I’m sure that everyone and their dog has made a post about the iPhone. Or several. Even still, here’s mine:
I wanted an iPhone, but waiting in line in the cold for 6 hours (or something) for Halo 2 kind of burnt me out on waiting for releases like that. I figured I might wait until things died down a bit. I called a few AT&T stores, which were all sold out. I had assumed that the Apple stores would be mobbed and didn’t even call them. However, Christian and Kyle rolled up to the Bellevue Square Apple store around 8 PM and had no trouble snagging three 8 GB iPhones. They then came here, like some sort of high-tech-santa-stork-hybrid, delivering my a brand new baby iPhone.
I lucked out and activated mine first, with no issues, having a real working iPhone in a couple of minutes. Christian and Kyle both had delays and had to wait for e-mails to finish their activations. However in about an hour everyone’s iPhone was live.
I’ve been using it since then. I’m going to start with the cons.
- 2.5G – we all knew this was coming. 3G would be great, but honestly the 2.5G is really good. It’s WAY faster than any other EDGE phone I’ve seen. Whether that’s due to AT&T opening up more EDGE timeslots, or if it’s due to a really good iPhone proxy service doing pre-fetching, caching, image scaling, code cleanup, compression, etc… I don’t know. But it’s pretty good.
- No mp3 ringtones. Hopefully this will come soon. In the meantime, Sonar is pretty cool.
- No Mac-iPhone bluetooth services. No file browsing, no syncing, no modem functionality.
- No .Mac syncing. This, combined with the lack of bluetooth sync, is a pain. I’m used to just hitting my iSync button on my laptop when I schedule a meeting, and knowing that it’s now in my phone which is in the other room. Now I have to cable the phone to my laptop anytime I change an appointment or add a contact. Hopefully .mac syncing will come soon.
- Quiet speakerphone. Lots of volume related complaints on the forums, so hopefully this will get addressed. It’s usable, just not when there’s any ambient noise.
- The interface is a little inconsistent, application to application. Some support portrait and landscape modes, some don’t. Some have panels that slide right to left, some don’t. Some search boxes show a list of results updated live below the search box (i.e. type in “Sea” and seattle, wa shows up as a selectable option), others require you to enter the full term and then hit the Search button. Etc… Nothing too annoying, just a little bit awkward.
- Can’t record video. I’d love to be able to record some video and post it up to my blog or youtube or send it to a friend in an MMS.
- No iChat/AIM/MSN/Yahoo. Just SMS.
- It doesn’t work with my Parrot bluetooth system in my car. This is pretty annoying. I LOVE my Parrot system and it’s worked fine with my original RAZR, my V3xx, and my 8525 windows mobile phone. Hopefully either Apple or Parrot will release an update soon.
With all those cons you might be wondering if I’m taking it back. I’m not, and here’s why:
- Sleek, thin, light, stylish, well made device. The best phone I’ve ever held design and construction-wise.
- The huge screen. This factors into a million great experiences.
- Perfect integration to my Mac AddressBook and iCal. I have my life in those two applications, so having them work perfectly with my phone is great.
- The best battery life you can imagine.
- The interface. This covers all the amazing interface things. Having clear large buttons for making calls, in-call actions, everything, is just great. Multi touch is great. Pinch zoom is amazing. Coverflow is awesome. Everything I do on the phone, even just unlocking it feels like a slick harmonious action. Hard to explain.
- Video. I’ve never had a video iPod because the screen is pretty small. The iPhone screen looks great. I’ve loaded up some anime from iTunes, and some new Doctor Who episodes. They look and sounds great. This will make the gym and traveling much more pleasant.
- Maps. The iPhone Google Map application is great. The touch screen interface, with traffic, satellite imagery, directions, etc… are all great. We went on a motorcycle ride yesterday, and I was able to pull up current traffic conditions, directions, and then when we were at Alki beach looking north, I could pull up the map and see where we were looking. Very cool. Turn by turn directions are almost as good as a GPS navigation unit, as long as you know where you are when you start out.
- Safari. The best mobile web expirience I’ve had, hands-down. I’ve had an 8525 3G smart phone. Safari over 2.5G beats the pants off of it. The rendering, zooming, scrolling, form filling out, virtual keyboard, etc… is all so much better. I’ll actually use it.
- Mail. My mail accounts and settings were synced right off my mac so I instantly had access to my main mail accounts (including IMAPS and SMTPS support). The interface is great. I try not to be a slave to my e-mail, but this will let me handle quick responses when needed without pain.
- The whole integrated experience. This is sort of hard to explain, but for instance, yesterday I went to the gym. While on the treadmill I watched an anime episode from iTunes. When I moved onto the weight machines I switched over to listening to some Prodigy (Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned). Walking out of the gym I checked the weather forecast for the day and week. After a shower I checked the traffic map and then traded some SMSs with Russell who we were going riding with later. I made a phone call. Once we were at Alki beach I checked out satalite and map imagery of the land to the north over the water from where we were. I also bookmarked the address of a great bakery we went to, as I knew I’d want to go back sometime. I did all of this on the same slim device that goes in my pocket. The battery bar still showed full.
Anyway, that’s a pretty good rant. I love my iPhone. I hope that some software/firmware updates come out soon that fix the Cons that I listed above. They shouldn’t be hard to fix.
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