iPhone 5C (specs III):

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The iPhone 5C is a slightly overweight iPhone 5 with a plastic body, larger battery and a slightly lower price tag. If anything it looks to be a bit of a hard sell on paper – but with iOS 8.1 on board, there’s a litany of places where it might excel. As well as sporting an all new form factor the iPhone 5C also launched with Apple’s updated mobile platform, iOS 7, and has since been updated to iOS 8. The iOS 7 actually made its way onto the likes of the iPhone 5 and 4S a couple of days before the 5C went on sale, but along with the iPhone 5S it was the first handset to actually ship with the new operating system. iOS 7 was arguably the biggest overhaul Apple has given its mobile software since its inception in 2007. iOS 8.1 has brought further improvements and a few bug fixes, but it’s not a major leap and it looks much the same as iOS 7.

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If anything the bright new iOS suits the colorfully clad iPhone 5C more than the iPhone 5S which sports three rather muted shades of grey, more grey and gold and when the user tends to fire up the new 5C they’ll note Apple has already set up a color-matched background to tie the whole package together. Already this color deception has been noticed on Windows Phone devices where the live tiles of the home screen are set to match the color of the handset – and it’s a nice touch which makes the hardware and software feel more connected.

In addition, there’s also a camera app quick launch option on the lock screen in the bottom right corner. All you need to do is to just place a finger on the camera icon and drag up to launch yourself straight into the redesigned application and you are done. Starting at the lock screen and you’ll immediately realize that the iPhone 5C is running a new version of iOS, with the famous slide-to-unlocked bar replaced with a simple text prompt. It’s a far more understated approach and if you have a pin set up. There’s no Touch ID fingerprint scan here and then the swipe will take you to a numeric keypad which demands your secret combination before allowing you access to the handset.

If you have used an Android handset before, then it is quite possible for you to get disappointed that Apple still hasn’t done anything to implement more quick launches on the lock screen. You still have to go through the unlock routine to access anything else. Once you are past that stage you’re taken to the home screen which is still just the first page of your app list, with the same side scrolling motion required to flip through the pages. Your standard options of dragging and dropping apps onto one another to create folders and the pull down notification bar persists, although with some slight updates. The notification bar has been tweaked by Apple and now includes two tabs in the pull down panel; today and notifications. Also, it is quite fascinating to note that you have been given the “Today” tab, which displays the weather, reminders, any calendar entries for the day and stock information.

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Nick Barnett

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