I’ve been using an iPhone for just over a week now and just can’t resist sharing my two cents. First, a personal note. I spent three years working on mobile device software. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to dream up “the next big things” in mobile devices. To be blunt, I never even came close to imagining something as cool and amazing as the iPhone, let alone designing, building and shipping it. Honestly, this device just humbles me. Even though this device is far from perfect, it still defines the terms “Innovation” and “Revolutionary”. Webster is updating his dictionary as I type. So here’s my pros and cons after my first week of iPhone.
- The Screen—This is the brightest, clearest, most readable screen I’ve ever seen on a mobile device. It’s really just stunning, even when its smudged up.
- Finger Interface—It just works. Its natural, intuitive, and responsive. For most tasks, I don’t miss hardware buttons at all.
- One-Handed Use—I was concerned this would be an issue, but I can use the device one-handed for all my common tasks: making and receiving phone calls, checking schedule, checking email, checking voicemail and playing music.
- Cover Flow—My favorite “iPhone moment” is when I walk someone through getting to cover flow the first time. The pure delight I see on their face as they start flipping through album covers with their finger just makes me happy.
- Transitions and Animations—From the way it turns on to the way the little trash can flips open and scrunches up your email when you delete it, the animations make the device feel fluid and responsive, but also enhance the usability as they communicate what action the device is taking.
- Safari—This is THE best mobile browsing experience on the planet hands down. It has room for improvement, but its still nothing short of amazing.
- Conference Calling—This is THE easiest interface for creating a conference call that I have ever used. I hope the folks who make our desk phones are taking notes.
- Recessed Headphone Jack—My preferred Sony earbuds barely connect (fall out easily), I had to buy an adapter for my car rca jack and I can’t connect the speakers in my office. This is just dumb, lame and annoying. Its the single biggest flaw and unfortunately it can’t be fixed with a software update.
- Smart Playlist Bugs—I’m seeing lots of issues with smart playlists not working properly. Unfortunately, my music listening experience has come to rely almost exclusively on smart playlists. This is not the best iPod yet, not until this gets fixed.
- App Crashes—At first I didn’t quite realize what was happening. I’d be browsing in Safari or reading email and the screen would go black and the main menu would animate back onto screen. I thought maybe I was accidentally hitting the menu button or something, but they were in fact apps crashing.
- Keyboarding—I’m coming from a blackberry full keyboard device and I’m afraid RIM still wins on this front. I’m just not as fast and accurate as I am with the blackberry and I miss little things like the spacebar double-tap for inserting a period and space to finish a sentence. The predictive text is rarely helpful and I still make lots of mistakes. It’s certainly better than T9 on a typical mobile phone, but RIM is still the bar here.
- No PEAP on WiFi—WiFi works great at home, but not at work. Our network requires PEAP support which is missing on the iPhone. Apparently, PEAP got lost in translation when they crunched OSX down to fit on iPhone. Not cool.
- VPN no workie—I can’t get VPN to our corporate network to work either.
- AT&T/Cingular—I switched from Verizon and those ubiquitous Cingular ads about “fewest dropped calls” don’t match my experience at all. My coverage just isn’t what it was with Verizon. I much prefer the nerdy guy with the glasses and his crowd following me around.
There’s definitely some v1-ness here, especially with regards to corporate scenarios. But I still love the device and no way am I giving it up. This is classic Apple. They give you so much to love that its easy to overlook and live with the flaws. I mean who cares that Safari crashed again, I’m flipping through album covers with my finger here!