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Issue 6.1


iPhone (firmware 1.1.1)

Issue: 6.1 (November/December 2007)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,398
Starting Page Number: 10
Article Number: 6106
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Full text of article...

I lasted as long as I could. I was going to wait until next year, when iPhone 2.0 would come out. But then my Nokia started losing signal and speaker volume. It was really becoming unusable. Really.

So I waited until the September Apple announcement, in the unlikely event that a price drop was announced. I was as shocked as anyone by the price drop, and I snagged a refurbished iPhone for $349.00 from the Apple store that day. Actually, I snagged two, one for my wife, helping forestall conflict (seriously, her Nokia was dying too). They arrived two days later.

Apple has a tricky problem with its products these days. Pictures don't do them justice. I first noticed it with the Snow iMac, which looks much nicer in person than it does in pictures. The iPhone looks very sharp in person, although I suspect that the chrome edge will look dated in a few years.

The interface is brilliant. You have to spend some (unhurried) time with it to truly appreciate it. At first I missed the stylus from my Windows Mobile phone, but after a few days I took to the iPhone's way of doing things. The finger flick to scroll, the pinch or double tap to zoom in, the finger stretch to zoom out, you've seen all these. You have to use them for a while to discover all the subtle touches that help you get things done. In particular, I'm still learning to relax and trust the autocorrect on the touch keyboard. Type as fast as you can without worrying about mistakes (and I make a lot of them). The iPhone is seemingly psychic with it's interpretation of what you meant to write. It's almost the inverse of the first Newton's handwriting recognition mistakes. There won't be any jokes about the iPhone's text recognition, believe me.

The apps are great. I've used them all, and they're a dream to work with the small screen. The crown jewel of course is Safari. The zooming ability makes web browsing a dream, with no need to worry about mobile formatted webpages. With the Mail app, I moved my accounts from POP to IMAP so that I'd see the same mail on both computer and iPhone. I also set up an Exchange account on the iPhone (Exchange accounts must be set up manually on the iPhone for some reason). All worked well. Email is surprisingly readable and navigable. The calendar is OK to use, readable but nothing as exciting as the rest of the phone. I think that the zoom metaphor should be applied to calendars as well. The iTunes store is radically redesigned for the iPhone in firmware 1.1.1, and it works fluidly and easily.

For future apps, I'm interested to see if the web SDK will stimulate application maturity in that area. Who knows? Maybe the next killer iPhone app will be a RB app a la last issue's REALbasic article on iPhone development.

The phone works too. What else can you say? It seems to have a hair less signal than my old Nokia did in its prime. Voice quality is good though, and conversations are clear as a bell.

There's not much else I can say about the iPhone other than yes, as you can tell, I'm a fan.

End of article.