Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

2 July 2007

Pinch Me, Squeeze Me: The iPhone Post

iphone.jpg With many, many other lunatics, I found myself sitting on a mall floor, hunched over my laptop getting some work done on Friday afternoon while waiting for the Apple employees to start clapping, cheering and taking our money in exchange for an iPhone.

This experience was really fun. Apple did nothing short of a fabulous job with the launch. Every hour or so they would come down the line offering bottled water and/or hot coffee (Starbucks, fyi. Could be worse.). Once 6pm rolled around, there was much rejoicing, especially by Apple employees (there were nearly 75 of them), handing out high-fives to anybody who would take them. If anything they were too giddy. Once I got into the store, I was directed around to one of many iPhone stations where people with handheld checkout devices were swiping cards and handing over iPhones (they email you the receipt). It was really slick.

After I took it home, I plugged it into iTunes and went through the activation process. I think it’s brilliant that Apple didn’t do activation at the store. It’s such a waste of time to sit there and pick out your cell plan, billing and all that stuff at the store. Other companies could learn a lot from this process. iTunes of course is becoming a silly name for this application, but I’m not going to complain.

After the activation (took about a minute), I fired up the iPhone. It had synced over all my email settings, Safari bookmarks, address book entries, and appointments. Totally flawless.

Using the iPhone has been a lot of fun as well. There was a lot of talk about the typing as it doesn’t have a physical keyboard. I’ve heard everything from declaring it “unusable” to “it’s surprisingly easy”. I’ve done plenty of typing on it for the two days I’ve had it. Apple suggested you use your index finger for the first few days, but I skipped that and went straight to two-thumb typing. I’m coming from using the Treo quite a bit for a year now, and for a lot of that year I was a pretty heavy emailer on it, so I’m used to the hardware keys. Now that I’ve switched to the iPhone, I think it’s a piece of cake. I still mess up from time to time, but it’s not the train wreck that many predicted. It works great. And I wouldn’t dream of sacrificing all that screen real estate for a bunch of hardware buttons. It’s hard not to think of the naysayers as either whining or having some kind of agenda.

The iPhone isn’t perfect. It has some flaws that I hope get fixed in some revisions. There’s no copy/paste functionality. I’ve already wished for that a number of times. One feature that’s great about some of the apps is that if your rotate the iPhone 90°, the screen rotates with you. Unfortunately this isn’t present in every app, including Mail. I’d like to see that show up more. I’d also like some more apps, namely an RSS reader. A fancier camera would be nice, the 2 megapixel one is fine, but it would be nice to see something a little meatier. (I’ve seen people wonder how to upload pictures taken on the iPhone to Flickr - here’s a hint - just email the photo to Flickr. It’s like one and a half steps.) Lastly, I’d like iChat on there.

Honestly, I expected to be more disappointed. With all the hype, I was sure there would be something that wouldn’t live up to my expectations. It was almost as if I wanted some naggly thing to make me wish I hadn’t bought the iPhone. My only gripe isn’t with the phone at all. AT&T;coverage in some parts of my house is kinda lousy. I’m still just scratching the surface of how many really impressive things I’ve experienced so far. It’s been a lot of fun.