Archive for August, 2008

First week with the iPhone 3G

I’ve had my iPhone 3G for a week now. I’ve avoided “smart phones”, instead opting for the traditional flip phone models. My main use of a cell phone has been for voice calls and an occasional text message. So, this posting may be from the viewpoint of a novice smart phone user.

My main motivation in purchasing an iPhone was to reduce the things I carry around with me. I typically carry my keys, wallet, cell phone, and iPod. With the cell phone and music player combined, I am lighter. on my feet. There was one additional need and that was an ability to browse the web. But I didn’t want to be a second class citizen on the web. I wanted to be able to view full web sites and have them look good. Mobile versions of sites were not appealing to me.

At this point, I can say that I am very satisfied with the iPhone. I’ve heard people talk about the “killer app” for mobile devices. I think the iPhone may be it, although I would call it the killer hardware platform.

As a phone it is better than I thought. I almost always use the speaker and had low expectations for the iPhone. Its speakerphone is better than expected. Sound quality is better than the last few cell phones I’ve had. My only wish is that the maximum speaker volume is not loud enough at times. One nifty feature about the phone is its ability to do other things while on a call. I’ve sent email and text messages while on a call.

The iPhone seems to work well as an iPod too. I have two wishes here. First, I’d like an iPhone 3G with more memory. With over 2000 songs and plenty of podcasts, I am nearly out of memory. Fortunately iTunes lets you select what can be downloaded into the phone. Second, I wish iTunes would do a better job of finding the album covers. There is at least one web site that does this, but it is time consuming.

The iPhone is excellent at browsing the web. I have purposely avoided smart phones because I wanted a real web experience. I did not wanted to be limited mobile versions of web sites. Safari provides as good an experience as one can have on a screen so small. The pinching actions allow you to zoom into portions of a web site and moving around is pretty easy. Having multiple browser windows open at once and switching between them is also well thought out.

Just before purchasing the iPhone 3G I had second thoughts based on reports of poor battery life. I believe the battery life is pretty good. Because the device is so capable, I use it a lot more and thus the battery drains more quickly. I probably use the iPhone for two plus hours a day through a combination of calls, text messaging, web surfing and iPod’ing. The battery has not run down on me and I think I could get at least 3 hours of usage from it. This is more than I could get out of my prior cell phones, which I used simply for calls. Sure, I want more battery life, but it is pretty darn good as is.

I would not use an iPhone for activities requiring a lot of typing. Typing on the iPhone or any small device is just to frustrating for me. Having said that, the iPhone is perfect for reading and keeping up to date. In a pinch, the ability to type large amounts of text is there. I think one of the old pen devices, used on the Palms, would make things a lot easier – at least for me.

There are some things that bug me about the phone:

– None of my old accessories work.
– A docking station should be included.
– More volume on the speakerphone.
– I have trouble typing.

Some things that I really like:

– The IMAP/POP3 client is really great.
– Text messaging interface is great. It shows entire conversations.
– Cro-Mag – this game is really fun and uses the accelerometer.

Overall, I think the iPhone is great. It does a great job at the three things I really need: cell phone with speaker, iPod, and web surfing.

August 15, 2008 at 8:11 am Leave a comment


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