I’ve had my iPhone 5 for less than a week, and so far, I’m really glad I upgraded from my old iPhone 4. I will admit, there are still a few annoyances, such as having to buy adapters to get my iPhone 5 to connect with my existing equipment.
But there are several new features that I absolutely love. In fact, I believe that these new features will help any small business owner get more accomplished from the palm of their hand than ever before.
Note that some of these features are part of iOS6, which can also be installed on older iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch devices.
Here are the top 10 features that I think small business owners will benefit from the most:
1. The Larger and Brighter Screen
The 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 lets you see a lot more information on the screen at once.
For example, in the mail app, I am now able to preview nearly six emails at a time instead of four.
And the display is now 18% brighter than the display on the iPhone 4S. But while the display improvement is certainly nice, the larger screen size is what I like even better.
2. Faster Network Speed
The iPhone 5 has built-in wireless LTE technology that connects to faster networks. This makes email downloads and web browsing so much faster. Most pages and emails load almost instantly.
I also like the fact that Safari has a Save For Later feature that actually saves the pages for offline viewing. This is great for people like me who travel a lot because I can read those downloaded pages while my phone is in flight mode.
3. Improved Speakers / Audio
The iPhone 5 now has three microphones, and noise cancelling technology. I’ve already noticed an improvement in calls that I’ve placed while on speakerphone. The audio quality is also better now when playing music through the speakers.
And if you prefer to use your headphones, then I have good news for you. Apple also included a new design for the headphones. The headphones are more comfortable than before, and fit in your ear much more naturally. They also come with a nice plastic carrying case.
4. Improved Camera
There is an improved camera that has better HDR capabilities and faster picture taking speeds. The camera also now supports panoramic photos up to 240 degrees.
This isn’t new with iOS6, but I also love the fact that my iPhone 5 also allows me to take a picture from the power on screen before entering my password or finger swipe (so I don’t lose the opportunity to capture an important photo opportunity).
5. FaceTime Over Cellular
You can now use FaceTime over a cellular connection, and not just WiFi. This is also great for business owners who travel a lot like I do. From now on, I will be able to talk to my family over FaceTime without having to find a WiFi hotspot.
Note that with AT&T, you have to sign up for one of their new data share plans before the FaceTime over Cellular feature will work.
When I switched over to the share plan that enabled this, I found out that it also allows my iPhone 5 to serve as a hotspot for my laptop and other devices. So that’s an added bonus.
6. Improved Email App
The email app has been improved in several ways to make you more efficient in responding to important emails. For example, there is now a VIP email folder where you can see all of your most important messages in a single list.
This VIP folder will make it so much faster to respond to the most important clients or colleagues first, before you weed through the emails of much lower priority.
Although it’s not new with iOS6, I also love the dictation you can do right within email, notes, and other apps. That feature was added with iOS5. You just hit record on the keyboard and start talking, and then press done. What you said will appear on the screen a few seconds later.
I dictated several emails, notes, and text messages this week using this feature, and it worked great. The accuracy was amazing, and it saved me a ton of time.
7. More Calling Options
You now have a lot more control over how to handle incoming calls. You can decline the call but send a pre-defined text message to that person, or you can add a reminder to call them back later.
8. Deeper Facebook and Twitter Integration
You can access Facebook and Twitter from numerous apps on your iPhone 5 and post status updates with just a few clicks.
9. Passbook App
The Passbook app allows you to keep various tickets all in one place. You can search for Passbook-enabled apps in the App Store.
You can then start keeping your boarding passes, movie tickets, and numerous other types of tickets inside your Passbook app for easy retrieval later. The bar codes for these tickets can be scanned right from your iPhone.
In fact, Passbook works based upon time and location too. So your airline ticket can automatically appear when you arrive at the airport. This can save you from searching through your briefcase or purse for your paper ticket.
10. Improved Version of Siri (Your Virtual Assistant)
Siri now understands more questions than ever before. She can help you with finding a good restaurant, sending an email to someone, adding a calendar reminder, and so much more.
My 7-year-old daughter was playing around with Siri earlier this week and said: “Siri, I love you”.
Guess how Siri responded back to her?
Siri said “I’ll bet you say that to all your Apple products”.
That was hilarious. Some engineer at Apple sure thought that one through, and should get a bonus for adding humor to my life.
So even though I’m still annoyed by the fact that I have to buy a bunch of adapters to get my iPhone 5 to work with my existing equipment, I really love the phone overall.
The iPhone 5 will help me and other small business owners be far more productive, especially when traveling or on the go.
If you’re someone who wants to make money from iPhone apps or have an app created for your business, then make sure you click here to check out the special iPhone report that Jynell and I created on the topic.
*Originally published as Issue # 128 – October 2, 2012