Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yes, I Bought An iPhone

Well, I was planning to wait until the price dropped and they worked the kinks out, but after an upsetting trip to the dentist, I decided I deserved a present, and bought myself an iPhone. Yeah, it was expensive (I got the 8G model); yeah, the per-month charge is expensive (another $20 on top of the $40 I'm already spending); yeah, AT&T sucks (but I was always happy with Cingular, and couldn't find a provider in town who I liked more); BUT I bought one anyway.

I like it. Lots. My number one love is that it just WORKS. I've had smartphones before (a Treo and a Kyocera Palm), but they were clunky, the applications didn't work consistently, and the interface was atrocious. The iPhone is very smartly designed, and works like you expect things to work. The touchscreen is phenomenal. The apps are quick, useful, and fun to work with. The interface helps you do what you want to do instead of getting in the way of what you want to do. And my biggest bane from my old phones is nowhere to be seen, as the iPhone syncs beautifully with my computer, sharing calendars, contacts, pictures, mp3s, movies, and just about everything.

The camera is pretty damn phenomenal for a phonecam, taking clear 1200x900 pictures (that get reduced to 640x480 when emailing the pictures from the phone; the full rez versions get synced to iPhoto when you dock the iPhone). I didn't like the software-based keyboard at first, but I'm quickly getting used to it, and it's certainly the best on-screen keyboard I've ever used. The Google Maps interface rocks, and was immensely helpful while wandering through NYC this past weekend. I also had the Manhattan subway system map stored in my Photos application if I ever needed that. There's a dedicated YouTube program which can be amusing, although there's a lot of YouTube videos that haven't been formatted for the iPhone yet. Hell, I even check on my one share of WWE stock every once in a while with the Stock app.

What it doesn't do: to my knowledge, the Notes program doesn't sync to anything openable on the host computer, which is pretty surprising. The camera is stills-only, so you can't take video (which is also pretty surprising, since you have tons of onboard storage space). There's a big omission in that there's no To-Do list. And currently, the iPhone doesn't do Flash, so you can't watch cool animations or see some features of websites. (This is why not all of YouTube is accessable yet.) All of these can be easily fixed with a firmware upgrade, and I'd be willing to bet they will be.

One of the most glaring omissions, for me anyway, is that this thing is an iPod AND a phone and YET, you can't use your own mp3s as ringtones. This smacks of some stupidass agreement that Apple made with recording companies or AT&T or something, and it pisses me off. There's a third party app that fixes this error, but I haven't tried it yet for fear of fucking up my phone. The onboard ringtones are great, and there's enough other toys to play with in the iPhone, but for an iPod phone to not let you use custom mp3s as ringtones is outrageous.

But overall, is it worth it? Hellz yeah. I wanted a phone that worked and worked well, that would sync cleanly and work smoothly on a day to day basis. I didn't need the iPod functionality--I have an iPod for that! But now that I have the iPhone, I notice I am just listening to music or watching videos when I might not otherwise do so. The speakers in the iPhone are pretty decent, and you can just set the thing down and listen without the need for earphones. The video screen is huge and crazy sharp. People are really impressed when I show off the ripped dvd of DON that I have on there. It's a lot smaller than the Treo I used to use, and unlike the Treo, it doesn't crash or run out of juice randomly. The iPhone actually fits invisibly into my daily life, as a good tool should.

I heart my iPhone.


Nick Faber said...

The quality of that pic is really impressive!

Alex Wilson said...

I wanna get one more year out of my Treo 650 (bought a few months after you bought yours IIRC). If Palm can make stability a priority again (Phones shouldn't crash), then I'll stick around for the sake of the money I've invested in purchasing so many Palm software programs over the years.

Otherwise I'm watching the iPhone closely.

Chris said...

Hey Ted -

go get your $100 gift certificate!

They're blowing out the 4gig model for 299 while supplies last. I'm so ridicously torn now - a 4gig iPhone, or an 8gig iPod touch. Both are 299. WHAT TO DO!!