Before I begin gushing about the iPhone I have to mention, especially for those of you that do not have one yet, that you can win one of two free 8Gb iPhones that we're giving away over at Viddler just for doing simple MeToday videos. Each video you do (one per day per person) is an entry into the contest. No, you don't have to do one every single day. But since each video is an entry one would think that the more MeTodays that you do, the better chance you have at winning! We'll give someone an iPhone on the 15th and 30th of July. So don't read the rest of this post! Go get a Viddler account!
Ok. So what do I think of the iPhone? As you might have already guessed, I love it. For the entire weekend I rarely got onto my Macbook to do anything except sync my latest settings of my iPhone to the computer. The iPhone is a great mini-computer for getting most of your core Internet activities done like checking/responding to email, surfing the web for information, or other simple daily tasks like this.
I won't get into the speed of the EDGE network or how the virtual keyboard is. To me these are non-issues thus far and I don't have much to compare these two things to since I have never had a cell phone that used the Internet, nor a full sized hard keyboard. I can type pretty fast on the keyboard and the Internet is nearly as fast as being home on Wifi. So again, both are non-issues.
One of my fellow line-waiters John Gruber did a fantastic job giving his general overview of each feature of the iPhone the other day. My impressions are on par with John's except that I've found myself typing just fine. Be sure to read his thoughts if you'd like to catch some of the nice things about each "feature" of the iPhone.
However, I'd like to extend his list a little bit to remark on some of the little things I've noticed while using the iPhone that I think make the experience all the more enjoyable.
The weight of the iPhone came as a surprise to some. Yes, it feels heavier than it looks. To me this make the iPhone feel tough and rugged when compared to the way it looks. I think the fact that we're seeing people surprised at how tough the iPhone actually is, is because it doesn't look very rugged. It looks elegant, which doesn't usually mean tough. However the weight of the iPhone makes it feel very rugged to me.
The speed of the interface is something that I was very skeptical about. The commercials led me to believe that the interface was just as fast, if not faster, than switching windows on my computer. In my relatively little experience with mobile phones - the interfaces on these things have never been described by me as "snappy" or "fast". However the iPhone's interface, in general, is incredibly fast. When speaking with John Gruber in line, he remarked how the iPhone's "one app at a time" focus really lent itself to being able to be very fast. The iPhone doesn't need to show windows inside of windows or multiple layers or even windows on top of windows. The application that you are currently looking at is obviously getting the priority in the Operating System which makes the iPhone blaze.
The sleep, volume, silent, and home buttons are the perfect combination of buttons that were decided to be "hard buttons". Although one can easily adjust the volume in most applications within the iPhone's interface, you can also use the hard volume control on the side of the iPhone. The same goes for the silent and sleep buttons - I never have to "turn on" the iPhone to use these options. And the home button is definitely far better than keeping the "doc" visible and having a "desktop" button or something. I'm really glad the iPhone has a home button.
Within each application on the iPhone there are small, hidden gems that you will only find through experimentation or someone telling you that they are there. Like the ability to turn on the caps lock key, or tapping the top bar to auto-scroll to the top of the page in Safari (both tips came from John Gruber's site), etc. None of these small interface features are handed over, but once you find them you love them.
Keeping in mine that, technically, this is iPhone 1.0 which includes all the hardware and software that came in those beautiful black bags on Friday, I have a few things that I'd like to see improved. I'm sure that, internally, this is build 10,000 of the iPhone's OS and its applications, but from my perspective it is still 1.0. Being such, I fully expected to have the wish list that follows.
I'm going to cut this list short because, as I said, this is a 1.0 release and one that I'm overwhelmingly happy with. I've found the iPhone becoming an extension of my laptop in ways I hadn't considered before. I knew that I'd find the iPhone useful, I didn't expect to want to use it more than my laptop.
What are your thoughts on the iPhone? Any wishes that I didn't cover?