Last night I was talking to a chap who had also gotten the new iPhone 3G. He was so excited. He loved it! He seemed surprised that I wasn’t as enthusiastic, but we quickly found out why. He had never owned an iPhone before, so he had gone from the dark world of Windows Mobile to iPhone. I can understand why he was so excited. He had the great iPhone UI, with all of the apps, and ActiveSync there to not make him sad.
For me though, the new phone has been a non-event.
Why did you buy the darn phone?
The main reason that I bought the new phone was not a shiny black back with a curve, it was actually for the hope of a better signal at home. I read reports of the 3G network being better in Palo Alto than EDGE. I get 1-2 bars way too often at home, so the very thought of a decent connection was enough to make me giddy.
VOIP on the iPhone via one of the applications is one option, but what about incoming? Also, subtle things bug me. When I use Skype to call people they see “0123456789″ or something like it in their caller ID. I wish I could map in my real number. UPDATE: It can! Praful Mathur in the comments gives the info:
- Goto skype.com
- Login to Account section
- Click on Call Identification
- Tell Skype your number
- It takes 24 – 48 hours to update your account
Back to the network, there was no 3G network at all at home. Nada. It made no difference. When my phone is at home all I get for it is a battery that goes down faster as it checks for a 3G connection :) In fact, it is even worse than this. I am often turning off 3G as an option, as I have found there are many places with 1 bar 3G, and full bars EDGE. It picks 3G and that 1 bar doesn’t give you any connectivity. It needs to be smarter and know that full EDGE > 1 3G.
GPS is nice. Seeing the blinking blue button the Maps application is very nice, but you can hardly use it as a car tool since it doesn’t do either voice directions, or move through the steps (you have to click on “next” to get it to go through). Overall not that useful unless you are walking, and then you could probably quite easily keep up with yourself.
What does this leave me with? The only cool part of the new phone is the push of iPhone 2.0 software, which I could get on my old phone. Even there, with some good new apps, I get constant crashes and a bunch of the apps that I enjoy don’t work well. NetNewsWire can’t seem to deal with my amount of feeds, and I can’t seem to be able to tell it “dood, just grab the priority 1 items.”
iPhone.Next will hopefully get me excited again, if it has a decent camera with zoom, video, full bluetooth support, the magic tactile feedback electric zapper, updated hardware, over the air syncing, and more.