Tag Archives: cell phone

One Year with the iPhone

I’m short by about a month, but who is counting.  iHave (har har) the iPhone 3G which is the second generation iPhone.  So far, I have been reasonably satisfied with AT&T’s coverage finding only a few places where it either is not great or does not work.  But those places don’t matter.

I can’t say I’m a huge “iPhone Application” person, and I use it for phone calls, email, some web surfing, limited music, and odd amusement (like tetris…).

Of course, I need to passingly gripe that Linux hackers haven’t found a way to talk to the iPhone yet.  I can’t even get it to be recognized by a Windows VM running under Linux.  Boo!  But I have my work machine which runs Windows, therefore iTunes, and all can be as well as it can be.  I want to note, for those who might misunderstand, that I don’t hold this as a fault of the phone.  The protocol of talking to the phone is pretty clearly proprietary and Apple is at their discretion about sharing it — they choose not to, and that’s their business.  Thus far, Linux hackers have been able to keep up with the iPod protocol changes, but there is something special about the iPhone that hasn’t been figured out yet.  This digression shall now detour back to the main topic…

As a phone, it has been okay though better than any I have had in the past.  The only significantly missing feature is voice dialing which is now in the iPhone 3GS.  I find the controls to be reasonably easy to use when driving, so even though doing so is “bad driving”, it isn’t like groping around with a flip-phone or similar.  Perhaps my only complaint is the big red “End Call” button which I so often mistake for “mute”.  I suppose that is muting after a fashion…

As an email device, it has been pretty darn good, especially with the 3.x version of the iPhone OS.  The addition of being able to rotate the screen on any screen, and highlight, copy, cut, and paste text is absolutely great.  I like the full screen view, with the virtual keyboard popping up only if I’m composing a message; furthermore, being able to rotate the screen makes composing messages much better than before.

As a web browser, it is tolerable.  I think the slow speed is more a product of the graphics and script heavy sites that are built now.

As a music player, I find the quality to be better than my iPod.  I like the cover browser, so that easily entertains me when I look for music.  I recently upgraded the radio in my car and specifically chose one that works with the iPhone and the union of the two is pretty nice.

I haven’t really dug into any apps that have revolutionized my life.  So I have little to say there.

At this point, given all that, I have to wonder if keeping it past my contract (another year) is worth the expense.  While the service is for business, the cost of it still offends me.  As a device it is decent, but AT&T is making it quite pricey to make it worth the cost.

This is the kind of thing Apple does really well, in my opinion.  The iPod was a revolution in portable MP3 players, and I think their advances, particularly with the iPod Touch, have been leaps ahead of everyone else.  The iPhone set the bar for what a smart phone really should be, and everyone else is playing catchup.  I believe others will catchup, so it will be very interesting to see what is on the market next year.  Of course… it will also be very interesting to see what kind of extortion the cell phone companies will be asking for the privilege of Internet access via a smart phone.