I am a PC. Yesterday, I happened to walk into an Apple Store, they happened to have an iPhone, I happened to buy it. The morning after, I am still amazed, it happened so fast, I am a Mac.
When you see an incredibly beautiful thing, and you get an amazingly smooth experience, you soon realize that this new solid experience has the same simple coherrant DNA in every fiber of its design. It marries perfectly software, hardware and user interface. The richness is in the screen – 144 pixels an inch (PC’s and cell phones typically are 75 ppi). The powerful animation and video refresh subsystems make video and pictures stunning, but that touch interface – responsive, pleasurable and magical.
I brought my iPhone home, fired up my family Dell, updated software and got an account on iTunes7.3 (the slowest part of this process) then activated the phone with the at&t plan and I was making calls in ten minutes. It is amazingly simple, and fast, especially if you have suffered activation in-store. Helpful to watch their no-nonsense video at apple/iphone/activation. The iPhone is sold as a personal device, sadly. You cannot put it on an at&t business plan, though my IT department tried mightily. It has to be a personal buy. Where to buy? I went to my home town at&t store, but the lady told me they trickle in. She went out of her way to say, politely but firmly, it would be an at&t security violation to open the Apple box in the store. I had to get out of the store to do it. Talk about bad service policy that result in making operator salespeople look like jerks. No commissions for at&t. My advice – the Apple store is the only place to buy.
Anyway, after a decade of cell phone frustration, of hoping, of searching – believing that the right one is out there, somewhere, someday? Well. I found it. I slept with my iPhone charging by my bed. It was black quiet – no annoying LED like the typical cell phone. The iPhone knows what it must do, and keeps its mouth shut. I got my deep dark sleep and awoke this morning refresjed. iPhone in hand, looked in the mirror – still amazed of the experience, the beauty, the performance, the simplicity. And now I have a great iPod too with an animated Cover Flow picker. To my ear it sounds better than my U2 iPod.
Looking back, I was PC with iPhone envy, but often desires feed the quest over the worthy path of travail. And those iPhone demo videos are extremely useful to unlearn the PC and unlearn the Cell phones that the industry has not had the courage to update. All the pain we have suffered using cell phones. Gone. The new math – the industry’s pain is Apple’s gain.
If you pick-up an iPhone the first time, all you need to know is the one bottom button. Press it whenever you are lost in translation (from the Olde World). About connections. With WiFi at home – The internet looks just like the internet, but smaller – you can zoom around in the New York Times, pinch open articles to a very large size. There is no walled garden barrier here. It is uncannily a great experience.
Syncing an iPhone to your CPU is important, but fundamentally flawed by Apple’s iPod architecture. You must sync because typing is slow. Don’t get me wrong – iPhone typing is faster and more foolproof than any cell phone I know, but you really want texting solved. The new phone method of magnifier “lift finger” typing may work out in the end. Because you will make fewer mistakes. Tell me if you see a small portable Bluetooth keyboard. When you sync to your PC, you get contacts, web bookmarks, media. The big problem is if you have multiple sync sources. I uploaded my PC iTunes music, but I just paid for an iTunes on my new other PC (MacBook Pro) and I cannot get it to the iPhone without erasing what’s on the iPhone already. (And I paid Apple for the music in both places – criminal)
A digression – developers complain there is no iPhone SDK and Apple says do everything on the web for the Safari web browser. I take it in stride. Apple clearly needs to show by example, what a mobile standard is for wireless experience – simplicity and command orientation for being on-the-go. Clearly we want to get widgets, ringtones, wallpapers and more Icons on the home screen – I certainly could use a voice commander – my most valued cell phone utility – the only safe way to drive and call. Today I am going out and I fear the EDGE, that is to say – taking myPhone beyond WiFi and run at the mercy of at&t’s slow 384 kbps EDGE network (Sprint & Verizon use 3.2 mbps – which is the speed I am used to) – more on this when I experience it. Now how to link iPhone to the MacBookPro – my secret mission. Virgin territory – feels like 1984 all over again.
OK, just got off the freeway and my passenger (first timer) hated the keyboard, but was satisfied with the web browser speeds. And as I was driving, a few glances are that EDGE seems suprisingly servicable. Tried it as a passenger later in the day and it loads pages just fine. Video? only Youtube, few others like Rocketboom loaded well.
My hygene is definitely improving, as I wash my hands and the right side of my face up to my ear three times a day to keep the oils off the screen. Gotta give that camera eye a swab so you don’t get hazy pictures.
But I must say it is nice to feel reborn in the light of iPhone, my phone, no less.
One Week Later
After the raised eybrows, oos and aahs the iPhone is the most solid cellular device ever made. In a security line I dropped onto hard cement it during a rude frisking . A heart felt experience – but no fuss, no muss. Now for some use cases.
- Costco – During a call, my face contact somehow dialed my boss on vacation. However, iPhone is a first class mulitparty calling interface.
- Nightclub concert – Pictures are not as good compared to other cell phone cameras that zoom and work in low light. However it is a great casual camera that lets friends pictures fly into the address book. Of course you are far better using a real camera, but that will be bounced at the door. And YouTube is a hit in the nightclub, but streaming on at&t EDGE is one big apology I hate making all the time.
- Walking out of car – If you don’t terminate the call with the “END CALL” button, your pocket can redial. Not sure the exact mechanics of this yet.
- Phonetop quandry – The calendar shows current date, but the clock does not show current time.
- Solid dependable and extremely well made. Continually pleasurable and rewarding to use.
- First class outlook synching. I require this for my enterprise for calendar and contacts.
- Internet is the Internet. I don’t feel like the carrier is tricking me – as on other phones.
- GPS please. The Google Map APIS are awesome but the phone should know where I am (like my old phone). Having a GPS location is like knowing the time of day. It is a given. The good news is as I go to my car I whip out the big juicy area Google picture with the Realtime traffic turned on. Very helpful.
- 3G or even 4G please. The Internet deserves modern speeds. Streaming YouTube, rich web sites and other Internet media should not be painful.
- iTunes Addition. Allow syncying to share multiple libraries into the iPhone. Once you put your PC music on the iPhone, you cannot go to your second PC and add more. In other words you have to merge your PC music first – crazy.
Love this phone and have no regrets leaving the wireless rocks of the Neanerthals behind. The fingertip feel of its use is continually rewarding. I enjoy the Internet on the go. For the first time, I am fundamentally rethinking web design as a mobile utility.