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My iPhone Review

All the hype lately in the smartphone space has been around android, google, and nexus one – Well, I’ve had my 16Gb 3GS iPhone for about three weeks now, and I think that’s long enough to form a cogent opinion … but read on, and you decide.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m male, so gadgets make me happy – and I was pretty damn happy when I unwrapped my phone on Christmas Day.

To start with, setup was pretty easy, although it seems strange to have to install and connect iTunes on your computer before being able to do anything at all. On the topic, I’m no fan of the iTunes software. In my case, we also bought iPod touches for my two daughters, and iTunes does not seem to support multiple iDevices well. I run Win7, and had to create different user accounts, each with it’s own install of iTunes, so the three devices could manage their own libraries. Not a huge issue, but why can’t iTunes just easily allow multiple devices? (If it does, and it’s just PEBKAC, please post links or hints.)

Apple has always been renowned for it’s simple interfaces, and the iPhone is no different. All basic functions are easily at hand, and you don’t need a manual to get started easily and quickly … being male, this is great, as we detest manuals. However, when you do dig deeper, you will find much more functionality, and add to your experience with the phone.

On to the apps and games. This is where the iPhone really gets touted, and rightly so. The selection, and quality, of apps and games is astonishing. Even if you just get free apps/games you will be happy. My only beefs with the app store are due to my location in Canada. Firstly, Apple approves apps for sale in the Canadian app store that are clearly only of use in the US. Not my first experience of big US companies only seeing Canada as an afterthought, but annoying nonetheless. Secondly, for some reason I’m yet to find out, you cannot purchase apps/games with funds from an iTunes card in Canada – you, of course, can do this elsewhere. WTF? You can buy music, movies etc. from iTunes in general, but not anything from the app store. Ridiculous.

I could go on for a while about apps and games, and discuss the app store more, but this is enough for now – perhaps I’ll do a separate app blog later.

Yes, I hear you saying, it’s cute, and plays a mean game of Peggle, but how is it as a phone? Well, it’s really my first ‘smartphone’, but it works a treat for me. Contacts are handled easily, calls are easy to make and handle, and data services are no issue – other than cost, of course. My carrier is Rogers, who mostly suck, so I started with 500M per month for CAD$25. With the wi-fi access I’m nowhere near even that after three weeks. The 3GS is very fast, so posting pics to Twitter, Facebbok etc. Is a breeze. A quick note: having dedicated apps for these services is great, I can’t imagine doing as much as easily using a web browser.

So, it’s easy to use, has great apps/games, easy access to (legal) music through iTunes, good camera, and is still iPod quality as an mp3 player. Are there ANY negatives?

Well, battery life is very poor, in my opinion. The idea is to use all these great features, including apps, games, and videos on the beatiful screen – problem is that all chews battery life FAST. You’ll need to recharge daily. That said, charging is very fast.

I have friends that have had crashing and technical issues with their iPhones, but I’ve seen none of that yet. Perhaps that was an issue with older versions of the iPhone OS? I’m running 3.1.2

My biggest issue? Being interrupted by an incoming call while in an app or game. Imagine the frustration if you were, hypothetically, at 290,000 points in Bejewelled and lost it to an incoming call – you’d swear too 😦 Hypothetically. Some apps seem to be able to recover from this, and if there is a way to avoid this, please post! Listening to music is no issue though, it just fades out, then back in after the call.

The best points? Contacts are easy to manage, and synch flawlessly with Outlook – as does all your data; it kicks ass as an mp3 player, of course; the touch screen is great, and I have fat fingers; text input & editing are a breeze*, with a very itelligent autocomplete**; and did I mention it’s a gadget?

I’m sure there are other features or topics I’ve not touched on, so please comment.

* I wrote this entire blog post using the WordPress app on my iPhone!
** Neat autocomplete quirk: it will complete iTunes after the N, but never completes iPhone. It also seems to learn, now completing karembeu after the M, which is nice! it even punctuates for you, suggesting it’s if you type its, for instance.

Categories: Gadgets, Tech Tags: , , , ,
  1. February 6, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for the help.
    Great Audio info, i’m bookmarking the page for the great content.

  1. January 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

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