Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Tornado Server technology.

A week with the iPhone

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 2009-01-21

After continually getting poor mobile reception in my office I ditched my old provider (3) and moved to a new iPhone and Optus. Here's my week so far with the iPhone.

As with all Apple products its industrial design is fantastic. The finish is slick, it has enough weight to let you know it's solid but light enough to easily cart about. Again like most Apple products it has a limited number of external buttons and it quite intuitive to use. In fact the manual in the box is almost non-existant!

What I like:
- The finish, form and styling
- The screen is amazing as is the OS
- The gesture based UI is very intuitive
- You can switch between 3G and GSM networks (yeeha!)
- Wireless performance is good, easily locates and connects to access points
- The app store and apps are a great way to extend the phone, weather, times, conversions, ...
- The virtual keyboard guesses well when you make a typo and magically fixes it
- Having a decent web browser so I can look stuff up while I'm on the go
- GPS finds your location quickly

What I don't like:
- Every time I plug it in to the laptop iPhoto starts up. Annoying
- Synching is via a cable rather than bluetooth
- Uses a non-standard charger. Would have been nice if it accepted Nokia style power.
- Google maps for navigation is rubbish. No voice navigation, useless in the car, plus the screen powers off after the timeout. No map cache so you have to be connected to the internet all the time, which would be fine if the 3g network was better :-(
- You can't easily use it without looking at the screen (Don't use your mobile while driving!) because there are no raised buttons to feel for
- There are some UI quirks where it occasionally (rarely) becomes temporarily unresponsive
- Bluetooth is incredibly limited, no way to send photos, contacts etc between phones - this was great on the nokia
- No MMS. Not a train smash but really, would it kill Apple to include it??
- There's a ton of cr@p in the app store
- No easy way to access the phones 3g internet from my laptop
- No external memory cards - again would it kill Apple to include one? 8 or 16gig is limiting if you have a pile of videos
- the 'buttons' on the virtual keyboard are quite small, if you have big fingers it would be more difficult to use

Despite the negatives I really liking it. I assume that software upgrades will solve most iof the niggles. Email is my world so having easy access is great - and a drain - 'hey, I'll just check my email again while we're waiting for the entrees to come out'.  The lines are now getting very blurred between mobile phone and computer. Over time as processing power and battery technology improves we'll see the phone become more of a computer and less of a phone.

Sadly the quality of the 3g network is its weakness. As soon as your 3g connection drops out (and you don't have a wireless network) the phone is partially lobotomized.