Two days with the iphone

So my iphone was finally activated on friday. First impression : it is cool. Just as damn cool as the demo videos show it to be. It feels like you’re in a Sci-Fi movie because of how amazingly well done it is.

There are a couple of lacks :

  • notes are nice, but apparently there’s now way to access them outside of the phone. Well, that’s one thing even my first palm could do ten years ago :-). But it would be surprising that a future firmware upgrade wouldn’t provide a way to sync them with the notes on Mail (although this would mean a dependency on Leopard…).
  • speaking of Mail, synchronising the todo’s would be good too. Again, for a future upgrade.
  • in at least one case, it could use a clickwheel :-). More specifically, using the finger to navigate back and forth a video or a song is not very precise, if the item’s duration is above 10mn (quite common for podcasts).
  • more generally, “old-fashioned” ipod navigation is still more practical while you’re in your car doing something else. But that’s a little drawback, really.

But ultimately this is, without contest, the best designed piece of hardware and software I’ve ever seen. Today I smiled when I first placed a call while listening to a podcast : just select the phone number, the podcast’s sound fades out, talk to whoever you’re calling, bla bla bla, hang up, the sound fades back in. I had seen it in the demos, but this is one of the things you actually marvel over when you experience it directly : “damn these guys are good”.

But what really marks the difference between any existing phone and the iphone is how you set up your voice mail : Enter your code. Confirm it. Record your message on the iphone (and not through it), listen and re-record as much as you need, press “ok”, and it sends the whole thing over to your provider. And that’s it. And you don’t have to meddle with one of those dreadful voice menus (“press 1 if you’re happy with your message, press 2 to record it…” *hurl*). Once I had done it, it just struck me : there’s nothing special here. That’s just how it should happen, and every other phone which forces you to go through a voice menu is retarded.

One last thing (pardon the pun) : following up on my previous post on the iphone’s potential as a universal remote, I confirm that driving my squeezebox with it works like a charm (just use the Nokia 770 skin until v7.0 of SlimServer – now renamed to SqueezeCenter is released, then you can install ipeng, a skin dedicated to the iphone, which depends on SqueezeCenter).

2 thoughts on “Two days with the iphone”

  1. Many cell phones leave much to be desired in even the most basic phone functions. For instance, the voice quality of many cell phones is dreadful. My wife’s phone can’t be on all the time (so it rings if called) because it uses too much power even when not in use for a call. How does the iphone do on these kinds of things?

  2. The voice (and, more generally, audio) quality is excellent IMHO, much better than my Treo 600 anyway. As it’s also an ipod, power isn’t really an issue, plugging it for a few minutes every day is enough to keep the battery charged, and it remains constantly powered on. There’s no ‘off’ switch, only a ‘sleep’ one.

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