Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The iPhone Experience (Part 1)

Hey Adoring Readers!

Aside from making up overstatements to greet you with, I have been busy procuring an iPhone.  In fact, I have one docked next to my laptop.  Despite the frequent mentions of mighty Apple, Inc, I'm not really an Apple fanboy, but more of a tech enthusiast who can appreciate a nice form factor.  After feeling the need for a convergence device for just about forever, I have finally caved and selected the 8GB iPhone. 

I'll come right out and say that the $200 price drop totally sucked me in and it was only one week later that I went into the Apple store and got one.  I'm NOT impressed at all with the purchasing experience in a busy Apple store.  There is a small checkout counter with a long line and the occasional salesperson who may be able to sell you a product you've yet to get your hands on....if you're paying the correct way....otherwise you must stand in line.  The words "confusing" and "madhouse" come to mind.  Weird sales experience aside, the box-opening was very nice, as with all Apple products, and everything for set-up and activation was fairly straightforward.  It was nice doing everything through iTunes and syncing with the iPhone is actually easier than syncing with a normal iPod, since an iPod has to go through the trouble of mounting a the same time that iTunes wants its attention.  I did find the new dock a bit tricky, though, as the iPhone kept losing the connection and reconnecting.  This has stopped happening so I assume the plug was having trouble connecting up fully the first few times.

I've had about a two complete days with my new phone/iPod/PDA and I have to say I am almost completely satisfied.  All of the apps work as advertised, the camera looks great, the videos from YouTube play very cleanly, and the setting are pretty darn clear.  The phone is nice, but then again, I had a free phone before that had pretty bad call quality.  The iPod function is by far the best feature.  Built-in coverflow is nice looking, but doesn't add much value to the interface.  The regular interface for the iPod screen is very nice though and almost fully lives up to its predicessor.  One complaint that I have is that when the iPod is playing and you need to pause, it can be a pain because whenever the screen sleeps it needs to first be unlocked before the pause can be pressed.  This takes more time than I like and I wish they had added a play/pause button on the side or something (this way it would mirror the iPod's functionality when the user cannot see the screen but can touch the wheel).

Finally, the web browser.  Safari is not my favorite browser on a PC, but on the iPhone it is very well suited.  The "tabs" feature that lets you switch windows works very well and the same can be said for the bookmarks.  I have been using AppMarks, an Ajax application for the iPhone which acts as a homepage and can take you to any number of the new and innovated applications being developed for the iPhone.  After only a little bit of time I had some trouble with the app, but when I contacted the developers, they replied quickly and solved all my problems post haste.  There is now way to set a homepage (yet), but I hope that feature is next on Apple's short list.

This is only part 1 of my review of the iPhone.  It has impressed me so far, but I plan to write another one of these after some time has passed and I've discovered all of its hidden features (or stubbed my toe on its hidden flaws).  Till then, enjoy your iPhone (or lack thereof)!

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The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.

Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.