Monday, July 09, 2007

Too cool for myself - my new iPhone!

Me and my iPhone
Here I am 6 months after the announcement touting my new iPhone. When June 29th rolled around, I somehow managed to convince myself that I really didn't need one even though I was in a perfect position to buy, being an AT&T customer already with my current phone contract up. I even considered phones like the Samsung Blackjack and Blackberry Pearl and even a honkingly huge Palm Treo as their prices had dropped significantly. So here are the lame reasons that I finally took the plunge:
  1. My current cell phone was on the fritz, often not receiving calls or making them even though the signal strength was fine, so I needed a new phone anyway.
  2. When I was chatting with a younger friend about looking something up on my Palm, he said "That's so Gen-X".
  3. I was getting annoyed that my iPod couldn't do video and podcasts like Tips from the Top Floor have a mixture of audio and video shows.
  4. George got one on Monday July 2nd.
  5. I got out of work early on Tuesday July 3rd.
Yes, totally lame. Really, it was George that put me over the edge. I kept hearing over IM about it and just couldn't take it anymore. I was lucky that the Apple Store at Rockingham Park in tax-free Salem NH still had stock as stores were running dangerously low on July 3rd.

It took me all of 3 minutes to walk to an Apple borg representative, ask whether they had any iPhones in stock to which they asked, "What size?" and "Would you like 1 or 2?" One quick credit card swipe and $599 later, I had my 8GB iPhone in my hands. A lot easier than getting the Wii. So here's the great:
  1. Simply beautiful design
  2. Wi-fi auto detects and works well (although it managed to "forget" my home encryption key once)
  3. Safari web browser is really nice, especially in landscape mode
  4. Videos are awesome - both video podcasts and the built-in Youtube app work really well
  5. Google Maps app is very cool - walks you through every intersection. It's not GPS, but a close facsimile. I trusted it to bring us to a place we've never been before and it also found a nicer route home from another place.
  6. Gmail at my fingertips - It pulls through the POP access, and if I really need to I can go to Gmail mobile.
  7. Twitter mobile at my fingertips - Unfortunately my fingertips don't extend to work as there is still no signal inside the building (no change there!)
  8. Nice SMS UI with cute bubbles showing who said what.
  9. Visual voicemail seems really cool, but no one's left me any yet...
  10. Remarkably few bugs for a first generation device.
And the not so great:
  1. No Notes synchronization. I heavily rely on my Palm memos as portable memory, and the iPhone Notes app is totally lame. No categories, no sync.
  2. No games!! Hello - wouldn't you think that geeks that buy iPhones need games?!?!?!?
  3. Does not work with Monster Cable's iCarPlay. I knew that my Griffin iTrip wouldn't work, but expected the Monster Cable FM transmitter to. It charged but did not transmit and only played out of the onboard speakers. The iPhone did work with Tom's built-in iPod connection for his Mercedes S550.
  4. No voice memos or voice dial. George actually gave up the ability to dial and talk completely handsfree using his Bluetooth receiver.
  5. No copy and paste. You cannot select text at all! So that means no blogging from the phone, only browsing.
  6. Easy to fat-finger. I've had tons of Twitter updates get mangled because the Go key is too close to 'M' and the backspace key. Plus you need to start in landscape mode to get the landscape keyboard. If you start in portrait and turn the phone, it stays in portrait.
  7. AT&T. I literally spent about 5 hours getting my old number ported to the phone, including a futile trip to an AT&T store (the phone representative sent me after an hour). First they wouldn't port it because it was a business account and the old company had to release the number. Finally I got the account changed to a personal account, but couldn't use the iPhone's SIM card and had to remove my old SIM card and put it into the iPhone. Yikes, it was like delicate surgery (and I did it about 10 times trying to fake it out by reprogramming the new SIM card with my old phone).
  8. GSM noise - My old phone would buzz the car stereo, but this one even buzzes the TV at home. Beep bada beep beep beep!!
  9. No free IM - Gotta use SMS
  10. No categories for contacts. I ported all my Palm contacts into Outlook (not easily performed, but finally managed to do it for free - didn't even have Outlook installed!) and reset all the Categories for my own amusement as they don't show up on the phone.
  11. A small iPod bug - if you select a video podcast from the podcast listings, it will only play the audio not the video. You can only see the video if you select it from the video listings.
Hopefully some of these rumored upgrades will prove true. I'm also excited about hopefully forthcoming Trillian app. If you are an iPhone user, make sure you read the shortcut for getting punctuation into your text. Basically, you hold down the number/punctuation key and slide it over to the character and then it will revert back to the alpha keys. Sliding works with the shift key as well.

1 comment :

Bigqueue said...

Rub it in why don't you! :-)

I'm stuck with my "so yesterday" Verizon FLIP phone and no where to go from here.

Oh well....I'll pass for now. Besides, I like state of the art, but anything less than Rev 1.1 is almost BLEEDING edge on a brand new product.....I'll always wait for at least the first maintinance update of their software.. :-)

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