July 02, 2007

iPhone impressions

I managed to snag an iPhone from an AT&T store near the D.C. Area on Friday. Its a gorgeous device , and I've been playing with it constantly all weekend. I typed 3/4 of this entry with it at the Dulles airport lounge. Here are my initial thoughts:

  1. screen quality and font rendering shine. I can read large blocks of text with ease.
  2. the keyboard takes getting used to. In portrait mode I find that one finger is sufficient, as thumbs tend to be a bit fat. On landscape mode I am typing as fast, if not faster than my BlackBerry. I remember how it took a while for BB users to learn thumb mastery.. This is similar. I can see it eventually becoming aecons nature. The issue, of course, is touch typers are used to looking at the screen, not the keys. iPhone's predictive text takes advantage of this habit, by highlighting the corrections dynamically. Unfortunately, the prediction isn't so smart while you're learning to type, so its still useful to watch the keys to see which you've hit.

  3. no cut & paste is annoying, not a deal-breaker (yet), but if they don't fix it I will be grumbly

  4. I used my phone for around 8 and a half hours yesterday before the battery whined. This was true usage over a 12 hour period, where I took 50 photos with it, played politcal songs on the speaker while outside the White House gates, and surfed on EDGE extremely often
  5. initial accessories suck- the Case-Mate leather belt holster I bought broke within a day. I returned it.
  6. No problems seeing the screen in bright sunlight
  7. weird bugs in Safari -- textboxes don't show scrollbars, and so I can't easily move around the contents and edit a large blog entry, for example. Facebook mostly works, though I can't set status due to the box disappearing immediately. I'm curious how iPhone will affect the whole AJAX thing: it completely destroys the premise that "user will always have a mouse", and makes you rely less on onmouse* events, unless Apple finds better ways to emulate mouse events with the multi-touch.
  8. AT&T is, well, AT&T... I've found the iPhone allows for a-la-carte international roaming immediately (at least for Canada). Buy I can't activate an international roaming discount plan until Monday since that department is closed on weekends. Normally they make you wait 90 days before allowing you to roam, but can make "exceptions" if you run through another credit check. The paranoia of this industry continues to astound... they must have been defrauded one time too many.
  9. call quality is great, no issues there
  10. the video player is made of awesome
  11. I've rarely used MMS as it didn't work right on my BlackBerry for a long time, so I don't miss it

In all, a good experience that I hope will only improve.

Posted by stu at July 2, 2007 07:59 AM