iPhone after one week(ish)

This is going to sound quite critical so I’ll start by saying that I do really like my iPhone. It’s got one absolutely fantastic feature which I love. But then every other feature is substandard in one way or another.

  • web browser When the iPhone came out in the states a few months back I read numerous blog postings from people who run web sites saying that the browser was usable. This was pretty much all the marketing that the iPhone needed as far as I was concerned.

    The usable web browser is the killer feature. Over the years I’ve had
    various combinations of mobiles, PDAs, cables and what not, and whilst they’ve managed to get the job done for someone who wants to set things up to have website admin available on the hop they’ve all been seriously hacked and sticky taped together solutions. Safari on the iPhone displays regular web pages just fine, and Javascript works too. Fab!

    It works well on my home wifi network, well enough that for simple web browsing it’s easier to pull the phone out of my pocket than to walk to the computer in the next room (possibly just the newness factor, but also the boot time factor if the computer isn’t already up and running). I haven’t had the chance to use it on an Edge network yet but we loaded in some pages over GPRS in the pub and it worked ok.

  • phone This is a secondary feature as far as I’m concerned! If you want a high performance texting phone go somewhere else. There are well documented shortcomings in SMS (no multiple recipients, no forwarding etc), a complete lack of MMS, and no Bluetooth business card function. These are all things I’d use if they were there, and have used in the past, but the browser function is good enough that I’ll compromise on them. They are also all things that I hope Apple will fix with software in the future.

    I’ve barely used the phone to talk on yet. I don’t use my old mobile much to talk on either.

  • apps I’ll write another post about the apps on the iPhone as they all have serious shortcomings. This iPhone really feels like an early adopter version and I presume they were supposed to show off what could be done with the iPhone once third party developers are able to get their hands on the development kit. Except they don’t realy do that very well. Apple, let the third party developers in already!
  • keyboard It’s not bad. That’s probably the best I can say. I’d prefer a stylus and Palm’s original graffiti. The screen is heat sensitive, not just touch sensitive. You need to use your fingers, and nails get in the way. Apparently the idea is that you can type with two thumbs, except I can’t figure that out because the pads of my thumbs are too big or my thumbnails get in the way. Did they try this keyboard out with any women? (I don’t have huge nails or anything out of the ordinary btw, just not ultra short bitten blokey ones.)

    I also don’t much like the auto correct feature. I may have missed something but it only gives you one option to correct with, unlike a predictive text thing on regular mobiles that let you page through until you find the right word. And if you type something that turns out to be a real word by accident you’re out of luck too. Also, backspace key is too easy to mistake for the return key at the moment, that probably just needs more practise. Or more customisation would be good.

I know I’m sounding like I hate it. I don’t, I think it’s lovely. Beautiful, tactile and useful. It just isn’t perfect. It’s a good way better than what has up to now been the best. I just have a huge list of things that could be better. More on that later.

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