZ$1,149 respectively.

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Apple’s new smartphones live up to their famous name, with both qualifying for “Outstanding” ratings in our in-depth reviews. Nevertheless, the launch of the new mobiles has been marred by several high-profile woes for Apple , including a glitch-riddled iOS 8 update that’s since been pulled, and the news that some owners of the 6 Plus are finding them bending in their pockets. Apple yesterday poured water on the “bendgate” scandal , saying that since going on sale, only nine customers had contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus.

The full list of countries where the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are on sale from today is as follows: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

Apple mops up iOS mess with new update

One day after a bungled iOS update disrupted key features on thousands of iPhones, Apple on Thursday issued a follow-on version of the software to set things right.

The newest update, iOS 8.0.2, is available immediately. The bruise to Apple’s public image — also dinged in the last few days by the discovery that its iPhone 6 Plus can be bent — may take longer to heal.

“iOS 8.0.2 … fixes an issue that affected iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who downloaded iOS 8.0.1, and includes improvements and bug fixes originally in iOS 8.0.1,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “We apologize for inconveniencing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who were impacted by the bug in iOS 8.0.1.”

The impact of the bug was startling. Immediately after downloading iOS 8.0.1 on Wednesday, users began reporting that their iPhones could no longer connect to a cellular network to make calls. In addition, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on some devices ceased working, meaning people could not unlock their phones.

Apple reacted quickly, putting a stop to the 8.0.1 update after just a little over an hour, saying that it was investigating the reports of problems and promising that 8.0.2 would come “as soon as it’s ready in the next few days.” It also issued a workaround for those who’d lost cell service or the use of the Touch ID feature.

The company said that the problems affected fewer than 40,000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices. Those latest-model phones had only just started arriving in consumers’ hands last Friday, and Apple had said that in the first weekend of sales, consumers had scarfed up 10 million of the devices.

And iOS 8 itself was hot off the presses. It had become available two days earlier, bringing with it a number of fixes and new features.

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So now perhaps Apple can start to catch its breath, or at least move on to other issues. As it often is, September had already been a busy month for the company, starting with a splashy event at which the company unveiled the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, notable for their larger screen sizes, and its long-anticipated wearable, the Apple Watch. The third big introduction at the event was the Apple Pay mobile payments service, will go into effect for the two new iPhones — through another iOS 8 update — in October.

The debuts had helped to reignite the sizzle that critics complained Apple had lost in several years of more modest new-product introductions.

But September also brought a good deal of embarrassment for the company, even before this week’s issues flared up. Apple began the month wrestling with a scandal over nude pictures of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence that had been swiped from iCloud accounts. Then there was a stumble with the live stream of the iPhone/iWatch launch event, backlash over the forced appearance of a new album from rock band U2 in people’s iTunes accounts, and an outage of several hours at Apple’s online store at the start of preorders for the new iPhones.

Earlier on Thursday, Apple sought to downplay the reports of excessive, and unexpected, flexibility in the iPhone 6 Plus. Any bend in that device is “extremely rare,” Apple said, offering as evidence that through the first six days of sale, only nine customers had contacted it regarding a bent 6 Plus. The catcalls on social media, meanwhile, were much more widespread.

iOS 8 is compatible with any iPhone version 4S or later, the fifth-generation iPod Touch and any iPad released from the second generation on. Some features, such as Apple Pay, are specific to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Among the other significant changes, the new software tackled long-standing issues with iOS’ notification system, its tie-ins with Apple’s desktop OS X software, and the iCloud service. It also extends Apple’s reach into the health and home automation space, too, with a suite of new “Kit” apps and developer tools.

One goal for iOS 8.0.1 was to fix a bug that prevented developers from launching HealthKit apps in the app store and another bug that barred users from uploading photos and videos from Safari. The update also was set to improve the reliability of the “reachability” feature on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Reachability makes it easier for users to operate the large phones with one hand.

In addition, the update was intended to correct issues related to third-party keyboards, third-party app access to the Photo Library, and ringtones not being restored from iCloud. And — perhaps ironically now, given the problems it caused with cellular service — iOS 8.0.1 also set out to resolve an issue that could cause unexpected cellular data usage when Apple’s devices received text messages, as well as to provide better support of “Ask to Buy” for Family Sharing for in-app purchases.

Last year, Apple rolled out iOS 7.0.1 just a few days after it launched iOS 7 in order to fix a fingerprint glitch with the iPhone 5S. Less than a week after that, iOS 7.0.2 came out to patch a bug with the lock screen.

The new smartphones went on sale last Friday in 10 countries, starting at $199 for the iPhone 6 with 16GB of storage space and going up to $499 for the 6 Plus with 128GB of memory. They will become available in 20 more countries starting Friday, September 26.

Motorola’s Moto X Should Be Your Next Android Phone

As we enter the era of the ubiquitous Big Phone, it’s refreshing to hold something like the slim and light second-generation Moto X. Priced at $500 unlocked and about $99 with a contract, this 5.2-inch phone with 1080p OLED screen and Gorilla Glass front is a step beyond the latest from LG and, while not as feature-rich as the Samsung Galaxy S5, well worth a look as an upgrade to your Android arsenal.

I used this phone primarily with the Moto 360 and carried it for a week or so while testing the watch. The model I used, a handsome gray and steel device with a little dimple on the back to help position your finger, is just one of the many permutations available at Motorola’s Moto Maker page. The company, which is still on thin ice, at least in terms of market share, has thrown everything it can into materials. By allowing you to add a pink leather or bamboo back and a colorful trim, they hope to make these Motos yours (and, presumably, reduce returns.)

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The phone has only two buttons – a rocker for the volume and a single activity button on the right side. The back sports a large 13-megapixel camera and a smaller 2-megapixel camera adorns the front. The phone makes use of the camera in unusual ways. For example, you can wake the phone by moving your hand in front of it to see notifications and you can wake the phone and talk to it by setting a unique “wake up call,” “Hey, Moto, what’s up?” for example. These two features are a bit unnerving at first because the phone consistently perks up while it’s at rest. However, the features didn’t reduce battery life and I saw the phone last about a day on one charge – about average for similar smartphones.

So who is the Moto X for? First, it’s for folks looking to upgrade their original Moto X, another excellent flagship phone. This new model is slightly bigger than the older Moto X and is a much nicer product. The materials are excellent and the phone is solid in the hand. You’re obviously losing an expandable storage slot in this design – something many have complained about in this model – but you make up for it in design. Most interesting, however, is the Moto X’s excellent Geekbench score. Clocking in at 979, a few points higher than the M8 and considerably higher than the original, the 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip shines in this device.

The camera is acceptable, although I saw nothing to particularly recommend or condemn. This reviewer grabbed some good shots with the phone and I found the same was true of the unit I tested – consistently good (if not amazing) snapshots.

The question is then why should you upgrade to this if you’re not a Motorola fan or you’re locked into another series of phones? I’d argue the unique colors materials are one reason you’d jump to this from, say, a much older phone. But that’s not enough for us geeks. The screen, it should be said, is a great upgrade over previous models and is on par with some of the best we’ve seen from HTC and Samsung. The processor is solid and speedy and the version Android installed, namely 4.4.4 KitKat, is unencumbered by much bloatware or odd UI tricks.

I like this phone. It’s light, it’s nicely designed, and it seems to be the epitome of Motorola’s decade-long dedication to quality in design. This phone won’t change the fact that Samsung is still the big dog in Android sales, but it definitely shows us that there are contenders with enough chops to be dangerous.

A Manual iPhone Camera Finally

“Finally” is a funny word, especially when it comes to Apple. I try to avoid using it because I’m cognizant of the fact that Apple’s pacing is often a lot different than the hive mind’s idea of what it should be.

Just see how long it took to implement third-party keyboards in a way that was satisfactory security-wise for an example.

But, as the iPhone long-ago crossed the rubicon of becoming the most popular camera in the world, I think Apple has taken its extra sweet time in allowing developers — and by extension, users — access to more control over the camera that’s always with them.

iOS 8 does just that, opening up tons of controls over focus, shutter speed, manual white balance and gray card support, ISO (“film” speed), exposure compensation and more. Developers can build truly powerful, flexible photography apps for the iPhone…finally.

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As photography used to be my profession, I’ve always kept up with the major apps and choices out there. Most folks I spoke to over the years gave the impression that developing a photo app for the iPhone was something of a black art. The genre was full of “hacks,” tricks, false starts and banishments, and everything had to be done by feel, as Apple didn’t provide direct, official access to manual controls.

The salt in the wound was that competing operating systems like Android and Windows Phone actually enabled more flexibility and complex photography far sooner than iOS.

I’m really, really happy that Apple now does, after all these years. I’ve gotten a lot of crap over telling people that I was a former pro photographer that had long since moved to an iPhone as my primary (read: most used) camera. I’ve never implied that the iPhone could best an SLR for quality and I wouldn’t shoot a wedding on an iPhone (yet) for a lot of reasons.

But the iPhone has done more to make great photography — in the plebian sense — than almost any camera in history.

I think you can put it right there with the Kodak Brownie, the Pentax K-1000 and the Canon Digital Rebel for releases that had the most effect on the democratization of photography. Yes, there were many other “pioneer” devices, but a select few have brought the ease and joy of quality photography within reach of millions or billions. The iPhone is one of those devices.

I used to sell cameras for a living, which I enjoyed a lot. When digital hit the wide consumer market — pretty much a year or two after I began — there was a massive surge in understanding that came along with it. Having the display right there for people to chimp may have evoked derision in some photographers (and I still think it’s a weakness of many pros born into digital, but that’s another story), but it also allowed people, for the first time, to see the effects of the changes they made in aperture, shutter speed and the like.

It wasn’t just that you could see the pictures instantly, it was that they gave you true feedback, creating a loop that contributed to greater understanding and improvement.

Now, the iPhone has that ability as well, and I’m really happy about it. If you’re looking to experience what I’m talking about then I’m sure your favorite camera replacement app like Camera+ or VSCOcam will be updated to add them soon. Currently, I’m really enjoying Manual, by William Wilkinson, which provides a serene, useful manual experience for the iPhone.

There could be some argument that apps like Manual — or the equivalent apps for Android or Windows Phone — are “for experts only,” but I disagree. Instead, they’re for the curious, those interested in taking better pictures and all “phone photographers.”

ZTE ZMAX

Vast swathes of display real estate are hitting the market at lower prices than ever — unlike those glass towers springing up in Brooklyn — and one of the latest in the “phablet” set is ZTE’s ZMAX. This 5.7-inch smartphone boasts an expansive 720p screen, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip and a 3,400mAh battery. If you’re in the market, this solid slab of smartphone arrived at T-Mobile on Wednesday and can be had for just $252 outright (or $10.50 per month over two years). But for two Engadget readers this week, the ZTE ZMAX will cost a whole lot of nothing. Yep, ZTE has handed over a pair of these handsets for a couple of lucky winners, and they’re ready to run at up to 4G LTE speeds on the Uncarrier’s network. All you need to do is head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning one of these big-screen devices.

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  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) ZTE ZMAX smartphone (ZTE Olympia Kit).
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email or Facebook login. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. ZTE, T-Mobile and Engadget / AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory

Apple explains how to fix its busted iOS 8 update

Went ahead and downloaded the newest, freshest version of iOS for that new iPhone 6? Then immediately regret doing so? Apple’s released a statement saying that users who have lost carrier service or Touch ID functionality should reinstall the initial version of iOS 8, until version 8.0.2 is ready to go. The company says this will take a few more days. We’ve got the full statement after the break.

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“We have a workaround for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who lost cellular service and Touch ID functionality today after updating to iOS 8.0.1. Affected users can reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes, for more information visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6487. We apologize for the great inconvenience experienced by users, and are working around the clock to prepare iOS 8.0.2 with a fix for the issue, and will release it as soon as it is ready in the next few days.”

Samsung Launch Galaxy Note 4 Early After Success of iPhone 6

The massive response to Apple’s bigger iPhone 6 models has inspired Samsung to push up the launch of the new Galaxy Note 4 phablet, according to a news report.

A Samsung employee said the “positive reaction from consumers to those two Apple devices prompted us to launch the Note 4 earlier than previously scheduled,” according to The Korea Times.

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Apple set a new record for opening sales with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, doling out some 10 million units in the first 72 hours of retail, the company said. In a statement, Tim Cook said Apple “could have sold many more” with a greater supply.

The Galaxy Note 4 was originally slated for release in October, but its Korean launch is planned to be pushed up to Sept. 26 in response to the Apple sales surge, The Korea Times reported. No word on how this would impact the U.S. market, but the Note 4 is available for preorder in the states, with shipping penned to begin Oct. 14.

Samsung is known for its larger-display phablets, a fact it recently used to poke fun at Apple in an ad mocking the heftier-than-usual iPhone 6 Plus.

If bigger is better, the Note 4 — with a display of 5.7 inches — edges out the iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5.

On top of that, the Note 4 has a Quad HD resolution and a fast-charging battery, the company says. It also runs on KitKat, Android’s latest operating system, and a 2.7GHz quad-core processor.

The time for the Galaxy S6 is now

The new iPhone is here and it’s amazing. The new Moto X is here and it’s brilliant. But where’s Samsung? The Korean company that still sells the most smartphones worldwide seems to be off in the corner, doodling on its Galaxy Note 4 and muttering under its breath about how it invented the big-screen smartphone. Samsung can feel justifiably proud for showing the way, but its lead has been undermined by its American competitors who can now claim to have the two best phones on the market. A response is called for, and it must be something more substantial than sharp-tongued ads, it should be something corporeal that people can buy. A Galaxy S6, perhaps.

Samsung is alone among Android phone manufacturers in being able to turn a consistent and reliable profit from the venture. Motorola makes awesome handsets, but keeps bleeding money. Sony just put a $1.7 billion price on its failure to develop a legitimate mid-range phone portfolio, and HTC is reeling so badly that breaking even is now considered a financial success. LG is doing merely okay. The point about Samsung is that this company has figured out how to make the most out of a very tricky market and deserves credit for a series of correct decisions that have earned it its current position.

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The problem now is that faster-moving competitors are making Samsung’s offerings appear inadequate, disjointed, and behind the times. At the moment, the most attractive Samsung phone is the Galaxy Alpha, the most durable and versatile Samsung phone is still the flagship S5, and the most advanced and capable Samsung phone is the incoming Note 4 (or its near-identical sibling, the Note Edge). So if I walk into a store today and say, give me Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 6, which of the three would you offer me? There’s no obvious and satisfying answer. Granted, the Note 4 matches up well against the iPhone 6 Plus, but for all the praise both devices have received, they will not be either company’s best selling device. Samsung needs a Note 4 mini to go up against the iPhone 6 regular.

The 4.7-inch Galaxy Alpha is intended to play the role of iPhone 6 party spoiler. It’s as well designed and good looking a Samsung phone as there’s ever been, but is compromised on the inside. Its battery is almost a third smaller than that of Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact (which is roughly the same size), and the Galaxy S5’s waterproofing and microSD memory expansion are both lost in the translation to a smaller and thinner device. The Galaxy Alpha also can’t record video at 240fps like the iPhone 6 can. The new super slow motion video in the upgraded iPhones is just part of an excellent new camera system that sees Apple grabbing the spec lead in a way that makes a real difference.

Beyond the imperative to respond to refreshed high-end competition, Samsung would also do well to simply shift its annual upgrade cycle. Every year, the next big Galaxy handset is introduced around March and on sale sometime in April or May. Every year, the biggest sales and revenues from electronics are made in November and December in the buildup to the gift-giving season. As good as Samsung’s mobile strategy has been so far — and as many Galaxy S devices as the company has sold — it’s never been optimal to have a half-year-old flagship phone competing with newer and shinier competition. And now things are even more muddled thanks to the existence of the prettier Alpha and the upgraded Note.

I want the beautifully crafted 4.7-inch body of the Alpha together with the new camera, long-lasting battery, and display excellence of the Note 4. To put it another way, I want an iPhone 6 running Android and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sony comes closest with the Xperia Z3 Compact, the Moto X is in the vicinity but has grown too large without improving its camera enough, and LG and HTC refuse to sincerely compete at this size. For all the scorn Samsung has received for copying the iPhone, a great deal of its success has actually been built on being a technological leader — whether it be in chipsets, displays, or battery technology. All I’m asking of the company now is to bring them all together into one reasonably sized device. It’s okay to follow Apple’s lead if that means an awesome and uncompromised phone for those of us who prefer using Android.

It’s been a long time since a Samsung flagship phone could be shown to be unequivocally better than the competition. With the big Android L update coming up and the new iPhone threat already here, isn’t now the perfect time for Korea’s foremost electronics maker to reassert itself as the king of Android?

11 Surprises About The iPhone 6 And 6 Plus

With the dawn of a new iPhone comes the feeling that you’re living in the dark ages until you upgrade. So you’ve done it. You ignored the reasonable part of your brain that said, “Wait twelve more months and get a cheaper phone when it’s in contract! What are you doing you insane fool? Don’t you remember how you’re late on rent and Big Tom’s going to mess you up?” Big Tom can wait. Here are some surprises about your brand new device.

1. It’ll make your old phone feel tiny.

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Whether you got an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus, they’re both going to feel comically large in comparison to your old iPhone. There are obvious benefits to this: more room for typing, more icons on the home screen and a bigger screen for watching low-resolution cat gifs. The iPhone 6 should still fit comfortably in your front pants pocket, but the 6 Plus and skinny jeans probably aren’t going to be best friends, so it might be a good idea to book time with your tailor.

2. The power button moved.

There’s nothing more humbling than buying a pricey new gadget and not being able to turn it on. The power button, which, since the dawn of time, has been on the top of the iPhone, is now on the side. But this is a good thing, because you can turn it off and on without having to shift your hand to tippy top of your now-giant phone.

3. It’s super tall, but there’s a trick around that.

The power button isn’t the only thing that was redesigned with the giantness in mind. If you’re holding either version of the iPhone 6 in one hand, a bunch of the icons at the top will be out of reach of your thumb. But not for long! If you double-tap the Home button (don’t click it, just tap it), the upper icons will shift within reach. This is the closest you’ll ever get to a Go Go Gadget Thumb.

4. It’ll last.

Battery issues tend to plague new devices, but it seems the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hold their own. Don’t plan on going away for a long weekend without a charger, but you should be able to go about 36 hours without a plug. Which, these days, is the best you can usually hope for from a phone.

5. Your dog looks insane in super slow motion.

Slow-motion video was introduced with the iPhone 5S, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus amp things up with the ability to shoot EVEN SLOWER. If you don’t think this is useful, you clearly haven’t seen a video of your dog drinking water at super slow motion.

6. It knows what you’re going to say.

The larger screens of the new iPhones do make it a lot easier to use the touch-typing system, but to speed things up even more, the newest version of iOS 8 introduces predictive typing. Based on which words you frequently type, suggestions will pop up on the keyboard as you’re half-way through a word. It’ll even know if you’re typing to a friend or your boss and suggest more or less formal language, depending.

7. It’s moderately more beach-friendly.

Using a cell phone on a sunny day can be pretty awful. Apple clearly knows this because they added a new screen polarizer to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which makes it more visible in sunlight. Sand and saltwater, however, remain your new phone’s mortal enemy.

8. If you get a 6 Plus, things will look weird for a little while.

As we’ve discussed previously, the iPhone 6 Plus is freakin’ huge. The bigger screen makes browsing sites easier, and Apple did include an scaling program to smooth out the rough edges of older apps, but many app (like Kindle) won’t look quite right (i.e. a bit blurry) until the apps are updated to natively support the 6 Plus. So no, your eyesight isn’t going bad.

9. Quick searches.

Nerdy protip: You can search things super fast in the newest version of Safari just by typing the name of a site, followed by a space, followed by a topic. So “MTV Rihanna” will get you listening to “Monster” in no time flat.

10. The camera’s pretty damn powerful.

While the iPhone 6 Plus will edge out the iPhone 6 in image stabilization, both cameras are a big step up from past generations and allow for some pretty incredible shots. Case in point: Check some incredible photography taken in Iceland using both cameras.

11. It’s still not quite finished.

Even after you’re well-acquainted with your new iPhone, you should know that it’ll continue to evolve. There are a few features that haven’t turned on quite yet. The big one: Continuity. This lets you share your browser sessions and documents from your phone to your computer and back again (hopefully killing the need to do annoying things like emailing yourself to get files from your phone).