7/29/2008

So, how do you really feel about your iPhone?

Over a year ago, I posted my reaction to the newly announced iPhone. I was incorrect in a couple of the details (GPS and pricing) at the time, as well as about when my Sprint contract was up (it was actually a year longer than I thought). So, sadly, I skipped version 1.

But no more. Version 2 is out, and Uberjam and I were first in line to get one (well, OK, 39th in line, but close enough). Behold:

iPhone


It really is awesome - I feel like I'm living in the future. :) The attention to detail in this UI goes beyond anything I've ever seen. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn great. Here are the ups and downs:

Ups:
  • I've found myself listening to a TON more music than I was before, simply because I don't have to worry about listening for the phone. When you're listening to music and you get a call, the music automatically fades out and pauses so you can answer the call. Then, when you're done, it automatically un-pauses and fades back up. That's a small thing, but it makes me more likely to be listening to music all day long, b/c it really doesn't get in the way.
  • The headphones have a mic (so you can talk on the phone without taking them out) and a little squeeze control to pause your music or skip to the next track. That's really nice when you're running or something, no fumbling with the controls.
  • There are a ton of apps in the app store, many free; and you can also basically elevate iPhone web apps to nearly full app status by putting an icon on the home screen, which means that many more are already available (google cal, bloglines, remember the milk, etc.)
  • Syncs to google contacts, which is huge for me. I wrote an export from my self-created contacts database (with thousands of listings - basically, everybody I've ever met in my life) into Google, and from there it just syncs to the iPhone when you dock it.
  • GPS will (theoretically) enable very cool new friend locating & sharing apps. I look forward to trying this at ACL, SXSW, etc. Time will tell which of the location apps (Loopt, Whirl, etc.) will be the platform of choice.


Downs:
  • BATTERY. The battery does not last long enough on this thing, even from day one. I'm having to recharge at least once in the middle of every day. That's not acceptable - at a minimum, it needs to be able to go full tilt for a whole day and recharge at night. Fail on that, Apple.
  • No 3rd party push notifications, YET - though that's supposed to be coming in the fall with the next version of the SDK. That means that for now, it can't give me push notifications of new emails - but honestly, that's OK. I don't really need to be pinged by every email.
  • No ability (that I've found) to use different outgoing aliases for emails.
  • A few apps that aren't there that I wish were: Google cal sync to iphone cal, native Flickr uploader, remote terminal / ssh app. But I'm sure they'll come soon, with many I haven't even thought of yet.
  • Sometimes the GPS just doesn't seem to work, even when I'm outside on a clear day. What's up with that? At the very least, I'd like it to give a status screen with more info, besides just waiting with no indication of whether it's getting a signal, etc.

On balance, definitely psyched about it.

And now I promise not to talk about my iPhone anymore.

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