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Three weeks with an iPhone

Posted: Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 by Gene

 I’ve been using the iPhone for a few weeks now and wanted to share my thought on it as a phone, a wireless device and, finally, as an email client.


1.  Phone

Fantastic!  Sound quality is great, BlueTooth integration was a snap and  I’m not getting any lost/dropped calls at all.  The ability to take the phone away from your ear and the screen lighting up is a great touch when you want to end a call or do something else.  I’m very impressed, again, with the sound quality.  I’ve lost some hearing in my right ear (too many ear infections caused by chlorinated water in my youth) and have found it difficult to use cell phones with that ear in the past.  With the iPhone, I don’t even need to turn the volume all the way up!


2.  Wireless device

After getting around the issue of my fat fingers and the touchscreen on the phone, I’ve found it much easier to type after a few days.  There’s no tactile feel of the buttons being pushed like with the other devices I’ve used in the past so it took me a while to wrap my brain around it, and I’m still not typing as fast on it as I was my 8525, for example, but I do like the keyboard.

 The built-in applications are very easy to use.  Adding cities to the Weather app, for example, is very intuitive and there’s no need to RTFM.  It took me almost no time whatsoever to get used to navigating from one app to another.  The SMS interface is clean and it’s nice to see a conversation separated out as well.  While there aren’t a ton of third-party applications for the iPhone that I’ve found very useful or don’t require an internet connection, I am using PocketTweets to update Twitter from the road.  Using the WiFi connection on the device is easy as pie too.  I’ve got it set for auto-discover so I get prompted to join random wireless networks from time to time, but I’ve got it tied into my work and home networks so I’m not sending/receiving data over the slow AT&T wireless network.  It makes browsing much faster.  Voice over WiFi would be fantastic, but isn’t a deal-breaker to be sure.


3.  Email client

This is where I have to start speaking poorly of the iPhone, with one caveat:  iPhone firmware 2.0 should resolve this issue when they start supporting ActiveSync.

Right now though?  Painful when connected to Exchange.  Delete a message on your phone?  Doesn’t delete on the server.  It’s just marked as read.  Send an email from the phone?  Doesn’t show up in Sent Items in Outlook.  Wireless sync of Contacts and Calendar?  Nope.


It works great with Gmail though…


All said, I’m really glad I’ve got the iPhone.  I didn’t even touch on the iPod and video playback functionality (all Firefly episodes on the device FTW!), but it’s great.  The camera is very nice, and the built-in ability to set pictures as your wallpaper and/or email to contacts is a nice touch too.

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