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Thursday, July 5, 2007

iPhone: My thoughts so far - extracts

As many of you know, I purchased a 4GB iPhone on June 30th. Yes, I caved into its coolness, but only after going to the local Apple Store and handling one myself. Its awesomeness was too much for me to handle, and as such I couldn't resist.

I've been using the iPhone since then, and have been utilizing all of its features (except for the stock meter), and here are my opinions about the device thus far:

1. It is very sleek and easy to use. The iPhone weighs about as much as my old LG phone, and doesn't take up a considerable amount of pocket space. It's nice to look at, and the interface is very responsive and simple to understand.

2. Dialing is not a hassle at all. A lot of anti-iPhoners have said that speed dialing is difficult on the iPhone. Not so. If you sync your contacts from your computer onto the iPhone, you can set any phone number as a "favorite. You can hop over to the favorites menu in 3 presses, which take about 2 seconds. Compared to my old LG phone, it's about the same hassle.

Exemplified: On the LG I had, you'd have to flip open the phone, press your speed-dial button, and hit Send. I would oftentimes forget who I set #5 and beyond to, and so I'd have to hit the speed-dial button and see if it's the person I intend to call.

On the iPhone, you have to hit the Home button to wake it up, slide the slider (possible to do one-handedly), hit the Phone button, hit the Favorites button, and then find the person to call. On paper it sounds complicated, but in practice it's not...especially if you primarily use the Favorites function. The iPhone remembers what menu you were on last, so simply hitting the Phone button is usually enough.

I should also note that it's easy to answer calls while on the road, too. I didn't even need to look at the phone more than I did with other phones to answer it.

3. The included headphones are really handy. The headphones have a small little "clicker" that also acts as a microphone. Apart from it being useful to answer calls, it also makes controlling the iPod functionality very simple. Click once to stop, click once again to play, or click twice to skip to the next song. All of this without removing the iPhone from your pocket.

4. Keeping a charge? No problem! Since the iPhone is an iPod, I always have it synced to my computer. So when I'm at work all day, the iPhone is sitting underneath my monitor, staying charged. Since it charges through a standard USB iPod cable, it's easy to keep this thing juiced up at all times.

5. Email is handy, but not very robust. You can set the iPhone to read from any e-mail address you have, which is great. However, it doesn't have many of the features has, such as a Junk filter or the ability to add Rules. It's a very very basic mail program, but it is still useful as a simple means of communication.

6. Call quality is average. Going from an LG on the Verizon network to an iPhone on the AT&T network meant a noticeable difference in call quality, but on my end only. My former LG was very clear, and while the iPhone is clear there is a slight muffling to the ear-speaker that I immediately noticed during my first (and continual) use.

7. Google Maps Rocks. The map feature operates much like Google Maps online does, except I can use it anywhere. It can be slow, at times, depending on the EDGE network traffic, but overall it is really quite handy.

8. Wifi is a HUGE plus. The iPhone will find the nearest WIFI connection and ask if you want to connect to it. This means things like Email and other Data-related functions will operate far faster than with EDGE. Once you connect to a particular WIFI connection, it will automatically connect to it the next time you come in proximity. So, when I come home it just hops on my network and I can watch stupid YouTube videos from bed.

9. The best iPod ever. Since the iPhone is everything the iPod was, plus more, it is clearly the best one ever made. You can do everything your former iPod could, except now you have far more screen real estate than before, making video watching far more comfortable.

10. The recessed audio jack is lame. The iPhone has an audio jack that is a tiny bit deeper than most. As a result, I can't hook the iPhone up to my car stereo unless I buy an adapter that slightly extends the audio jack. This is lame, but fortunately the adapter is cheap. Still, why the heck is the thing so deep to begin with?

Overall, I'm happy with the purchase. I like this little gadget, and I'm happy with the fact that Apple can release firmware and software updates for it. Meaning, there is the possibility that Apple will fix the tiny bugs in the thing and also add more functionality to certain software features (like Mail). Sure, other smart phones get updates too, but I have trust in Apple's ability to make worthwhile feature adjustments that do more than simply adjust security settings or whatever.

In conclusion, if you have the money for one, I suggest you buy it.

- Ryan Ford | Via: DA
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