Iphone User Observations and Impressions

Discussion in 'iPhone Discussion & Support' started by alkoller, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. alkoller

    alkoller Member

    Jul 4, 2007
    Titusville, Florida (the Space Coast!)

    Hello fellow iPhone users. I thought we might start a thread for information from those who HAVE iPhones, since many of the posts here seem to be from people who have seen or read about them but haven't bought one. When you put your money into a technology, chances are your viewpoints are changed by a couple of things:

    First, you've invested cash and want to know you've made a good choice, so your opinions might be more positive because you WANT the technology to succeed. That's not all good.

    Second, because you own it, you are more likely to know what REALLY works or doesn't, and if you are willing to talk about that -- pro AND con -- that might be really helpful. Experience is a good thing!

    So, I've had my iPhone exactly one week. It's an 8-gig model, and I've tried all 16 of the features on the main screen. For those who don't own one yet, they include:
    1. Phone: links to contact list, keypad for receiving/making calls
    2. Mail: Supports reading/composing of email including attachments
    3. Browser: Uses Safari to surf the web in landscape or portrait mode
    4. iPod: Plays music and video stored in the 8-gig memory system
    5. SMS: Text messaging in color using a virtual keyboard
    6. Calendar: Events, appointments, etc.; syncs with computer
    7. Photo Album: Displays your photos including those you import
    8. Camera: 2 megapixel camera; no zoom but excellent clarity
    9. YouTube: Direct display of popular video web site in real time
    10. Stocks: Instant display of real-time feeds on stock market
    11. Maps: Uses Google to map places and routes; converts to photos
    12. Weather: Displays real time weather at selected sites worldwide
    13. Clock: Displays time at selected sites worldwide
    14. Calculator: Provides on-screen calculation using virtual keypad
    15. Notes: Provides sticky notes as reminders/to-do lists, etc.
    16. Settings: Allows setup of major features for customization

    So far I have these observations to share compared with other phones:

    1. Battery drain is going to be an issue. Mine has been charged three times in one week. Draw seems heavy for polling email (I set it for 15 minutes, have reset it to manual) and surfing the net. Also, heavy use results in heating of the unit -- typical for cell phone battery reactions.
    2. Web surfing is reasonably quick; flash and video are not supported but many sites provide alternatives that support users without flash. Battery draw is heavy; the ability to switch from portrait to landscape is great. Hot links can be accessed directly from the screen to go to other sites.
    3. Email and SMS are great. SMS uses color balloons that bring an exchange alive. It's fast and convenient, using the best features of the virtual keyboard. Email is intuitive and easy, using the contact list to make it easier than my computer to compose and send mail. Attachments can be opened directly and appear with great clarity. This is a major plus.
    4. Google Maps is unbelievable on the phone; fast, fun, and instant translation to satellite imagery if wanted. Search mode not yet evaluated.
    5. iPod loaded and used without a hitch. This won't be a major feature for me, but it works flawlessly.
    6. I bought a Belkin Slim-Fit leather case ($29.95) that works well for me. It's a pouch-style case with expanding sides and a flexible bottom that allows you to push the iPhone out the top for use. For me, this is the same kind of case I used for my Blackberry; you can't access the phone while in the case (no openings for the screen), but I want protection, not direct access. The phone must be removed to charge it, but the charging stand connects directly to the computer, syncs the phone and charges at the same time.

    So far I am really pleased with the phone and would buy it again. I am sure there are already fixes in work for several of the shortcomings that include:
    1. Email cannot be mass managed; no way to delete more than one message at a time. This is a major flaw but will be easy to fix; please!
    2. Calendar is more difficult to manage than expected. I have not found a way to link to my Gmail calendar account and prefer not to use the .mac features (expensive for what is provided). However, I may have to go that route to get the features I want.
    3. Connection via network is unclear. I am able to connect to my home system (iMac 20" dual core) using both bluetooth and Airport Extreme, but there appear to be problems with those connections. I'm not sure if they are in contention -- fighting for access -- or whether there is an issue with line of sight. Holding the phone at the bottom appears to definitely affect its range. Someone noted that the antenna is on the bottom, and users are wise to hold the phone on the sides.

    These are all just personal observations, but in general I am very pleased with what I see and am eager to see the first upgrades for software. The hardware is really well done with the exception of the battery (it should have been removable), but you get what you get. Software will be the real driver on this unit, and I'm excited to see what comes next. I welcome any comments and additions to this thread.