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iPhone: first impressions

16 February 2009

I went to the AT&T store yesterday and upgraded my phone. I chose the 16GB iPhone 3G and am quite happy with it.

Friends of mine have the iPhone, so I had an idea what to expect, but I didn’t realize how much I fought my SmartPhone. For example, the target area of an icon on the iPhone is about dime-sized, which is easily doable with a fingertip. By contrast, in order to get into an application like text messaging on my SmartPhone, I had to precisely aim my finger just so into a 1/4-inch (< 1cm) tall rectangle.

Even after just a day or so with the iPhone, I’ve achieved a level of competence with the keypad. I lament that Apple chose to put the Send button where the backspace on my Windows keyboard is, and I dearly wish there were a non-destructive backspace capability. Sometimes, I’d rather bang something out and edit it afterward.

The free applications for the iPhone outclass those for the SmartPhone. The social networking applications are nice, as is the ability to read my email at lunch at the office. (Our firewall rules are very restrictive at work.)

I must admit, though, that application and podcast downloading leaves something to be desired. I have a few podcasts and applications that I’ve tried downloading that seem to be “stuck”, and there seems to be no way to cancel them on the phone. Connecting to my home WiFi doesn’t seem to have helped, either. The 10MB size limit per item via 3G is understandable, and the message would be a good opportunity to offer to cancel. Or, better yet, to bookmark the item and have it download on the PC when I’m next connected. Hopefully, I can do something about it once I’m reconnected to iTunes on the PC.

I was most tickled with applications like a level (though I found that my case prevents my phone from being level when held by the long edge). Having GPS capability in my phone is an added plus. And the picture quality is good enough for everyday use. So far, so good!

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