5.5 EdTechie Reasons Why I'll Buy the iPhone 6 Plus

E-mail, learning, books, news, MOOCs, and video.

September 11, 2014

It feels sort of good to be excited by a new consumer technology.  Hasn’t happened in a while.

The iPhone 6 Plus, with its 5.5 inch screen, has me ready to plunk down some serious dollars for the following reasons:

Reason #1 - Typing E-Mail: 

Is your primary e-mail machine your computer, tablet or laptop?  I tend to read more e-mail on my iPhone, and compose more e-mail on my laptop.  My thumbs are too fat for the size of my current iPhone screen.  My hope is that the 5.5 inch display will mean a more generous keyboard and a better mobile typing experience. 

Reason #2 - Mobile Learning: 

Today’s mediocre LMS mobile experience is a continuing source of irritation.  The problem is not mobile consumption, but mobile production.  A small screen, and the lack of a physical keyboard, make it difficult to actively engage with the LMS mobile apps.  The larger 5.5 screen will, I hope, prove a game changer in our ability to create new discussion and blog posts while mobile. 
I’m not talking about long paragraphs.  But shorter posts should be possible.  I’m also hoping that the larger screen makes mobile low-stakes quizzing easier to handle.  

Reason #3 - Kindle Book Reading:

So I’m done buying paper books.  Or I should say I buy lots of paper books, but they are not for me.  My wife and kids are sticking to dead trees.  I tease them about churning their own butter.  They are not amused.  

Having sold my soul to Jeff Bezos, all my books are rented (we don't really own our Kindle books) from Amazon.  The upside of soul selling my soul to Jeff Bezos is that I read many more books, and I pay less for each book I buy.  (Although of course those of you wise enough to retain your soul and get books from your public or academic library pay considerably less).  

The Kindle books I buy I read either on my Kindle Paperwhite (at home) or on my iPhone (everywhere else).  A 5.5 screen should make reading on the iPhone a much more pleasurable experience.

Reason #4 - News Reading:

The screen where I get almost all my news is my iPhone.  My computer browser surfing has dramatically dwindled in recent years.  If I’m on my computer I’m usually writing (including e-mails), the iPhone is for consuming.  

The NYTimes iPhone app is, far and away, the best app on the planet.  I actually prefer reading the NYTimes on the iPhone.  For many years I took great pleasure in the ritual of the paper newspaper.  No longer.  The offline capabilities and the user interface of the NYTimes iOS app has surpassed the paper reading experience.

My Inside Higher Ed reading has also been moving from the computer / browser to the iPhone.  I like the web version of IHE better than the app, as IHE formats very nicely with a mobile browser.  

The mobile Twitter apps is also really good.  I never tweet from my iPhone, but I’ll read other people’s tweets and follow the links.

Reason #5 - Mobile MOOCs:

My preferred MOOC platform is the iPhone.  When I MOOC I want to lean back. I’m a promiscuous MOOC enrollee and video viewer.  Seldom do I attempt assignments or contribute to discussions.  A bigger iPhone screen will make MOOC consumption all the more pleasurable. 

Reason #5.5 - Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video:

Why would I prefer a small screen for video?  Wouldn’t Sons of Anarchy look better on a 70 inch flatscreen than an iPhone.  Probably.  But I watch my videos in short spurts.  10 minutes here, 20 minutes there.  I don’t want to commit too much time to my videos.  I’ll watch for a few minutes in bed or on the coach.  

Ever since our family gave up cable or broadcast TV the upstairs tube seldom gets watched.  We have a Roku hooked up, but it mostly stays idle.  Video is personal, and my iPhone is my go-to video screen.  A bigger 5.5 screen will make the outlaw biker adventures from Sons of Anarchy that much more exciting.

Do you plan to upgrade to the iPhone 6 Plus?


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