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Yup, this article is about the iPhone, so if you're sick of hearing about them, I'd advise you to move right along.

I've had an iPhone since July 18th. I'd say, overall, the iPhone and it's software, out of the box (no hacks, etc), is pretty great. I do have some complaints:
  • There is no MMS - this is my biggest problem with the phone. It's also the most mind boggling. Why is this feature missing?
  • No 3rd party application development. This really isn't that big a deal to me, and I'll explain why later.
That's it. Those are my two complaints. Everything else, I absolutely love. There are a lot more complaints out there, but I think most of them are moot points.

First, there's the "there's no search!" complaint, which is outright stupid. Why? Yes, there is no menu item that says "search" anywhere... however, if you click on the SMS icon, click the "compose" button, and start typing a name or number in the field, you will be provided with suggestions that match from your address book. This is the same as with sending emails. Ok, there is nothing similar to this when searching for a specific track in the iPod app, or in your contacts if you just want to make a phonecall, but I think what they have in place of a search actually reduces the amount of keystrokes you'd use when searching. Here's how it works. In the middle of your screen, you get a giant list of your contacts, each organized under headers for each letter of the alphabet. You can scroll this list by moving your thumb or finger; the faster you move your thumb, the faster and farther the list scrolls. On the right of your screen, you get a list of the letters A-Z. You can click on a letter and it will scroll to that header, where you can fine tune your search by scrolling in the middle of the screen.

Second, I've heard a lot of people say that the camera sucks. The iPhone camera is far superior to any phone camera I've witnessed myself, and I've seen a lot. Let me explain: my friend Jason has created a website, which we lovingly call Phonese. The idea behind the website is that you can send an email with a photo attachment (or an MMS) from your phone to a specific email address, and that photo will show up in your gallery on the site. My gallery can be found here. Ok, so, out of all 31 users on the site, my iPhone's photos quality blows everyone else's out of the water. It's surprising how much better it looks. Compare this photo from my iPhone: http://synic.phonese.cx/comments.php?2793 to this photo that was taken when I still had a Blackberry Pearl: http://synic.phonese.cx/comments.php?2263. In fact, browse the site, it's quite funny. Compare anyones photos to my recent photos. Clearly, the iPhone is better. (note: com4 just got an iPhone, so he might have some better quality pictures up soon enough).

Fourth: Tactile response. I guess I have to agree with this one: those who are used to dialing by touch would probably have a problem here. Personally, I have never dialed by touch.. probably because I'm too stupid to realize that I could have done so.

Fifth: Everyone says the keyboard sucks. I'd have to disagree there. The autocorrect feature is superb, and once you get used to it, you can fly with this keyboard. Just today I was texting someone, and my friend who was with me actually said, "whoa, look at you go!". However, if you're typing in a field that doesn't support autocorrect (like the address field in Safari), it can be a problem if you don't aim exactly.

Ok, let's talk about 3rd party apps. Yes, one of my complaints is that 3rd party native application development is not allowed yet. I have hacked my iPhone, once on the 1.0.2 firmware and recently with the 1.1.1 firmware. Not to unlock it or to have custom ringtones, but so I could have apps like a terminal and an IRC client. A lot of the apps actually make the phone more crash prone (I believe SummerBoard is one of the main culprits here). The ones I like to use, like Colloquy and MobileTerminal work pretty well. When they are installed, it does make me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that they are there, however, when I updated to firmware 1.1.1 effectively wiping out all of my third party apps, I didn't really miss them, because in all honesty, I didn't use them that much.

AppleCare: you may see this as a plus or a minus. Recently (within the last week or two), my iPhone battery has been giving me a lot of grief. Fully charged, wireless and bluetooth turned off, and on standby, the battery cannot hold a charge through the night. Something happened, and I don't know what. The battery used to last MUCH longer - even with the wireless on and making calls occasionally, I could usually get two or more days out of it. One day it just stopped being able to do so. I called AppleCare today, and told them my symptoms. They are sending me a "service" phone in a box with a postage paid package inside that I can return my current phone with; it should arrive in 24 to 48 hours. This "service" phone is just an iPhone I can use until they either fix or replace my phone. They'll send me back a new or my repaired phone, I send them back the service phone. The service is great, but I'm none too excited that my battery just died on me after only a few months. *shrug*, it's an electronic device. Things can go wrong, and that's what warranties are for.

Bottom Line: the iPhone is an excellent cellphone and mp3 player. I would recommend it to anyone.
Filed under: Miscellaneous, Gadgets
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