July 30, 2007
After about 3 weeks with my iPhone, a lot of people are asking how I like it. I know its the cool thing to do to trash the iPhone, so I'm sure I'll hear it on this one. What's my review? Is it worth the price? Is it as good as the hype? Surprisingly, its even better.
Since no other phone talks to a Mac successfully, that part answers itself - managing my contacts and calendars on my computers and having them match my phone automatically is great. Aside from that, yes, you can get another phone that does the same things (or most of them), but what I underestimated is how easily iPhone does them. Like a Mac, things are intuitive and just make sense, there's no having to figure out where things are or how to do them, they're just there. The email is quick and easy - jpegs are already there. Click on an attachment in an email (like a word document or a pdf) and it opens. Click on a phone number in an email and it calls it. Click on a sender in an email and all their contact info comes up. They keyboard was unexpectedly easy to master. It helps that I happen to watch the keyboard and not what I'm typing - the auto correct/guess feature fixes fairly accurately, so even if my fingers hit a wrong character or two, it corrects itself. One of the best features which I never expected to use as much as I do is the maps. The realtime traffic is handy to have before getting on the road somewhere. And if you want to find the nearest ice cream, for example, or banana republic, just type it in, and they're plotted on the map. One more click takes you to more detailed info - address, phone number, website, etc. When I was in San Francisco, a friend recommended a place for dim sum, but all he could remember was that it was near 9th and Folsom: he didn't know the name or the street it was on. So I called up a map of that area, typed in dim sum, and there it was. One more click took me to the website or called the restaurant. In San Diego last weekend I took a wrong turn and ended up in some other part of town than I meant to be in. I pulled over and plopped in the nearest intersection and I instantly knew where I was. And even little things like seeing the face of who's calling when they call - and good type on a clean and clear screen make it a pleasure to use. Features like YouTube and the iPod work fine too - they're beautiful eye candy, but I don't find myself using either of those a lot. At least not yet.
A lot of the complaints I've heard or read haven't been problems for me. It almost always finds wi-fi, but I don't find the web access all that slow when not on wifi - id say about equivalent to dial-up. To me, thats not bad for a phone. The camera has taken large and nice pictures for me, though I've heard complaints from others. Not having a detachable battery in theory could certainly be a problem, though I've never even gotten to a low battery with mine even with constant use all day long.
Complaints? The speaker-mode isn't real loud. The vibrate isn't real strong. But those are pretty minor. You can find lots of potential advances that software updates may change. Having GPS would make the maps amazing. You can't send a photo in a text message - though you can email them with one click. I'm definitely curious to see where future updates and models take it. And like I said, any phone that could talk to a Mac would have been worth it to me, but this is far beyond what I imagined. And all that smaller than my hand and thinner than a pencil? Yup, ilove.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:55 PM