A Few iPhone Observations

Some cheers and jeers:

  • First and foremost, the reason that the thing is so cool is because it doesn’t feel like technology that should exist quite yet. It’s like holding a sci-fi movie prop that actually works.
  • Rich text fields (like the compose fields in Vox and Gmail) don’t work in iPhone’s Safari. Vox lets you email in posts, and of course there’s the Mail app instead of Gmail, but it’s a bug that needs fixing.
  • I feel like the “iPod” functions should be called “iTunes” instead.
  • If you don’t have headphones plugged in, play songs or movies over the speaker. Great for demos or for sharing YouTube videos.
  • EDGE isn’t as slow as everyone says it is. It’s great for email, and in limited tests the maps application works fine.
  • Connecting to recognized wireless networks is seemless.
  • iTunes gives you the option to sync the “most recent x episodes” of a show. That’s great if you’ve watched all but 3 episodes, but, for example, I’d imported the entire series of Firefly from DVD to my computer and I haven’t watched any yet, but it’ll only sync the last few b/c they were added most recently. There should be an option for “oldest unwatched.”
  • The screen is very nice for watching video, but the blacks aren’t quite black. Darker scenes in Firefly are a bit muddy. This is a general problem with all LCD and plasma TVs, too. Bright videos, like Pixar’s short films, are beautiful.
  • Google Reader defaults to its mobile version. The standard interface with its multiple AJAX frames would be difficult to use in the tiny Safari, but the mobile Google Reader is more primitive than it needs to be for the iPhone.
  • Safari is a bit crash-y. Presumably this will get ironed out with software updates. Fortunately crashes are low impact. You just wind up back at the home menu, slightly confused but unharmed.
  • Having a physical switch to turn off the ringer is very nice, rather than having to go all the way into Settings when you’re in a movie theater.
  • It won’t sync my email properly, because I use Google Apps and it can’t understand that I don’t use @gmail.com even though I’m on Google’s server.