Apple has recently released the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad Air, and iPad Mini with Retina display. All these devices complement the company's existing stable of products. So how do you decide what is right for you, and which i to buy?
My personal view - and of course this is very subjective - is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you anticipate using the device for?
- How much can you afford to spend?
- Is size an issue for you?
- How much storage do you need, or can afford to pay for?
If you are going to make calls, send and receive text messages, or perhaps use a GPS application, then an iPhone is essential. The 5S comes with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage. It is equipped with the A7 chip which, to most people, means it runs faster than its predecessors.
The iPhone 5C is slightly cheaper, and comes in a variety of colours with 16GB or 32GB of storage. It is effectively a revamped iPhone 5. Both phones run under iOS 7, Apple's latest software release, with improvements to Siri, its built-in screenreader, VoiceOver, and magnification, Zoom.
If, however, you have enough sight to see the screen, will be sharing it with other family members, or fancy something larger than an iPhone, then you may want to consider one of the iPad family. The latest additions are the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display. The popular iPad 2 has been retained, presumably targeting the education market.
So what do you choose from this little lot? Again, decide what you are going to use it for, and whether you need a bigger screen. The larger iPads are roughly 10 inches, and the Air comes with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage, supporting WiFi and/or cellular. In the latter case, however, the cellular version is more expensive, so you would need to decide whether this is a luxury you can afford.
If you feel the iPad is too big for your needs, the iPad Mini, or new model with Retina display, is certainly a compromise on size with its seven inch screen, and is perhaps more manageable to carry in a bag or briefcase. The iPad Mini with Retina display comes with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage, WiFi and/or cellular. Again, the current iPad offerings run under iOS 7, with Siri, VoiceOver and Zoom features.
The advantage of an iPad or iPad Mini is its longer battery life over an iPhone. If you are going to use your device a lot for music and non-phone or GPS activity, then one of the iPad or iPad Mini devices might be more suitable.
Remember too that the iPod Touch fifth generation is still a popular choice. It comes with 32GB or 64GB of storage, in a variety of colours, and runs under iOS 7. A 16GB model is available with a lower specification, and does not have the same colour choice as the other devices. Essentially, the iPod Touch is similar in size to an iPhone, but does not have the phone component. It does, of course, have Siri, VoiceOver and Zoom functions.
All the above products will work with a docking-station, headphones and Bluetooth, and trust me when I say there is a whole raft of accessories out there to choose from.
Ultimately though, purchasing any Apple product is an expense, so my advice is to try and have some hands-on with the various devices before deciding which one to go for. Personally, I have found all Apple staff - both on the phone and in-store - to be extremely helpful. They are more than happy to turn on VoiceOver or Zoom for you, and answer your questions. If, however, you don't live near an Apple store, or you are unable to travel to one for whatever reason, you can find out what is available online, and order from their website. A refund policy is in place if you feel the device is not suitable for you, and you meet Apple's terms and conditions.