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iPhone Musings

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Alright, So I have an iPhone. Here are some thoughts. I don't feel like putting in a full review but will answer questions as they appear. (Get the 8GB, as the files add up way faster than I was expecting)

Setting up an account with ATT through iTunes:
(Or rather replacing an existing phone)
One word, painless. Maybe two words, painless and easy. OK, Ok, it was straightforward, with all of the terms right there. Definitely not like Cingular or ATT plans of old or outside of iPhone. More like a sprint plan but even simpler if you can image. (Sprint fair and flexible plans, i personally feel are the most straightforward.) All I had to do was pay 20 buck a month extra to replace a line on the family share plan with the iPhone and that was it. the 20 bucks gives unlimited internet, mail etc. I haven't check to see if this allows the iPhone to be used as a modem through bluetooth yet though.

Screen:
Bright, beautiful, pixel dense. Speaks for itself. The only phone in the same price range that has a nice screen comparable is the treo 650 and beyond but the treo screens are 160 pixels less in height. Doesn't make much difference on the home screen but when viewing photo albums etc. the iPhone is in it's element.

Accelerometer:
Glitchy. Not as responsive as my Wiimote so sometimes I have to rotate the phone and then re-rotate it to get it to kick in and flip the screen. I have also had it where it flipped the screen too late and went to horizontal mode when I was holding it vertically. Weird.

Syncing contacts:
Flawless and relatively quick

Syncing Music:
Much slower than an iPod
Video I haven't tested yet because I am only allowed to have one iTunes library synced to the phone at one time!? My videos are on my MacPro in my room and my music is on my aluminum G4 powerbook. Temporary issue at the moment but many people have different libraries on different computers and so this issue is bothersome.
Only let's you sync music playlists or all music, not individual songs.
NO DRAG AND DROP of things from itunes to your phone, only through the sync button in the iPhone area in iTunes.

Syncing Calendar:
Can not sync, it crashes everytime.

Syncing Photos:
Prepare to have a few minutes to spare if you have a large library but the wait is worth it once loaded into the phone.

Photo Album:
Almost perfect. Beautiful transitions. Works like expose, resolution is slightly off when in motion but when in focus the transition is almost seamless. Flipping is mostly spot on but as I say, the accelerometer isn't tuned like the Wiimote. What would be nice is if there was a way to scroll quickly without continuously sliding the finger along the side. Perhaps I am just not used to backing out of the album to re-adjust my album location and then start swiping around the images again.

User Intuitiveness:
Seems a little clunky compared to the buggy Palm OS in treo and other handhelds. Usually I give Apple top honors so perhaps, again, I am not used to the interface yet but some things seem to take more time then I would expect. No examples yet as I don't feel like remembering them but if you ask for specifics later I'll try to spend some more time looking for the subtleties If coming from anyother phone then the top Nokias, maybe the LG prada, and especially the treo line, then you will be in a new world of bliss. I personally think that the windows mobile phones still have a ways to go and that all non-smart phones are worthless in terms of functions.

Typing:
Let me preface by saying that I am very used to typing on a screen with my treo 650 and that I was looking forward to getting rid of the hard keypad. Well, typing on the iPhone WILL REQUIRE some practice! One finger typing with a pointed index finger is fine but thumbs or large fingers will have some issues. Autocorrect is ok in emails but not in URLs, peoples names, song names, etc. etc. Also, there is no way, from what I saw, to have all of the funcitons that the other type masters (treo and blackberry) provide such as special characters, permanent caps lock, multiple (alt) special characters per letter. etc. etc.

Reception:
Poor. Sorry, but there is no way around this. We have 2 phones on the cingular network in my house, 1 razor and 1 el cheapo. Both get poor 1-2 bars in the house. iPhone - Zero Bars. Zip, Zilch, Zero, Nadda, anywhere in the house it always says - no service. So, this is a chink in the armor if you ask me.

Edge:
From my limited experience (very limited) using it on the darn road in front of the house to get reception, which somehow goes to 3 bars and an E for edge just 50 feet from my house! I thought the speed to be excruciatingly slow. I mean it, the speed was as slow if not slower than my treo 650 which does not have high speed internet capabilities. I'll update later, if I remember, to give a more realistic and accurate account of internet throughout the city (Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill areas of NC).

WiFi:
Reception is also horrendous. I have two apple base stations in my house and have max bars pretty much everywhere inside. iPhone...1 bar. 2 bars if I am lucky. I wonder if I got a bum phone? Anyway, the Nintendo Wii in the house had no issues getting on the network. The iPhone - no go. This is the process, click any internet needing app, wifi pops up, select a wireless network. I select mine, type in the password, and it puts the little apple rotating thing (not the beachball but the startup one) up for a half a second and then boom, the password box pops up again. I have tried probably 50 times at all locations near and far to the base stations as well as checked the base stations themselves (hardware and software). The iPhone will just not connect to my network which is an Apple 802.11 g (b compatible).

Home screen:
For some reason - I don't like it but I may just put this to beginners learning curve. Blackberry was an easier learn for me and I don't like blackerry. Treo was hand in glove for simple. iPhone, it is hard to say. The icons for sms, calendar, youtube etc seem differentiated enough but I have a much quicker learning curve to adjust to apps on other phones. I don't want to chalk it up to iPhone just yet though as I have only used this phone for a few very tired hours last night and less than 20 minutes today.
Going through notes though, like for a to do list which is how I personally use most notes on phones, is much more painful then on Treo. In iPhone, you need to hit a plus button on the top right to add a new notes doc. then you need to go between notes pages (with a nice page flipping effect like in keynote) using a small arrow button on the bottom left and bottom right of the screen. No way to see a one line title or graphic image of multiple notes pages at the same time from what I can tell. If you are a heavy notes taker like me, then you may want to request Apple add some nicities to the notes program for you or consider a different phone ...or just use a note pad lol.

Feel:
the weight feels the same as my treo 650. the pocket feel is much much better for the iPhone. So sleek and slim. What I worry about though is dropping it. Not because it feels flimsy or heavy but beacuase it feels easy to drop. The treo, despite its bulk, seems to fit in my hand well. I haven't tried any motorola q or blackjack but imagine that they may be like the iPhone. Because the iPhone is so thin but also nice and wide (wide in a good way) it seems almost like it wants to pop out of my hand when holding it. Hard to explain maybe, go try and get your hands on one to see what I mean. It is probably just a worry more than anything though.
The glass seems strong but I can't see really, it is so thin and flat that the glass is very flush to the phone, no way to see how thick and therefor strong it may be. Not like Gen 1 iPod with the ultra protective plastic but then it isn't supposed to be right?
Build quality seems very sturdy. I imagine that this baby can withstand a lickin and keep on tickin but we'll have to wait on youtubers to show us the truth. Anyway, I really enjoy the phones feel, size, shape, etc.

Camera:
Pretty awesome camera considering the limited megapixel ability. Low light isn't too bad in terms of noise. No video functionality though.

iPod features:
Just like a flash iPod really, super fast to respond, very nice. Coverflow is great. Interface is great.

Summary:
A bit slower than an iPod for syncing music but everything else regarding music interaction and playback great.
More limited in terms of what and how you can sync than an iPod
Photo Albulm viewer rocks.
Reception/internal antenna is mediocre for cell signal and wifi
Accelerometer pales to the Wiimote but works good enough
Feels great physically
Screen is tops
Interface may or may not be awesome. It is bliss compared to any non smartphone but Treo and Blackberry don't have a lot to worry about yet. (might be just a learning curve thing but Treo and Blackberry seem a bit easier to use and feel less limiting or restrictive in terms of what you can do when futzing around playing with apps)
Keyboard requires learning for anything more than a single index finger
Internet is slow
Speed of phone is great though. Feels not as responsive as when the Treo 650 is flying through apps but the Treo is rarely flying through apps as it tends to get bogged down and buggy. So overall it feels faster than Treo. Don't know about newest blackberry speed to compare.


Would I buy it for myself? (I bought this for my gramps and he loves it so far - 86 years old by the way)
No, probably not. I would stay away from ATTs network. I think verizon has the best network but they are all snakes in suites and lock down so much into their terrible services like proprietary music downloads, no or limited bluetooth etc. I really really don't like Verizon as a business but they provide a great network. Sprint is second in my book for network and I have always had great dealings with them - currently I have unlimited email, internet, etc plus 500 minutes all for 29.99 total and it works everywhere I need it to. T-Mobile rocks in terms of trying to innovate and from what I hear offers great customer service but I don't know about their network. ATT may have the fewest dropped calls but they have by far the most poor qualitiy, just barely hanging in there calls that I have every come across.

If the iPhone was on sprint, I still probably wouldn't get it and would instead get the latest treo (which placed some very nice buttons that used to be near the top of the keypad to the bottom. geniuses! (extreme sarcasm) despite the fact that they seem to be going through a lot of internal problems with mergers, spin offs, poor innovation lately etc. as I feel the Treo is still tops in terms of smart phones. Blackberry 8830 would be my second choice and after I test that one out I may even like it more than the Treo.

I would wait for iPhone 2.0 coming from the Treo World. Coming from any other world then uber expensive smartphones then the iPhone Rocks. For me, it is just too buggy now. Of course, the iPhone has the benefit of most changes being allowed via software since everything is touch so it can improve a lot and probably will over the next two months.

Anyway, no flames and take this review with some salt as I have only had the phone now for less than one day.
post #2 of 5
Very interesting.

You hit (or tried to) all the right buttons.

Perhaps we can hear from someone who actually bought the iPhone for themselves.

Here's another part of the rev1 reaction plan"

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000896.html

cheers.
post #3 of 5
Moving to forum that is intended for this, as first thread clearly states.
--Johnny
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--Johnny
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, technically the sticky said that this forum was intended for those who had questions about the iPhone. I had a musing

Just giving you a hard time Lundy. I skipped over the first thread because I saw it was locked. It was my bad for missing it.

Anyway, a minor update on the iPhone usage. I borrowed the phone from my grandfather today for a few hours and reset it. Now I am able to get no service to 1-2 bars in the house rather than just no service. Not quite as good as other phones in the house but it is improved. Who knows, maybe after a software update it will get the same reception as the other phones in house.

The call quality was very good considering the usual gsm background fuzz. I tried it out inside of a cracker barrel for brunch when it was very busy and loud. The person on the other end of the phone said that the background chatter and noise was very minimal. Impressive.

The edge network around highways and downtown Raleigh NC was quite good. Much better than around my house (also in Raleigh). I was able to download maps from google at near wifi speed but videos on youtube were a little bit slower. Still, more than I was expecting. I was able to download the entire Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford with only a few minor hiccups requiring me to wait for more of the video to download before it could be played again. If you are on the Sprint Power network then you will be in for a slowdown.

Wifi now works with full bars in the house as it should. The speed isn't as good in safari when loading pages or youtube for some reason when compared to my other computers on the same network but decent nonetheless.

The picture album does have a way to scroll through pictures fast (I thought it didn't in my first review above) and it is really fast. Much much much faster than my treo 650 could manage. So I now update the picture viewer app review to Flawless.

The user interface is growing on me now and I can manage to find the apps I like more quickly. I still feel the sense of restriction though when compared to Treo functions and apps. It may be the 80/20 rule though and I am just used to having things that I don't need.

The typing is also a quick learning curve. When I played around with typing at first, I began to trust the auto correct feature within minutes because it was so good. The issue was that hitting the right keys was difficult. It came much more easy today. I trust Walt M. in that given a week it will be virtually a non issue. (Virtually because URLs and peoples names may always have some problems though as it is easier to tap the wrong area on a screen than to depress the wrong button.)

The iPhone is growing on me.

Regards
post #5 of 5
The iphone is actually nicer then i thought it would be. I really have only one complaint. I wish i could play a song from my playlist as my alarm. Seems like a pretty easy thing to do. One of those small things that I would notice everyday.
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