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Apple iPhone 3G

Posted

Pros: Human interface, applications, capabilities, reliability

Cons: Battery life

For me, a mobile phone is my mobile access to my connected world: voice, web, email, and social networks. The iPhone is my mobile computer. With the variety of applications allowing me to connect my computers to it, my iPhone has become my primary interface to the world, with larger computers being there primarily for longer typing sessions.

 

This is the picture of where we're headed.

 

I'm aware that some people are stuck with issues around the software keyboard, and the Storm's tactile glass may be a way to address it, but from the beginning of using an iPhone, I found a willingness to adjust to the keyboard to be in my favor. Now, after a year, I type very well and quickly on it (and the auto-correct does a very good job, as well).

 

The app store provides a number of additional capabilities, including notes and lists that sync with my other systems, and I am quite pleased with a system that works consistently.

 

There are times when apps die, and other times when I decide it's time for a reboot, but I have never had a call interrupted by a system failure and I have had no lost data, both of which are extremely important to me.

Posted

Pros: Full computing platform, beautiful screen, great iPod/PMP, App Store, GPS

Cons: Unrealized potential, no select/copy/paste, no Bluetooth keyboards, crashes

 

Introduction

I have owned over the past 15 years a new PDA or cellphone every year. The best have been: Psion Series 5mx (portability, OS stability, portable Office document creation and editing, battery life, keyboard), Palm 750p-Sprint (keyboard, OS stability, battery life (with extended battery)). The worst have been: anything with Windows Mobile -HP 4705, Treo 700wx-Sprint, UTStarcom 4700-Sprint -all having to do with OS instability, horrible internet experience, and dreadful user interface. iPhone 3G trumps them all in: user interface, screen quality, multimedia play and iTunes, phone quality and functionality, interface with Outlook Exchange, and Apps - App Store. It falls short in: OS stability, text entry, Apple-centrism, and battery life. 

 

Pluses 

User interface - This is Apple's calling card. It unclutters, almost to an extreme. Where other phones have maximized the number of buttons that one can put on a device, the iPhone only has a handful. Windows Mobile basically takes the position that everything can fit on a menu and while it works okay on a computer, it fails on a phone screen. Palm's UI and OS works okay but that's like saying Mac OS 9.2 works okay -it's been stretched and kludged to make it work in 2008, but is still the same OS that was around in 2001. The UI on iPhone is simple, but not dumbed down. 

 

Screen Quality - The screen makes you feel like you are holding some artifact from the far future. It is deep and rich, the blacks are truly black, and the colors are vivid. My HP 4705 has a larger, higher resolution screen, but it is handicapped by the Windows Mobile and now ancient processor so that photo viewing was a chore and not a pleasure. The other half of the deal - the camera on the iPhone, has been criticized for being merely 2 megapixel. This is a misunderstanding by these critics - the camera and lens are perfectly tuned for the iphone's screen and for printing 4x6 snapshots. Anything bigger, and you really should take a dedicated camera. 

 

Multimedia Play - iPod works. It just does for everything that you channel via iTunes. It'll play Youtube via the Youtube App. The sound quality is great - not discernibly different from my other iPods. The 16 gigabytes of memory are adequate, but don't think it will replace a large hard -drive iPod (yet). 

 

Phone Quality and Functionality - All of my smartphones up to now have been very poor telephones. The dialing, the voicemailing, the sound quality of the call, have all been barely acceptable on both Verizon and Sprint. This has to do with the fact that I live in a suburb of Des Moines. I noticed on both Verizon and Sprint that the signals are at around two bars at my house, but if I choose Roaming only, I would get 4 bars. I think iPhone does a better job at handoffs with roaming towers, although not perfectly. The great thing is even at 1 bar, the sound is clear on my iPhone. I have not had a chance to check 3G functionality as it is unavailable in Des Moines until next year. 

 

Outlook Exchange - I live on Exchange -my secretary plots out my day via the calendar, and I can see updates rapidly. It works fine, although it does not zip as fast as it did on the 750p. Windows Mobile should be the best, but it fails by instability and keyboard lag that occurs which can only be ameliorated by periodic and scheduled soft resets (happened with every Win Mob phone I have had). Emails are beautiful and readable. No To-Do's -can't fathom why.

 

Apps -Apps Store - Apple has created an addictive candy store for iPhone owners. You have to consider ALL the programs in there to be advanced beta's. They crash and stall, but no harm done to the phone or data. The reasTon why I go back is there are wonderful apps that are a dream to install  - this can be a miserable experience on Win Mob with cabinet files and un-uninstallable apps that crap up the onboard RAM. There are new Apps everyday. The App Store is the killer app for the iPhone, and you realize the hermetically sealed eco-system of Apple's gadget's allow App Store to succeed where web stores like Handango with their crappy Palm and Windows store front apps fail horribly. 

 

Shortfalls

OS stability - The phone does freeze up on some apps. I think it has to do with multitasking background 'net related items - email pickup, facebook refreshes, app store upgrade refreshes -anything with push that makes the phone look up stuff via Edge or Wireless. If you try to bring up some other app, it freezes, and you have to do an occasional soft reset - This happens about once or twice a week which is much better than the every day that occurred with my Win Mob phones. Palm would do it too, but I never tried to run too many apps on these phones -not many are good enough to have a must have. 

 

Text Entry

The popup screen based keyboard is a huge initial turnoff -the accuracy is disturbingly poor -at first, until you realize that it does a predictive suggestion trick. You have to trust that it will predict what you are trying to type and then if it is correct, you press the space key to accept the suggestion. It becomes fast, but the whole proces is useless for extended document creation. Which leads to my next point -Apple does not want you to sit and create documents with a phone. That is what a laptop is for. That is why there are no bluetooth keyboards and there is no copy/paste. This is a shame. With a snapon keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard, there is really no need to bring a laptop anywhere with iPhone, which is NOT what Apple wants. 

 

Apple Centrism

The iPhone, it goes without saying, is part of the Apple universe. This includes a vision of how people use their technology. It is flexible within the parameters that they set. For example, the Apps are wonderful, but can only be sold via App Store, which is great in streamlining the purchasing process, but keeps out programs that would allow things that stray from Apple's vision or business plan (Skype and VOIP is a glaring example). iPhone is meant to be a reader of data, and an occasional generator of data, but the laptop is what Steve wants you to use to create documents. It should be capable of multitasking and heavy data lifting, but this would cause iPhone to slow down doing things that it was not designed for. It has a niche in the Apple universe, and it is designed to avoid competing with its fellow Apple devices. This may be a deal breaker for some.

 

Battery Life

The battery life is "ehh-ehh." With heavy use, I start hitting red at the end of my day (10-12 hours). It is simple enough to carry a USB cable, and use it to charge off any available computer or USB socket -there are multiple docks and power supply solutions. With Bluetooth and WiFi on, the batter drain is annoying. I recently purchased a Kensington battery for backup, but it is something else to carry. Again, for heavy work, Apple wants you to buy a Mac to do work on. 

 

Summary

iPhone is a beautiful device. It works better than any modern smartphone I have owned, but doesn't multitask, it has no keyboard options, it has no real good document creation options. That being said, it is the best device out there because it does so many things well, including being an excellent telephone. Everyone has to realize that buying now means buying during the beta period. Still, no gadget has made me this happy except perhaps my first Mac, circa 1985. 

 

Addendum: 9-19-2008

With 2.1 update, I have noticed a stepwise improvement in Contacts loading, a 20-30% improvement in battery life, and better behavior on the part of some third party apps. I haven't had to reset as often. This increases the battery life score to 4. 

 

Addendum: 10-4-2008

Safari crashes are frequent and annoying cutting into my love for the iPhone. I don't know if 2.1 is to blame or if it is a third party app or something in the backup/load process for upgrading to 2.1. The crashes result while loading image heavy pages, or scrolling fast. Also the keyboard's suggestions are wrong enough you have to be very careful to read what you end up with -sort of a return to Newton version 1.0. 

 

Apple needs to fix Safari, but good, give us Copy/Paste/Select Text with a clipboard between programs (for pete's sake, i'm writing down numbers with a paper and pen and retyping them on other pages/programs), and let bluetooth keyboards into the sandbox. 

Posted

Pros: Lightning fast email, internet in your pocket, apps store, and you can use it as a phone.

Cons: Size, shape, screen vulnerability and battery life.

Waited in line at the AT&T store with the rest of the faithful on 7/11/08 to get the last G3 IPhone, number 20, of the first 20 avaliable in my area, PTL.  I got a black 3G 8, and after the line dissipated, ordered the black 3G 16 that I really wanted.  Gave the 8 gig to my wife when the 16 came in about 10 days later.  Have been loading apps ever since.  My wife loves hers.  The Apps store is a genius idea.  

 

The phone has great sound quality and is of course very cool and extreemly useful.  I can get to and review my emails faster than on my dual processor desktop.  The only drawback to internet access is the small screen size and no cut and paste feature, but the portability outweighs all that.  The apps are cool, fun and also very usefull, most are free or .99 to 1.99 each.  My favorite is a weather app with a moving radar loop, 14.99, you can set the radar to your current location and/or drag it all over the US.

 

The GPS is very cool and we used it during a trip to Orlando recently.  We could see ourselves as a blue dot on interstate 4 going to Lakeland and I keyed in food with just an 'F' and it dropped pins over the nearby restaurants, touch the pin and you get more info about the restaurant, touch their phone number and you can call them.  We used this at home after dinner at KrackerBarrel.  I keyed in ice cream and it showed us a Brewsters just 1/2 mile down the road.  My wife knew it was there, she knows the location of all ice cream places that she has ever seen and she's still thin, but I digress.  They did not have White Galaxy or a moca flavor, but the ice cream was still great.      

Posted

Pros: Sleekness, touchscreen, feel, apps, wifi, 3g, gps, huge onboard memory, sync, pandora!!!

Cons: battery, 3g is spotty, 2.0 glitches, no cut & paste, no mms, OS sluggish at times, plastic back

Coming from a Blackberry that had everything I wanted but was ugly and deemed a "worker-bee phone", I am still missing a lot in the iPhone.

 

Overall, I am extremely let down by the kinks present in the current OS version 2.0.  As expected there would be kinks in any first generation OS but these are serious.  The battery life is terrible, the worst I've had in, I can't even remember.  The notification sound for SMS randomly quits and will only vibrate.  The alert volume for the ringer Will randomly set itself to low.  Applications crash every now and then.  The keyboard is sluggish when typing in SMS especially when multi-tasking.  The rounded back feels better in my hands but the plastic back feels cheaper and immediately smudges upon touching, even if you have the white one (which I got), but still better than the black by far. 

 

The upside, I would suppose, is that I have faith in apple to fix all of the said problems in a software patch.  I am hoping that they get a good grip on battery life because it certainly doesn't feel as good as they claim it to be.  Other than that I am keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't make a mistake by waiting in line for hours. 

Posted

Pros: Great interface and the App Store is amazing

Cons: Battery life has me worried

I'm sure I'll update this review after some additional use, but here are my impressions after a weekend with the phone.

 

This is my first iPhone.  I was holding out for 3G and it seems like the wait was worth it.  The data speeds are great and it excels as an internet browsing device.  The user interface is intuitive, I haven't had a single issue yet.

 

The App Store is what is going to really going to set this phone apart from the competition.  Even at launch, there are quite a few good quality applications and I'm sure it's only going to get better.  It's so simple to search/browse for applications on the phone and then download/install them.  With the integrated GPS, the possibilities are endless.

 

My only concern, and it's a major one, is battery life.  I realize I was overusing the phone since it was my new toy, but I was able to go through 80% of the battery's charge in half a day.  I really don't think I was overusing it either.  I'll update my review once I settle into more 'normal' daily use and the battery has been through some charge cycles...but this could be the difference between a good and a great phone.  Carrying around a USB charger cable is a terrible solution.  I just need it to last a full day on a single charge.

 

I think you'll have a hard time finding any other phone with similar capabilities.  Some of the better Windows Mobile devices may come close...but I think it's in a league of its own...until Android phones begin to ship.

Posted

Pros: looks beautiful

Cons: worried I'll scratch it!

Really pleased with my new present - been wanting one for ages - absolutely in love with it.

Posted

Pros: great design, handy

Cons: addictive, may cause marital strife, battery hog

Both my wife and I had our AT&T contracts come up for renewal this month,so we were in the market for new phones. My wife wanted to upgrade from her Razor, and had her heart set on an iPhone. I love Apple, although I can't currently afford or justify a Mac, but remained a bit skeptical on the iPhone. We decided she would get hers and I would evaluate it before deciding if I wanted one too.

 

After a screw-up in activating it that was wholly a reps fault, not Apple's, we were on our way. Actually we could use the wi-fi feature the evening it was not activated, so that was handy. Call quality is avarage to a bit above. Way better than my wife's old Razor (louder too), and about equivalent to my Sony-Erricson w810i. My wife does not read manuals, and has managed to figure it out on her own. I've only referred to the manual once for a question I could not figure out. Works great with my Plantronics Bluetooth headset.

 

The stand-out feature for me is the sheer versatility of the iPhone. My mother-in-law is on our plan too (we run a small business), and in the iPhone she can get four things she wants for the proce of one: a new phone, a GPS, an iPod, and wireless internet access. As someone who works in the field for the real estate market, that is priceless.

 

My worries are few, but not insignificant. AT&T will not currently insure the iPhone. I'm not too worried about me, but my wife and mother-in-law are brutal on phones. This could be an expensive problem. I already got a solid case for my wife's phone, and I will invest in one for mine when I get it. The battery life on a 3G network is poor. If you are out of the house, a car charger is a must. I work in an office all day, so I will be able to plug mine into a USB port on my workstation - but I still want a car charger. The camera, while 2 megapixels, is feature-poor. There are some good software solutions for this, but the best involve "jail-breaking" your phone, which is not a great idea.

 

Lastly, the sharing of the phone has been an issue. If you are mrried, I recommend buying two, as the prying of the iPhone from your hands will be sure to cause some strife. Marital bliss is worth the extra $199.

Apple iPhone 3G
By:
Description:

With a $199-8GB version and a $299-16GB versions coming available July 11th, 2008, the 2nd Generation iPhone, or iPhone 3G is taking many steps towards being a dominant consumer/enterprise crossover leader. Apple has added full push capabilities for Microsoft Exchange as well as VPN support developed with the help of Cisco. Perhaps the feature getting the most buzz is the 3G data connectivity which is purported to be anywhere from 50% to 400% faster than its EDGE predecessor depending on the application. Additionally, Apple added GPS support for location awareness, which combined with the available Software Developers Kit (SDK) and legion of 25,000 worldwide developers (and growing) should make for some very interesting, useful applications.

Details:
DetailValue
Network TypeGSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
Form FactorCandy Bar
Talk Time5 hours on 3G, 10 hours on 2G
Standby Timeup to 300 hours, 24 hours of music playback, 7 hours of video
Width2.4 in.
Height4.5 in.
Depth.48 in.
Weight4.7 ounces
Other Features
Built-in Digital CameraYes
Included AccessoriesStereo headset with mic, dock connector to USB, USB power adapter, cleaning/polishing cloth, SSIM ejector tool
Digital Camera Resolution2 megapixels
Digital Camera Zoom
Display
Screen Resolution
Release Date07/11/2008
Cell Phone Band
Operating SystemiPhone OS
CarrierAT&T
CarrierRogers Wireless
Release StatusAvailable
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Pre-purchase Questions

 

Can I order the iPhone online through Apple or AT&T?
Not at this time. This may be an option later.

What is the difference between the $30 and $45 data plans?
The $30 plan is for standard consumer accounts. The $45 is for Corporate accounts (because they will supposedly use more with coroporate synci

Do FAN discounts now apply to the 3G?
Yes, but some people are reporting that it's limited to certain features (text, data, etc.).

Does the iPhone 3G have MMS, Copy/paste, or video recording, unlike its predecessor?
At this time, these features still have not been implemented.

Will the Dock from my first iPhone work with this one?
Apple redesigned the device and unfortunately the two are not compatible.

 

Various Technical and How-To Information


My phone seems to have keyboard lag while composing text messages and/or emails. It also can be slow and appear to lock up while going into Contacts and in other areas. Do I have a defective phone?
These have been common software issues cited by many people with 2.0 firmware and hopefully these bugs will be addressed in a near future update. Keep your fingers crossed!

Why does only the left speaker work on the bottom of the phone, is my iPhone defective?
There is only one speaker at the bottom. The right part is actually the microphone.

How do I restart my phone if it locks up?
Hold down the Home button along with the top Power/sleep button for 12 seconds.

My battery life seems horrible, is my phone defective?
Most batteries need a few full charge cycles to get optimum efficiency out of them. Be aware that like most 3G devices, excessive use will play a part along with using wifi. Turning these off when not in use can improve performance a decent amount. Try to give it some time to see if you're simply using it more than you realize before making a rush to exchange it.

How can I disable/enable 3G or Wifi?
3G - Settings > General > Network > Enable 3G
Wifi - settings > Wifi


How can I change or import custom ringtones?
There are various ways by searching here and Google. One popular method is using iRinger which can be found here.

Is there a way to change my text messaging and/or email tones?
Not at this time.

It's taking forever to backup my iPhone when doing a sync in iTunes, is my phone defective?
This is a common issue and believed to be caused due to the various applications you may have downloaded from the App Store. You can click the small 'X' if you want to bypass the backup.

I've seen screen shots of various screens in the iPhone, how is this done?
While on the screen you want a picture of, hold down the HOME button and then press and release the sleep/power button at the top. If done right, you will see the screen *flash* and there will be a picture sent into your 'Camera Roll' in Pictures. You can then of course send it via email and/or upload it to a site to reference later.


Links to additional Resources


Where can I sign up for the Free 60-Day Trial for MobileME?
You can find the sign up site here.

Where can I test my data speeds, it seems slow?
iPhonespeedtest seems to be pretty good. You can also try here.

Where can I find additional information or reviews on Applications from the App Store?
Check out the iPhone App section

Where can I find information about the free Wifi service that we get from AT&T at locations such as Starbucks?
This has apparently, once again, been pushed back.  (Please update if new info becomes available.)

Is my Unlimited usage for Data really 'Unlimited'?
Information on AT&T's Terms and Conditions can be read here. The short answer is 'Yes' but it's always good to read up here as things can change.

Where can I find information for becoming a iPhone Developer?
Click here for information.

Where can I find the iPhone 3G technical specifications?
Apple official info here

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone Battery Life

 

Gizmodo did an excellent analysis of the iPhone's talk-time vs. competitors:

 

 

 

 

Versions:

There will be an two different versions of the 3G iPhone available on July 11th: an 8 GB and 16 GB version. They will both be very similar with the exception of the amount of storage—the 8 GB 3G iPhone version will store up to 8 GB of data, and the 16 GB 3G iPhone version will store 16 GB of data.The only other differece is that the 16 GB 3G iPhone will have white and black versions while the 8 GB 3G iPhone will be available in black only.

 

Features:

  • 3G network support
  • Multi-touch display
  • Built-in GPS support
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • App Store

 

Standard Applications:

Standard (default) applications should be listed here.

 

Third-Party Applications:

  • Sega Monkey Ball
  • eBay
  • Loopt
  • TypePad
  • Associated Press
  • Pangeo Enigmo
  • Pangea Cro-Mag Rally
  • Cow Music Band
  • MLB.com
  • Modality
  • MIMvista
  • Krull

 

Unveling the iPhone

 

During Steve Jobs keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference June 9th, 2008 in San Francisco, CA, the following tantalizing commercial "unveiled" the iPhone 3G:

 

 

 

 

 

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