Pbur's Adventures

The life and times of Patrick Burleson

iPhone: First Impressions

Posted on by Patrick

As Maggie pointed out on her blog, I was one of the many who braved the crowds Friday night and got us both an iPhone. My friend Jim has a pretty good account of what we went through to get our phones.

After a fairly quick activation, and after having my corporate discount removed, Maggie and I were up and running. First sync went beautifully, at which point I grabbed the phone out of the cradle and began my weekend obsession. ( There’s a 14-Day return policy, and I want to make sure this is the phone for me, although as you’ll soon learn, that’s not going to be an issue )

The first thing I did was to play the “Make Love, Not Warcraft” South Park episode I had purchased a while back from the iTunes Store. It looked gorgeous! In fact, the screen is just about perfect. When it’s off, you can see smudges, but when the thing is on, you can’t see them at all. The iPhone performs just as it appears in the commercials, but I digress.

Next up was getting it connected to the Wifi network I have setup in my house, and that as always, was a snap. I fired up the Safari web browser and started poking around. My blog came up great and I used the pinching to zoom in and the spreading to zoom out. Worked like a charm. The only downside I’ve seen here is that occasionally Safari crashes ( which means the phone just abruptly goes back to the home screen ).

Next up was YouTube. I watched a few of my favorites and they again looked awesome.

The SMS client is great! I’ve sent more text messages in the last 48 hours then I’ve sent in the last 2 years. The client is actually worth using, much more so than my old Nokia phone.

The mail client, which I’ve only got setup to check my Yahoo account works just like Mail.app in OS X and is full featured. The neat thing about Yahoo accounts on the iPhone is that they are completely synced up, meaning when I’ve read something or deleted something on my iPhone, it’s had the same thing done to it if I view it through the Yahoo Web interface.

I wore the phone out in the first day, meaning I did about as much stuff as I could exploring every little feature I could find. And after all that playing, I did have to charge it last night.

The biggest negative I’ve read leading up to the launch was the slowness of AT&Ts EDGE network ( the network you use for the Internet when Wifi isn’t available ) and to be honest, it hasn’t been as bad as predicted. I’ve read reports that leading up to Friday, the EDGE network got a sudden speed boost.

There’s only one missing feature for me, and that’s custom ringtones. At present, you must use one of the 25 provided. Although there are rumors abound that it’s coming “soon” via software updates. Which is one of the reasons I wasn’t too worried about some of the minor things people have found missing or that could be better: The entire interface is software and can be updated through iTunes. I see a lot of updates coming as Apple works out the kinks and adds requested features.

Overall, I think the iPhone lives up to what I want it to be, a convergence of my Music/Video Player and my cell phone. I love being able to just carry one device and the fact that’s it incredibly small and still pack in the features is just icing on the cake.

If you’re on the fence about getting one, I suggest going to an Apple store and playing with one. I think the form factor and overall weight will surprise you. And if you’re worried about what happens when you accidently drop your iPhone, you need to watch this video from PC World.

I’ll post more as I get more experience with it.

One last note, the clownfish background in all the promotional materials leading up to launch isn’t available as an actual wallpaper. I think that’s pretty funny.

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