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iPhone

So yeah, I made the plunge Sunday morning. Drove over to the CambridgeSide Galleria a little before 11, planning to wait in line til the doors opened at 11... Found them already open; lots of stores were already open, actually, so I'm not sure what the hours actually are over there. Or maybe the Apple store opened early for iPhone weekend.

Anyway, I walked in, said "got any 8G phones?" and they said "Yep." I paused... said "give me a minute to think" and went over to the display to play with one again. And was once again amazed at the UI on the thing. And the screen. The screen is sooooo beautiful. So anyway, I went back over to the counter and got one. It was really easy! No Wii-like pain of waiting repeatedly in lines only to be thwarted at the rising of the sun.

This, my friends, is the first phone in the history of mankind that doesn't suck. Plain and simple.

But there are things I'll miss about my Nokia 6682. Primarily the powerful IM client I had for it - it handled all the protocols (though it only supported a single Jabber account at once). Also missed will be the ability to use my phone as a bluetooth modem for the N800 Internet Tablet, and the general ability to load it with new software. To be honest, the difficulty signing up on Sunday wasn't about the cost of the iPhone, it was about the loss of the 6682. If I could move the SIM back and forth between the devices I'd be ecstatic right now.

On the other hand, the sealed-ness of the iPhone makes it feel truly solid, and I see why they did it. It is amazing how fragile it doesn't feel.

I could go on about it, but Jered's post says a lot of what I would say about it, and he said it first. His post was one of the things that really helped me decide to jump.

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
So the two things that make me wary of getting an iPhone are the iPod-like nonreplaceable battery (i.e. you can't just slide it off and throw on a charged one) and the touch screen which in my imagination would prevent me from being able to use tactile feedback to dial without looking at the device, which is something that I do with phones all the time. Looking at it isn't *that* big a deal I suppose, but it means I have to use my brain rather than letting the other parts of my central nervous system play.
The more I think about this, though, I am reminded that there are no frets on a violin; that muscle memory doesn't necessarily need tactile feedback as long as you have proprioception. Do you find that it works out that way for you?
crs
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC)
The tactile feedback had me going for a while too, until I realized the reason I dial like that so often. It's because all other phones suck.

Hear me out.

When a phone's UI is bad, it's painful to bring up the contacts list, find a person in it, and pick one of their numbers to call.

Click contacts, wait a second while it loads. Type the first couple letters of the name using T9, wait while it narrows. Click arrow keys until the right name is highlighted, select, arrow down to the right phone number for that contact. Every time you press an arrow key there's a small delay in response from the phone before you see the results of the keypress. Unless you're confident that four "down arrow" clicks is the right number, you're clicking, waiting to make sure that you end up pointing at the right name, then pressing select. Latency in UIs is death.

If you happen to already remember the number you want to call, it's much, much less painful, and more to just dial ten digits and press "talk." In that case, latency doesn't matter, since you can simply type ahead.

Now, with the iPhone, there's no latency in the UI, and thus the contacts list is the fast way to call someone arbitrary. If you're dialing a number you don't have memorized, you need to be looking at what you're doing anyway, I believe.

I guess it's missing tactile access to Speed dial numbers... but It has a favorites list which is comparable. Don't really think it's usable without looking at the phone, though. One can't even unlock the thing without looking at it.
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
I haven't carried a mobile for a good three years, but I seem to recall the interface being near-enough-instant as hardly matters. Some of the stuff for which tactile feedback was really useful was being able to hit the ignore call button on the phone while it was still in my pocket, or the other way around.
crs
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
Hm, there are a couple physical buttons on this thing. I wonder if they mapped them to functions like that. I haven't looked at a manual yet :)
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
see now that I had no idea of. And really, there's a lot to be said for not having to read the manual! This speaks volumes for the design of the UI. Still, I should probably swing by the Apple store next week and pick the brain of one of the folks there about all my questions.
crs
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
No, see, I do not assert that that's true, about the buttons. I hope that's true, and say I don't know whether it's true, because I haven't read a manual :)
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Right, I caught that part. I'm just thinking that if there is sufficient anticipation by the apple engineers of my personal concerns, that I might drink this particular flavor of koolaid.
jered
Jul. 3rd, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
Push the sleep/wake button on top to silence the ringer, and second time to divert the call to voicemail. I like the "silent ringer" switch being a hardware switch (and not a toggle), too.
cityofbeige
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
So the two things that make me wary of getting an iPhone are the iPod-like nonreplaceable battery (i.e. you can't just slide it off and throw on a charged one)

If there's some way for you to hack into your iPod and replace the battery, you can find it at Make Magazine. I'm sure there's going to be a similar article for iPhones in the next few months.
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Sure, I sub to Make: and read the blog via RSS. But this doesn't really solve the issue of being able to carry a spare, charged battery in the event that you're away from a charging dock for a long period of time.
cityofbeige
Jul. 3rd, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
You mean... like make an iPod charger out of an Altoid tin and two AA batteries? Trust me... it's all there. You just have to look for it.
srakkt
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
No, I really do mean a user-replacable battery as something that is designed for by thoughtful engineers.
navrins
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
I was going to ask if you wanted to sell your Nokia now, and if so, whether I wanted to buy it, but your response to srakkt suggests is it inferior to my current 4-year-old Motorola piece of crap (which doesn't do much, but what it does it does instantly) so I probably don't.

I *am* planning to buy a new phone soon - have been for a while, and now I've moved and my volume-up button is broken (but not the volume-down button, which will lead to problems sooner or later). I have zero desire for an iPod, so I don't think the iPhone is likely to be right for me. But if you have recommendations or anti-recommendations, I'd be interested.
crs
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
You should take a look at my phone. If you're on Cingular, you should be able to just slip your SIM in and try it for a day or seven.

Your phone really does things instantly? Hm, maybe phones used to be better when they were simpler, it's a good point.
navrins
Jul. 3rd, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
I'm on T-Mobile, but the service isn't so good in my new home - another reason I'm planning to change.

Last I heard, Cingular basically sucked on all levels. But that was years ago. Has that changed?

Yup, my phone responds instantly. But all it does is make and receive phone calls. Which is fine. I'd like to have a phone that can do more than that, but I'm not willing to sacrifice its ability to make and receive phone calls in order to get games and email and web browsing.
ringrose
Jul. 3rd, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
I've been happy with my Treo. Pictures, palm pilot, phone. The palm is much better integrated with the phone than in my previous one, and it has good quality sound - both for me, and for the person I'm calling.

From what I've seen the iphone wins on the integration front. I'm not positive about the sound quality since I've only received one shortish call from an iphone.
chenoameg
Jul. 3rd, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
My ancient phone does things instantly.
zkzkz
Jul. 3rd, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
You should be able to stick the iphone sim into the nokia, no?

Not the other way around though.
eccentrific
Jul. 3rd, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Man, if you didn't get instant response from pushing buttons, you definitely needed a new phone. I've never had one that had any noticeable response delay.

I will wait until you've had your iPhone a few months and ask again before I believe you as to whether or not the iPhone doesn't suck. It's easy to think something is uber cool and shiny when you haven't had to use it on a daily basis yet :-)
jered
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
If I could move the SIM back and forth between the devices I'd be ecstatic right now.

This should work. You may need to have your Nokia unlocked, but the provider is required to do that.

Getting at the iPhone SIM is a little harder than a usual phone, though, as it requires a paperclip.
crs
Jul. 3rd, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhhhh.

THAT'S what that is!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )