You gotta admit it: Opening up a new iPhone brings a certain excitement. There’s a prospect of possibility, of new beginnings. Even if you intend to protect your iPhone with a case, there are those first few minutes when it’s shiny, spotless, free of fingerprints or nicks—a gorgeous thing.
This chapter is all about getting started, whether that means buying and setting up a new iPhone, or upgrading an older model to the new iOS 8 software that’s described in this book.
Each year’s new iPhone model is faster, has a better camera and screen, and comes packed with more features than the previous one. Still, “new iPhone” doesn’t have to mean the iPhone 6 ($200 with a 2-year contract) or 6 Plus ($300). You can still get an iPhone 5s for $100, or the 5c free (with contract).
In any case, once you’ve chosen the model you want, you also have to choose which cellphone company you want to provide its service: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint. Each has something to offer.
Verizon has the best U.S. cellular coverage, and by far the most 4G LTE (high-speed Internet) areas. Most Sprint plans include unlimited Internet use, which is a rare perk these days. AT&T’s high-speed Internet networks are faster than anyone else’s. T-Mobile’s plans cost the least in many ways (free texting and Internet when you’re overseas; no 2-year contract; they’ll pay off the early termination fee if you switch from a rival carrier), but its phone network is the smallest. ...