A month of iPhone

I’ve had my iPhone for about a month now, so I thought I’d chime in with the rest of the iPhone reviews flooding cyberspace.

I’ve been reading about the various problems people have been having and I’ve got to say that I haven’t experienced these problems yet. I have been updating the software when the updates become available, so perhaps that’s been keeping me clear of the issues.

I live in an area that gets excellent 3G coverage. This past weekend I was in Philadelphia and the 3G coverage was also good with just a couple of exceptions. One thing I did have trouble with was the Maps application in a moving vehicle. I found that if I had my position identified when the vehicle was stopped, I could then track my progress for quite some time. If I stopped Maps and attempted to do this while moving, then Maps had trouble.

I previously had a Windows Mobile “smart” phone. The iPhone is so much better than that. The two just do not compare (so I will). The iPhone starts faster, is more responsive, has better call quality, and is so much easier to use. The Windows “smart” phone was like using an old ASCII terminal (yes, I am that old). Poorly designed with poor software, I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. The thing didn’t even know about daylight savings time until I downloaded a hard-to-find patch for it!

But the iPhone isn’t perfect yet. It definitely needs stereo bluetooth, better battery life, and a memory expansion slot. I like the keyboard, actually, and am pretty good at typing on it. That “smart” phone had a terrible keyboard. And who thought overlaying numbers on the keyboard was a good idea? At least the iPhone can draw whatever keyboard it needs at the appropriate time.

I also dislike the earbuds it comes with. I guess I have little ears because on the plane trip they made my ears sore and kept falling out. But I did feel sorry for the woman seated next to me who kept juggling all of her equipment – I just had my iPhone for entertainment (watched a movie – perfect for an airplane) as well calling home when I arrived. I’ve now ordered some new earphones that come with an assortment of tips.

I love the fact that it is expandable and there are so many apps for it. I have this terrific tip calculator that is positively ingenious. I also have the Pandora app. Plus you can get apps to stream radio and podcasts.

Oh, and the very first app I downloaded was “Remote” – turning the iPhone into a remote control for iTunes. I have my Macs upstairs, but downstairs in the living room I have an Apple Airport Express plugged into the stereo. Now with the Remote application I can control iTunes from the sofa without having to run up the stairs. This app is awesome – it is so ‘real time’ that adjusting the volume on the phone instantly adjusts the play volume. Whoever wrote this deserves a huge bonus.

The bottom line is that I love this phone. It does everything I want and if I want something more, someone has, or will, write an app to do that, too. The iPhone 3G was definitely worth the wait, for me.

Now if Apple will just merge Apple TV with the Mac Mini…

5 Responses to A month of iPhone

  1. Jake says:

    I totally agree with you about merging the AppleTV and the MacMini. I ended up just using one of my three MacMinis as a media center. I got the Elgato EyeTV and use the remote control that comes with it. It’s fairly easy to use, but still not quite ideal. My biggest complaint with the AppleTV is lack of support for additional formats.

    Also, I think Apple needs to bring back the Cube… or at least some headless desktop that fits between the MacMini and the MacPro.

    What earbuds did you get? I’m using Etymotics ER6i’s and I would recommend them to anyone wholeheartedly, but they don’t have a microphone for making calls (which I’m guessing your new ones do).

  2. Peter Ent says:

    Apple just needs to make a wicked cool set-top box that’s a full-fledged Mac with DVR capabilities. I don’t mind if they add that to Apple TV and when connected to any Mac, control of it gets integrated with Front Row or something (better) else. So I’d have a Mac Mini box for the Mac stuff and an Apple TV box directly connected to the Mac Mini to record live TV and watch/download movies. Let the Mac Mini control the Apple TV box and let there be 1 remote control (or my iPhone).

    There are some 3rd party apps which can help with the video formats and there is also an add-in to Front Row so that it includes the EyeTV. Unfortunately I book marked them on my home computer and I cannot think of the product names now. I *think* the EyeTV plugin is called “Pyetv” or something close that.

    I have ordered an “Ultimate Ears ft 4vi” headset/microphone. Got good reviews. I don’t have it yet. I may comment on it if it proves exceptionally good (or bad).

  3. Jake says:

    PyeTV is going to change my life! My biggest problem with my EyeTV was that I had to exit Front Row to use it.

  4. Jeff says:

    Peter, you as a Flex guru extraordinaire, I am shocked that you did not mention the lack of Flash on the iPhone. I’m guessing you don’t use Safari much on your iPhone?

    Jeff

  5. Peter Ent says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the compliment. It is true that I don’t use Safari too much on the iPhone. When I have, it has been really helpful. I’ve only visited one site that was Flash-only. I was more disappointed that the site authors didn’t build a non-Flash version than I was that Flash wasn’t available.

    I know that supporting Flash on multiple platforms takes time. We need to make sure the Player is light and fast. You can see that we only support Flash on a handful of mobile devices at the moment.

    I’m not privy to the goings-on of the Flash platform, but I’m sure that whatever technical challenges are involved are being addressed.