Apple Fan Corner: The iPhone 5S

apple-iphone-5s-2Tal Norvell/Sun Star Columnist

Feb. 18, 2014

The iPhone 5S has improved features that make life easier for users.

Equipped with a fingerprint identity sensor, fast processor, improved camera, sleek form factor and massive app selection, iPhone 5S continues Apple Inc.’s iconic line of smartphones.

Unlocking the device is simple with the new fingerprint identity sensor. Now users don’t have to hide their iPhone while entering passwords in public, they can just place a finger on the home button.

Apple retail stores display a test app for the scanner, which erases customer fingerprint data after use.  After placing my finger on the home button a few times, the device recognized my fingerprint and put up a green approval sign.

Once unlocked, iPhone 5S unleashes its true power.

Inside the iPhone 5S is a little chip called A7. This tiny square component makes iPhone 5S the first smartphone with 64-bit architecture, according to digitaltrends.com.

What 64-bit does for the user is create a better graphical experience. When playing graphic intensive games the iPhone 5S will produce a more immersive experience on its 4-inch Multi-Touch Retina display.

First unveiled back in 2010 on the iPhone 4, the Retina display on the iPhone 5S still makes text, graphics, photos and video look clear and sharp.

Apple dubbed the display “Retina” because it has a higher pixel density than the human eye can perceive. When looking at the screen it’s hard to notice any bluriness unless a low resolution file is open.

Speaking of retinas, the iPhone 5S design is easy on the eyes. The device is 0.3 inches thick, weighs under four ounces and comes in three colors: space gray, gold and silver.

She’s a beauty of a phone. And yes, by default the iPhone is a “she.”

Personal assistant Siri is controlled through voice recognition. She made her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011.

Holding down the home button brings up the artificial intelligence called Siri. Her voice can be switched to male if preffered.

Siri can complete a range of tasks such as checking the weather, setting reminder alerts, searching for directions or controlling music and other apps.

She’s also fun to mess around with.

“Hey Siri, I love you,” I say.

“That’s sweet, Tal. But it’s not meant to be,” she replies.

Wow, rejected by my own device.

IPhone 5S may not be marriage material, but it has the one of the largest app selections of all smartphones, period.

Apple’s website claims there’s over one million apps on the App Store, and when browsing through the digital store, it’s not hard to believe. They also say there’s 475,000 iPad apps available within that number.

Google rivals that number, claiming to have over one million apps on their Play Store.

A popular free photo and video sharing app on the App Store is Instagram.

IPhone 5S is a good option for Instagrammers as they have access to an eight megapixel camera on the back of the phone which can record video in 1080p Full HD.

The front facing camera has 1.2 megapixels and records 720p HD video, so selfies still look good.

New burst mode, slow motion video and improved video stabilization features add to the iPhone 5S camera experience.

The operating system that manages iPhone 5S is called iOS 7. The software update is a complete overhaul of previous iOS versions, with a new look and new features. It’s available for iPhone 4 and later.

One notable feature of iOS 7 is Control Center.

Swiping up from the bottom of the iPhone screen brings up a fast menu with buttons for turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, music player controls and screen brightness.

The calculator, camera, clock and flashlight functions are also in Control Center.

A few problems with iPhone 5S include its Maps app which has given some users bad directions, user complaints about poor battery life — which Apple admitted is sometimes caused by manufacturing issues — and fingerprint scanners losing accuracy only a few months after purchase.

IPhone 5S comes in storage capacities of 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes. The price ranges from $200-$850 dollars depending on two-year contract status, and whether bought from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile.

Buy the iPhone 5S if you’re in need of a premium quality smartphone with tons of apps.

Pass it up if you’re excited for the iPhone 6 which is rumored for release later this year.

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