Linked by David Adams on Tue 5th Aug 2008 21:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless On August 1 2007, I published an article called "My Month with the iPhone" wherein I examined the iPhone's now well-known advantages and deficiencies and speculated extensively on where Apple was likely to take the phone, development-wise. Now that the new iPhone and the iPhone 2.0 software have been out for a few weeks, and there's been a whole new storm of praise and gripes raging, I thought it would be illuminating for me to re-visit my prognostications and take my lumps.
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Great piece
by Adam S on Tue 5th Aug 2008 21:53 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

I am bothered by Apple's on-again/off-again bit with NetShare, the unexplained grumblings with BoxOffice, the ridiculous approval process, and their limitation of competing apps, such as an alternative browser or media player.

I think the lack of MMS is embarassing. Every US carrier supports it. To throw away something so many use seems silly. I'm surprised AT&T doesn't insist on it if only for the additional revenue.

The lack of wireless sync spits in the face of all Apple work over the last 5 years. I have ONE wire going to my mac for power. Keys, mouse, network, everything else - even a time machine volume - is wireless. That my CELL PHONE needs a data line to sync - a device whose sole purpose is to be wireless - should be seen as a direct insult to developers who made the Mac what it is.

Also, I'm surprised there's still no copy/paste and A2DP, if only to shut up the detractors!

That said, I LOVE my iPhone. When I got my 3G, I gave my 1st gen to my wife, who loves it. It's still the best phone on the market.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great piece
by David on Tue 5th Aug 2008 21:54 UTC in reply to "Great piece"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Adam, why can't they just make us in charge?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Great piece
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Aug 2008 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Great piece"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Because I would totally want an iPhone in red. Red back, front, red UI, red headphones, camera that does the red variant of sepia, and so on.

And it wouldn't sell.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Great piece
by helf on Wed 6th Aug 2008 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great piece"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

to match your lipstick? ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great piece
by asupcb on Tue 5th Aug 2008 23:54 UTC in reply to "Great piece"
asupcb Member since:
2005-11-10

I think a lot of these problems will be fixed once the new Notification API is released this September.

http://gizmodo.com/5031559/iphone-developers-get-push-notification-...

Frankly many of the features you are complaining about lacking will be helped greatly by the notification API and will likely be implemented sometime after it is released.

Also many of the features people want with the iPhone will probably come with v3.0. The v1 was just to get it out the door, v2 was to release an initial SDK for third party developers, and v3 will probably be an updated and expanded SDK plus many of the current missing features. I mean hell it took until Leopard for Apple to make major modifications to Finder in OS X. Once the notification API is released that will probably be it for v2 besides bug fixes especially for MobileMe per the rumored recent e-mail by Steve Jobs.

Improved bluetooth does seem like such a killer app for an Apple product doesn't it. Maybe they're waiting for Wireless USB?

Edit: fixed word selection

Edited 2008-08-05 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Aug 2008 22:03 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

On a more serious note though, we Dutch finally got iPhone'd, and withint a few moments, the 5 iPhones Apple allocated to The Netherlands were sold out, and now there's a waiting list of 4 weeks.

I sneaked to my friendly neighbourhood Apple dealer, and I played for a short while with the 3G iPhone they had in the shop. It didn't blow me away or anything (it takes a whole lot to wow me) but I was still pretty much impressed. I totally hated the touchscreen bit (I generally have slightly sweaty hands, so do the math), but I think I could get used to it. The animations were nice, everything was fast, and overall, I was impressed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Adam S on Tue 5th Aug 2008 22:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

2.0.1 is a very worthwhile upgrade and does a lot to fix interface lag, it seems. The first gen phones on 1.1.4 were really tight. In time, 2.0 will get that way too.

As for sweaty hands, you really need a special anti-glare sheet for the iphone. It prevents fingerprints, etc and feels better on the fingers anyway.

Reply Score: 2

touchscreens? RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by irbis on Tue 5th Aug 2008 22:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

I totally hated the touchscreen bit (I generally have slightly sweaty hands, so do the math), but I think I could get used to it.

I don't have sweaty hands, but I've had hard time understanding why so many people seem to get excited by touchscreen technology in general nowadays? How much is it just a new cool looking toy to those who tend to get excited by fashionable new tech in general? Or are touchscreens really better in their usability than good keyboards and buttons?

You know, there might have been and may still be quite good usability reasons why in many (most?) cases people have preferred to use clear buttons and keyboards instead of (unclear?) touchscreens when controlling machines and technology.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

How much is it just a new cool looking toy to those who tend to get excited by fashionable new tech in general? Or are touchscreens really better in their usability than good keyboards and buttons?


It's mostly the "wow" factor I think, though the multitouch -- especially in some games on the iPhone -- is really intuitive. For example, there's a free Mahjongg game that uses nearly every multitouch gesture to control the game board, which makes it much easier to zoom in and focus on a particular part of the board.

That said, I really miss my Treo's hardware keyboard at times; I'm still not as fast on the iPhone even though it has adequate word correction. Also, I'm a touch typist and I type all day at work, so I'm used to using both hands and getting peaks of 90 WPM. with the Treo I could use both thumbs and got about 25-30 WPM on a good day. On the iPhone it's one finger only unless I'm in Safari and landscape mode and even then I only get about 10-12 WPM. The lack of tactile feedback is also a major issue; I find myself constantly looking back and forth from the keyboard to the input area so I can watch where I put my fingers. With the Treo I got good at sliding my thumbs across the keys without even looking, subconsciously counting the dimples just as I do the frets and strings when I play guitar.

Yes, it's a cool toy, and I've just about come to the conclusion that it will never be more than a toy to me. It's just not enough phone for my needs, and while I enjoy the ability to watch video and listen to music wherever I go, there are more durable and less frustrating phones out there that do so with less restrictions on file format to boot. I think I'll end up with a Nokia N-Series phone in the near future, and this bad boy will go on the auction block.

Reply Score: 1

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

touchscreen aren't new, but the interesting point of the iPhone is that you're expected to use it with your finger instead of a stupid pointer.
So of course, it feels much more natural.

That said, I doubt that the iPhone is better for writing SMS or email that phones which have a keyboard.

Reply Score: 2

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I've had hard time understanding why so many people seem to get excited by touchscreen technology in general nowadays?


Well I was kind of skeptical as well until I got a chance to play with an iPod touch for 45 minutes. While I'm in no way ready to declare the death of hardware buttons, it really needs to be said that Apple's particular touch screen solution really does work. They really did nail it. Especially for browsing the web it worked far better than I expected.

That being said my dream iPhone would still have some sort of sliding out hardware qwerty keyboard, but I in no way consider it a necessity.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Tue 5th Aug 2008 22:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm going to be completely honest. My biggest gripe with my iPhone, beyond the freezing and corrupted backups, beyond the apps that don't work as advertised (or at all), beyond the need to reboot the phone at least once daily since 2.0 was installed...

My biggest gripe is how delicate it is. I've dropped it about 10 times in the five months I've owned it, and every time I do a vision of glass shattering and flying everywhere flashes before my eyes. So far, I've gotten off with a couple of scratches on the metal back and a short but deep scratch on the glass just above the active part of the screen. The day will come, however, when it will be destroyed by my active lifestyle. I agonized for months about getting one because I knew how hard I was on phones. I finally bought it when the Nokia N73 I was considering instead, sold out at all the retailers with the best prices (i.e. less than $400).

And no, I'm not going to get a belt case for it. I don't wear a belt and I'm not going to start wearing one just for a phone, no matter how expensive the device is. Besides, past experience with phone clips and cases on my work phone tells me it would just get knocked into doorways and scrubbed on file cabinets anyway.

I really, really wish Casio would make a GSM version of the G'zOne. The new Boulder edition of that one is the toughest "feature phone" I've ever come across. Throw Symbian on it and make it GSM and it'll be my phone for the next five years or more.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by ohbrilliance on Wed 6th Aug 2008 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
ohbrilliance Member since:
2005-07-07

The obvious solution is to *stop dropping your phone*.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Wed 6th Aug 2008 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well duh, that would be nice, wouldn't it? But this is the real world and I don't just sit in my bed all day cradling my Precious and growling at anyone who glances at it. It's a phone, not a crystal vase, and it's going to be dropped, kicked, sat on, etc. no matter how careful I am. I actually have a job, a social life and a family, and such things tend to involve using the phone as opposed to putting it on a pedestal and worshipping it.

In other words, it's a tool and a damn expensive one at that, and it should be able to stand up to regular use. It turns out I made a bad decision buying it, and now I'm looking for something less fragile and more sensible.

Is all that okay with you, mate?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Ressev on Thu 7th Aug 2008 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

Just put it on a lanyard and wear it around your neck. ;)

If you don't wear a belt, what do you wear?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Thu 7th Aug 2008 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

If you don't wear a belt, what do you wear?


Pants that actually fit.

Reply Score: 2

Imp of the Perverse Member since:
2008-07-27

"It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Captain Obvious!"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by lurch_mojoff on Wed 6th Aug 2008 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
lurch_mojoff Member since:
2007-05-12

My biggest gripe is how delicate it is. I've dropped it about 10 times in the five months I've owned it, and every time I do a vision of glass shattering and flying everywhere flashes before my eyes. So far, I've gotten off with a couple of scratches on the metal back and a short but deep scratch on the glass just above the active part of the screen.


The last two sentences don't seem to support your "biggest gripe". If your phone got away with just a few scratches after being dropped 10 times, that would mean it is not all that delicate, wouldn't it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Wed 6th Aug 2008 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's because I've been lucky, not because the phone is sturdy. So far the drops have been on carpet and wood floors, but one day it's going to be concrete and I just don't see the phone surviving that one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by tjolley on Wed 6th Aug 2008 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
tjolley Member since:
2006-03-14

If you are that active, and are that clumsy with your phone, then get a rubberized sleeve and/or a screen protector. From your description, you are running around with a naked phone.

any smartphone will suffer some damage if dropped in the manner you described. Spend $20-$40 to protect your investment.

Try these:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/TS480VC/A?n=iphone2&fnode=home/sh...

http://www.zagg.com/?gclid=CKTrvNmp-ZQCFQSwFQodn05Lrg

http://store.apple.com/us/product/TS713VC/A?n=iphone2&fnode=home/sh...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by siraf72 on Wed 6th Aug 2008 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

still better than running around naked with a phone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by helf on Wed 6th Aug 2008 14:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

That's what I've been saying.
Touchscreens are nice for a lot of stuff, but for *everything*? I can't stand smudges on my screens...

*shivers*

Reply Score: 2

Nice Article
by jonas on Tue 5th Aug 2008 23:14 UTC
jonas
Member since:
2005-07-08

Nice article. Informative, well written, well paced, well organized.

Apple's products seem to bring out the nitpicker in me. The air is almost exactly what I want in an upgrade (i use a toshiba r200), but a few deficiencies or design decisions (no ethernet, only 1 usb, only 1 mouse button) led me to abstain.

When the iPhone came out, I tried to look at it from the standpoint of all of the other phones and their horrible OSes. I found myself saying "If it had a real GPS and was 3g, that'd be enough", but now the poor battery life and the way they have treated developers of the past year turns me away.

I think it's the sense pretentiousness (real or imagined) that I get from their products, or their price, that leads me to act like this. In the end, when I realized that it'd cost me $1300 on top of my current cell plan to get an iPhone due to AT&T's outrageous pricing plans, the final nail in that coffin was hit.

Reply Score: 1

When You Choose Apple
by Bink on Tue 5th Aug 2008 23:14 UTC
Bink
Member since:
2006-02-19

People constantly criticize Microsoft for not being open enough, but then flock to Apple in droves with open arms and embrace one the most closed vendors out there.

When you choose Apple, you choose not to have a choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE: When You Choose Apple
by skingers6894 on Tue 5th Aug 2008 23:57 UTC in reply to "When You Choose Apple"
skingers6894 Member since:
2005-08-10

Microsoft have opted with the "open" approach resulting in more hardware and added apps freedom. Apple have chosen the closed platform resulting in sexier hardware and a more consistent experience.

Those complaining about MS not being "open" enough are those who WANT an open platform so when Microsoft lets them down in that regard, they complain.

When Apple users complain it's generally when the company falls short of it's "it just works" ideal.

These are in fact different groups of people complaining about different things.

Reply Score: 1

RE: When You Choose Apple
by MysterMask on Sat 9th Aug 2008 08:25 UTC in reply to "When You Choose Apple"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

People constantly criticize Microsoft for not being open enough


The problem with MS is their silly attitude that open standards are not adopted unless they created the standard themselves (OOXML vs ODF, XPS vs. PDF, etc.).

They'd rather take an open standard and 'embrace and extend' it so it gets useless for the public because the monoply vendor had his own financial benefit instead of interoperability in mind.

When you choose MS, you choose to have a choice to buy MS.

Reply Score: 1

A good read
by NathanHill on Tue 5th Aug 2008 23:39 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

I remember your first article - thanks for being even-handed.

I just got an iPod Touch. At first, I was so impressed by the sheer coolness of it, then I felt uncomfortable as I was figuring it out and getting used to it, and now I realize the world will be using this kind of technology in everything in the next few years. I want an iPhone now. I hate using my stupid Samsung cellphone. It almost makes me wish I could dump my laptop too and just use a touch.

Anyway, I do agree about wireless sync options being a missing piece. But beyond that, I've enjoyed the Touch and plan on getting an iPhone in the next six months.

I do get tired of people complaining about Apple's lack of openness. I think it's just a boring argument, especially when non-open companies like Apple make easy to use software and hardware that is better than anything open. They aren't perfect by any means, but I like choice too.

Reply Score: 1

No MMS
by segedunum on Wed 6th Aug 2008 08:44 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Still no MMS.

Really? Is that right? I'm afraid that strikes out the iPhone for an awful lot of people who you would have thought Apple would want to buy the iPhone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No MMS
by WereCatf on Wed 6th Aug 2008 08:54 UTC in reply to "No MMS"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Really? Is that right? I'm afraid that strikes out the iPhone for an awful lot of people who you would have thought Apple would want to buy the iPhone.

When I read your comment I was like hit on the head with a large pole; I just HAD to google and check if it was true. Apparently yes, it's true. There is no MMS support in iPhone unless you install something called SwirlyMMS (and finnish keys "öäå" don't work in it). That's pretty fcucked up really, iPhone is supposed to be a multimedia phone and all that and it lacks MMS? O_o That's one big reason for me to avoid iPhone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No MMS
by Morgan on Wed 6th Aug 2008 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE: No MMS"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That was a big issue for me as well when I was considering buying mine. Not that I actually use MMS a lot, but on other phones I've used it to send a quick picture along with some text to better explain what I'm seeing. What finally convinced me to ignore this gross oversight was the fact that you can email pictures to most mobile phones and they are received as MMS messages. Apple must have been considering this when they designed the Photo app because it includes an "Email to:" button right in the photo browser. The downside is having to figure out your mate's device email address (example: Verizon is "2025551234@vzwpix.com") and then add it to their entry in Contacts. It's a chore but it gets the job done.

However, lack of a video record option with such a decent camera (for a phone) is another slap in the face, and again a lot of people will ask why you can't send video from your $200-400 phone when they can from their chintzy free camera phone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: No MMS
by David on Wed 6th Aug 2008 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No MMS"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

There is third party app support for recording video. But there again, you have to pay for something that should have been included.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No MMS
by segedunum on Wed 6th Aug 2008 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No MMS"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What finally convinced me to ignore this gross oversight was the fact that you can email pictures to most mobile phones and they are received as MMS messages.

That's fine when you have corporate 'push' e-mail facilities available to you (in which case you can even stop texting), but for the vast majority of people who just take pictures of things and just want to generally send them to people in their contacts list without much fuss it's a bit of a non-starter. I also thought the networks would have been puzzled about this as well, as they can't charge for MMS messages.

Edited 2008-08-06 22:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

I've had my iPhone (1st gen) for a couple of months. Alas jail broken as officially it doesn't exist here...

The unforgivable:

* no sms forwarding
* no Vcard sms support
* No MMS - but that doesn't really bother me. you can always email instead. which is basically what mms is (though initiated through signaling channel)

Despite these really really bad shortcomings it is still BY FAR the best phone i've ever used. The App Store integration is amazing and has to be experienced to be appreciated. As it is jailbroken I have access to other 3rd party apps.

My one regret, not buying it sooner. I was a happy P800 user but was very disapointed by SE's subsequent releases.

Re, touchscreen. for general use its perfect. for typing it does the job (far from perfect but does the job)

EDIT: just wanted to add a note about Netshare. Its amazing. does exactly what it says on the tin. Just setup a new profile on my Macbook Air and Steve's your uncle.

Edited 2008-08-06 12:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1