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The Apple iPhone 5S, and why you should get a second phone

Wednesday, 11 September 2013 | By Taskmaster

Apple unveilings. They’re just not as surprising as they used to be, back in the good ol’ days.


Even the Apple tragics were already queuing outside their local Apple stores a day or two before the big announcement. At this point, the queues are quite possibly more out of routine than anything else.


For those of you who missed it, Apple announced a new low-cost version of the iPhone – called the 5C – that is basically an iPhone 5 in a range of different coloured plastic casings. There’s also a new upmarket version – which comes with a fingerprint scanner – called the 5S.


The unveiling capped off a big week in tech, during which Samsung debuted an Android smartwatch, LG showed off its new tablet and Sony updated its flagship smartphone.


Of course, this raises the inevitable question: should you run out and get the latest iPhone? Or should you get a shiny new Android smartphone?


Well, if you’re a mobile app developer, or your business depends on a mobile site, the answer is that you should probably do both. Perhaps use one as a work phone and the second one as a pre-paid for personal use.


Now for many, the notion of carrying around both a work and a personal phone will seem like a nightmare straight out of the 1990s.


Some will remember the days of fumbling around in your bag and pulling out both the pre-paid Nokia you used for Snake and personal calls and the work BlackBerry. Say what you will about those old work BlackBerrys, but it’s hard to beat ‘someone else pays’ as a call plan. And kids, if you aren’t sure exactly what a Nokia or a BlackBerry it, ask your grandma!


But wait, some will say, now that BYOD (bring your own device) has turned into the jargon buzzword of the year, you should try to do everything with just one phone! I mean, all the Harvard MBAs and pointy-haired bosses are raving about it! (Of course, it’s not like a jargon buzzword de jour has ever led people to make a bad business decision – like needlessly diversifying their business.)


Well, especially if you’re a mobile app developer, there are really good reasons why you should keep two phones – ideally an iPhone, as well as a second running Android.


The big reason is familiarity. While both iOS and Android are similar enough, as far as touchscreen smartphone operating systems go, there are subtle but quite significant differences between the two and how users expect to use them.


Android users expect to have widgets across their five home screens. Apple users have no time for frivolities like Android-style customisations, large screens or waterproof phones. However, they do expect their iPhone apps to play nicely with their Mac.


And the best way to know how to create a great mobile app for both is to be familiar with both. The best way to do that is to use both regularly.


Oh, and for goodness sake, if you have more than one phone, make sure you use a distinct ringtone for each of them! You don’t want to waste time fussing over two phones because you have that same Ian Dury ringtone on both of them!


Get it done – today!