View Full Version : Apple iPhone doesn't disappoint


Alexander Turcic
06-27-2007, 06:35 AM
We're not going to waste time writing about the highly anticipated Apple iPhone. We're just going to say that it's probably the smoothest handset money can buy. Some high-profile and trusted gadget reviewers had a chance to play with Apple's latest toy, and here is a summary of what they think along with links to the full articles:

Walter Moosberg:
Expectations for the iPhone have been so high that it can't possibly meet them all. It isn't for the average person who just wants a cheap, small phone for calling and texting. But, despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.

Testing Out the iPhone (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118289311361649057.html.html?mod=technology_main _promo_left)
Video (http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid452319854/bctid1077968178)


David Pogue:
But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.

In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn't hype at all. As the ball player Dizzy Dean once said, "It ain't bragging if you done it."

Testing The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/technology/circuits/27pogue.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5088&en=98d00bf6e780b2be&ex=1340596800&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)
The iPhone Challenge: Keep It Quiet (http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_story=caed76f16c6132710db58210df3940afb8a3f7c8 ) (video)


Steven Levy:
Certainly all those people lining up to buy iPhones will find their investment worthwhile, if only for the delight they get from dazzling their friends. They will surely appreciate the iPhone's features and the way they are intertwined to present a unified experience. But in the future -- when the iPhone has more applications and offers more performance, with a lower price -- buyers will find even more value. So smart consumers may well wait for that day. But meanwhile they can only look with envy as the person sitting next to them to them on the subway, or standing ahead of them in the Whole Foods line, is enjoying the phone that finally fulfills the promise of people-friendly palm-top communication and computing.

At Last, the iPhone. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19444948/site/newsweek/)

orcinus
06-27-2007, 08:50 AM
It's incredible how Apple never thinks of the most obvious things...

Where's the e-book reading app, Apple? A simple text viewer? Notes app, at least? :angry:

TadW
06-27-2007, 09:06 AM
Apple cannot afford approaching niche markets. They only got limited resources, which is why they only release a limited amount of gadgets, and whatever they release has to be a success. The iPhone is likely to be one, too. :)

Hadrien
06-27-2007, 09:11 AM
It's incredible how Apple never thinks of the most obvious things...

Where's the e-book reading app, Apple? A simple text viewer? Notes app, at least? :angry:

iPhone's got PDF support. Anyone planning on buying one for day one ? I'd like to see how Feedbooks' PDF look like on the iPhone, and what's the best custom settings for it.

HarryT
06-27-2007, 11:18 AM
Call me old-fashioned but I only want to use my phone for making phone calls on :).

JSWolf
06-27-2007, 11:28 AM
The phone I recently got is a Sanyo. I got it for the quite good speakerphone, the very nice battery life, and that it's not too full of useless features.

orcinus
06-27-2007, 12:51 PM
iPhone's got PDF support. Anyone planning on buying one for day one ? I'd like to see how Feedbooks' PDF look like on the iPhone, and what's the best custom settings for it.

Yes it does have PDF support - in e-mails.
I.e. you can't upload a PDF to it and use it as a reader, you would have to send it to yourself in an e-mail, and - probably - never leave it while reading the document, or it will loose the page you've left off.

OTOH, turns out i was wrong - it does have a Notes app/widget...

HarryT
06-27-2007, 01:26 PM
You're probably better off with a Windows "SmartPhone" for reading eBooks. LOTS of different reader apps available.

Alexander Turcic
06-27-2007, 03:48 PM
I'd love to have one, because I am very curious what a difference a handset could make that is powered by an ~800MB bloated operation system. :D

orcinus
06-27-2007, 05:54 PM
You're probably better off with a Windows "SmartPhone" for reading eBooks. LOTS of different reader apps available.

Already have one (Samsung i600) :D
However, iPhone's screen size and aspect just screams for ebooks :P

I'd love to have one, because I am very curious what a difference a handset could make that is powered by an ~800MB bloated operation system. :D

:laugh4:

TadW
06-28-2007, 04:41 AM
Already have one (Samsung i600) :D
However, iPhone's screen size and aspect just screams for ebooks :
Also, don't forget its superb battery life. :D

Khisanthus
06-29-2007, 09:15 AM
I'd love to have one, because I am very curious what a difference a handset could make that is powered by an ~800MB bloated operation system. :D

I would love to see what all it can do as well but the number you quote is based on flawed counting. The empty (except for OS) iPhone images show ~7.2gigabytes...but the 8 GB drive only has ~7.5 available for storage in the first place. It's the old 1,000,000,000 bytes=1GB marketing bit that all drive makers exploit.

300MB is still quite large for anything that would be considered a phone though. I just hope the extra goes to things that are used on a daily basis.

Dopedangel
06-29-2007, 11:19 AM
Someone created a reader for ipod :D how long do you think after its release before someone comes up with a bookreader for iphone.

erwin
06-29-2007, 04:31 PM
Someone created a reader for ipod :D how long do you think after its release before someone comes up with a bookreader for iphone.

Well, in the meantime one can use HTML files with the iPhone Safari browser, or convert text files in images with JpegBook - http://www.fumi2kick.com/jpegbook/

Egghead
06-29-2007, 05:39 PM
Well, in the meantime one can use HTML files with the iPhone Safari browser

My thoughts exactly. ;)

orcinus
06-29-2007, 08:32 PM
Well, in the meantime one can use HTML files with the iPhone Safari browser

Yes, as long as they keep their books online. Because there is no way of uploading them to the phone... (you can't mount it in file transfer mode)

Apple cannot afford approaching niche markets.

Apple is the EPITOME of niche market ;)

300MB is still quite large for anything that would be considered a phone though. I just hope the extra goes to things that are used on a daily basis.

According to Macworld, it's 500 MB. The extras are pretty lackluster compared to other smartphones. I mean, come on... a calculator? Calendar? World time and alarm? Notes? Even the cheapest dumbphones have those... Where's the RSS reader? Where's the drawing (or scribbling) app? IM? Office editors? Voice notes? Flickr uploader?

Blech ;(

Edit: BTW, http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/iPhone_User_Guide.pdf

orcinus
06-29-2007, 09:24 PM
They don't ship a wall charger with A PHONE?! WTH?

Sometimes i really wonder if there's anyone still in Cupertino product management and marketing offices with an ounce of grey matter left intact.

On a side note, mobile Safari can display RSS feeds, but that's a far cry from a true RSS reader. Again, blech ;(

mrbadog
06-30-2007, 02:46 PM
It's not the extras. It's how it does the basics. Phone, e-mail, web. A real browser. An innovative and intuitive user interface. Plus a widescreen ipod. And yes, it does include a wall charger. If you already have an ipod charger for your car, odds are it will work with that too. And there are many reports that the Edge network has been kicked up to 200 kps. And with minimal reliance on hardware "buttons", able to upgrade and evolve with software downloads.

orcinus
06-30-2007, 09:52 PM
It's not the extras. It's how it does the basics.

Yeees... Well, it does them rather badly, as evidenced by numerous "Top 10 worse things about iPhone" articles cropping up lately.

Button placement is completely illogical in places, Back buttons and Edit buttons appear in the same place, there is no way to send an image from the mail.app itself (you have to go to Photos to do that), there is no way to export or import notes (except sending them to yourself via e-mail), there are no copy/paste functions, nor a clipboard of any kind (and since there are no 3rd party apps, you can't add them either), it doesn't save a message to drafts if you exit midmessage, you can't switch the predictive text / autocorrect off, the predictive text / autocorrect doesn't work in Safari, there is no flash support, home screen doesn't rotate to landscape, the large, landscape keyboard works ONLY in Safari, you can't send ANYTHING via Bluetooth, nor recieve ANYTHING, it doesn't work with iSync, it doesn't work as a wireless modem, you can only send ONE PHOTO per email, you can't customize alert tones in any way... Shall i go on?

So, in essence, a lot of chrome, low on functionality and low on ergonomics. A complete & utter flop.

Edit: And no, it does not come with a wall charger. And sorry, but the Yeti-like sightings of 200kbps sound utterly laughable to me, while i surf around with my i600 at HSDPA speeds (1.8Mbps theoretical, around 1Mbps real).

FourOhFour
06-30-2007, 10:47 PM
They don't ship a wall charger with A PHONE?! WTH?

It comes with one. I'm using it now.

texag
07-01-2007, 01:55 AM
Wow Orcinus....where are you getting your info from? Twice you've stated no wall charger...twice people have stated they are using one that came with their iphone, myself included.

Yes, there are "top 10 things wrong" articles out there, but there are also glowing reviews by Pogue, Mossberg, and others that are very well respected and have actually used the iphone.

Azayzel
07-01-2007, 03:31 AM
It's too bad I won't get to see the iPhone until I return to the states (can almost guarantee we won't see this puppy here in Japan, though I'll keep my fingers crossed); I'm actually quite interested to see how it actually works out. Maximizing the screen by incorporating a touch-screen into the face is just awesome, let's just hope that it's not as much of a scratch-magnet as the iPods are.

On a side note, they do have a pretty nice portable phone over here that looks like a mini-PC (don't know if it qualifies as an UMPC, since I think it runs WindowsMobile). Apparently they are embracing the whole wireless on your phone concept quite readily.

I really enjoyed my SmartPhone before I came over here, I was able to put most PDA apps on it, had a bluetooth connection I could hook my GPS up to, ran TomTom Navigator on it all the time, used it for geocaching, synced it with my corporate email/contacts/calendar via Outlook; ahh... so many uses and yet I couldn't use it while over here. I hope the iPhone is at least intelligent enough to sync with Outlook or Lotus Notes, otherwise I don't see to many corporate entities snapping them up like they did the Treo & Crack.. I mean Blackberry.

TadW
07-01-2007, 09:42 AM
Did you guys know Microsoft was secretly working on a iPhone clone?

Here: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20070701

:beach:

orcinus
07-01-2007, 11:25 AM
Wow Orcinus....where are you getting your info from? Twice you've stated no wall charger...twice people have stated they are using one that came with their iphone, myself included.

Once, actually. Yes, i was wrong about the charger, sorry about that.
Here's an explanation:
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/ripoff/breaking-several-att-stores-forced-customers-to-buy-accessories-with-iphone-273992.php

"Add to that the fact that the salesman didn't even know a charger was included and tried to upsell a different charger to the reader." :smack:

However, i stand by everything else i've wrote. It's a very good iPod, and a rather lousy phone. Yes, i'm sure it's the best thing since sliced bread for people who've never had contact with high-end (or even mid-end) phones before, but it's still clunky ergonomics-wise, and lacks things that are considered normal and standard on other, much cheaper phones, while giving less (except the nicely done iPod functionality) than any smartphone on the market.

Yes, the interface *looks* nice, but from what i've seen in the manual, various videos and reviews, it takes longer to do even simplest things than on most other phones and is very limited (note: i'm not talking about the phone now, but the UI).

The "first real" browser? What a laugh. Nokia smarties have had a browser that renders pages like that WITH FLASH, and to make things even funnier, it's based on apple's webkit, just like Safari! Heck, even Microsoft's Deepfish renders things the same way and uses the same overview/zoom-in/read/zoom-out methodology.

HTML mail? Had that for ages... Profimail, Flexmail...

Google maps? How about Nokia Maps? Blackberry Maps?

Yes, there are "top 10 things wrong" articles out there, but there are also glowing reviews by Pogue, Mossberg, and others that are very well respected and have actually used the iphone.

The "top 10 things" articles and posts were written by early adopters. Maybe it's just me, but i tend to believe people who've actually *bought* the phone and used a lot of other, more advanced phones before more than people who got theirs from Apple.

Besides...

Mossberg: "...and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.

Mossberg (on keyboard, initially): "I wanted to throw it out the window after 3 days"

Mossberg: "Instead, it uses a pokey network called EDGE, which is far slower than the fastest networks from Verizon or Sprint that power many other smart phones." and immediately after that, betraying how limited his experience with smartphones really is: "The iPhone compensates by being one of the few smart phones that can also use Wi-Fi wireless networks. When you have access to Wi-Fi, the iPhone flies on the Web. Not only that, but the iPhone automatically switches from EDGE to known Wi-Fi networks when it finds them, and pops up a list of new Wi-Fi networks it encounters as you move."

Guess what, *most* smartphones have Wi-Fi and all of them can automatically give preference to Wi-Fi over EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA. All of them list new Wi-Fi networks as they appear.

Let's go on... Mossberg: "But this Wi-Fi capability doesn’t fully make up for the lack of a fast cellular data capability, because it is impractical to keep joining and dropping short-range Wi-Fi networks while taking a long walk, or riding in a cab through a city."

Mossberg: "Some accessories for iPods may not work properly on the iPhone. The headphone jack, which supports both stereo music and phone calls, is deeply recessed, so you may need an adapter for existing headphones."

Mossberg (on interface): "In general, we found this interface, called “multi-touch,” to be effective, practical and fun. But there’s no overall search on the iPhone (except Web searching), and no quick way to move to the top or bottom of pages (except in the Web browser). The only aid is an alphabetical scale on the right in tiny type. There’s also no way to cut, copy, or paste text.
And the lack of dedicated hardware buttons for functions like phone, email and contacts means extra taps are needed to start using features. Also, if you are playing music while doing something else, the lack of hardware playback buttons forces you to return to the iPod program to stop the music or change a song."

And so on, and so on...

Yes, the headlines say it's the best phone in the universe (and i believe for some it really will be), but do try to actually read the full articles and read between the lines as well. What they really say is: "nice first try".

orcinus
07-01-2007, 11:28 AM
I hope the iPhone is at least intelligent enough to sync with Outlook or Lotus Notes, otherwise I don't see to many corporate entities snapping them up like they did the Treo & Crack.. I mean Blackberry.

AFAIK, it syncs with Outlook, but not OTA. There is no support for corporate email solutions, but Apple is allegedly working on it.
I'm not sure how suitable it will be for heavy emailing and corporate access without a hardware keyboard and enormous popup letters showing your passwords to anyone who happens to wander in your vicinity...

Edit: Just BTW, some early adopter iPhone experiences -
http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1190824
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=322382
I sincerely hope they'll get their act together and fix all of that before the European (and hopefully 3G) version ;) :D

mrbadog
07-01-2007, 03:27 PM
Ornicus,

Try using one. It's the user interface that is revolutionary.

tribble
07-01-2007, 03:28 PM
I just would love to see that multitouch feature. I rellay like the UI things that apple does to support the touchcontrol. But the iPhone seems to lack quite a few functions. But i guess its for a very special kind of customer ;)

orcinus
07-01-2007, 03:47 PM
So far, the only multitouch feature seems to be the pinch gesture. The rest of it is single finger - and except for the nifty little animations and physics - functions the exactly same way it does on, say, an SE M600.

Hopefully they'll add more in future updates (cut, copy, paste etc. would be nice, as well as a global play, pause, FF and reverse), because it'd be a terrible thing to waste that nice multitouch screen on just one, moderately functional gesture.

scotty1024
07-02-2007, 07:18 PM
Of course I lined up and got one Friday. :)

Of course Apple will update it to add features in the coming months, that is one thing that sets this platform apart from Windows Mobile: regular updates with new features.

To all those that say "Where are the features", I say "Remember when Windows Mobile first came out?" The features will come and unlike with Windows Mobile we won't have to buy a new phone.

The wall charger is very very nice, incredibly tiny and the fangs are completely tucked inside so you can stick it just about anywhere for traveling. It uses the ubiquitous 30 pin to USB cable which one can find anywhere now. And it comes supplied with a dock to slip it into.

The folks that say its a toy: I've got my corporate Lotus Notes email up and working on it.

PDF's and DOC files have to be delivered via email attachment right now but Apple will supply USB Mass Storage Mode and a Filing application soon. In the meantime the PDF/DOC access is superb! The 160 PPI screen with LED back lighting is simply stunning and the touch interface under what appears to be a solid chunk of optical quality boro-silicate glass is like using LCARS.

I've hooked all of my personal email accounts into the device. The touch interface means I can rip through my email faster than ever before. With the WiFi interface I get full speed to the internet email servers. Yahoo/GMail etc all setup just by entering your username/password: it handles the gory details of setting up the account. Heck with GMail it came back and told me I had POP access turned off on my GMail account and I needed to turn it on and how to turn it on.

I have iTunes TV subscriptions and you can sync your unwatched episodes onto the device automatically. As you watch them it removes them. During the process of watching them it syncs the current play position back and forth so you can seamlessly switch from computer to iphone to computer and keep track of your most recent play point. Ditto for movies.

The device feels indestructible. :smash: Nothing shifts, nothing bows, nothing twitches, nothing creaks. It feels like it was carved from a piece of metal. if you examine the various tear downs you can see just how well built it is. At the end of the day you know where some of the $600 went: into the case. So far no one has reported being able to scratch the glass, even after going medieval on it.

As for FLASH, Adobe has been getting away with some really bad things for awhile now. I think the reason there is no FLASH is very simple: Adobe's license for embedded devices is a king's ransom. Completely and totally unreasonable and I'm glad to see Apple calling Adobe on it.

Battery life is excellent, far far far in excess of the iLiad. OK, so that's damning it with faint praise, but seriously. I've been demoing it all day today and the battery just now hit 75% after 9 hours of heavy use with WiFi on for Internet access for most of that time.

The lack of 3G has not been an issue for me. I swim in WiFi here in Seattle, the buses I take to and from work have WiFi into 3G. All the Starbuck's have WiFi and in Seattle there is nearly one on every corner. The EDGE is slow, 172Kbps on average. Not wonderful but better than nothing at all.

If it had a Mobipocket reader on it I'd frisbee my iLiad out into Elliot Bay.

nekokami
07-02-2007, 09:30 PM
If Apple would make development on the device more open, you'd probably see Gnash (or another open source flash player) on the iPhone in no time. Similarly, the Mobipocket reader is available in Java, which would probably run on the iPhone just fine, if allowed to do so. That could be tougher to get past, though, as it would not only involve opening the iPhone (with or without Apple's help and permission) but getting Apple and Mobi to agree to talk to one another. Watching similar negotiations crawl along with iRex wouldn't make me hopeful about a Mobi-Apple deal, but I suppose one never knows. (Mobi ought to be keen on it -- with all the hype about the iPhone, it could be a killer platform for them.)

orcinus
07-02-2007, 11:00 PM
Of course I lined up and got one Friday. :)
To all those that say "Where are the features", I say "Remember when Windows Mobile first came out?"

Unfortunately, yes :grin2:


The 160 PPI screen with LED back lighting is simply stunning and the touch interface under what appears to be a solid chunk of optical quality boro-silicate glass is like using LCARS.

Get a LCARS skin on it (or at least a way to edit the theme - doesn't matter, i'll do it myself) and you've sold it to me regardless of it's shortcomings :p ;)



As for FLASH, Adobe has been getting away with some really bad things for awhile now. I think the reason there is no FLASH is very simple: Adobe's license for embedded devices is a king's ransom. Completely and totally unreasonable and I'm glad to see Apple calling Adobe on it.

There's flash lite... The latest version's even capable of playing .flv videos.
Just BTW, where did that file manager / file system update thing come from? Was there an announcement of some sort, or just a rumour?

Azayzel
07-03-2007, 07:04 AM
Did you guys know Microsoft was secretly working on a iPhone clone?

Here: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20070701

:beach:

Ahahah! That's too funny (though not too far from the Zune truth!). I cannot believe how bulky and clunky the whole Zune interface is. What were they thinking? :smack:

orcinus
07-03-2007, 07:05 PM
Ahahah! That's too funny (though not too far from the Zune truth!). I cannot believe how bulky and clunky the whole Zune interface is. What were they thinking? :smack:

A bit of a failed joke, considering Microsoft's been in the smartphone business (well, the software part, anyway) for a lot longer than Apple ;)

You can say what you want about the WM platform, but one thing it has is years of experience in bugs and getting them fixed. The most recent WM devices are a far cry from where it all started and perform quite nicely, even if they don't look nice.

Azayzel
07-04-2007, 11:38 AM
I hear you about the WM market, I'm pretty hooked with them as is, I was simply commenting on the failed physical forms their products have taken. The thing could be running a Ferrari under the hood, but if it looks like a piece 'o garbage I won't buy it. They need to have more *normal* people testdrive their hardware before actually fielding it.

yvanleterrible
07-04-2007, 12:15 PM
Of course I lined up and got one Friday. :)

...

If it had a Mobipocket reader on it I'd frisbee my iLiad out into Elliot Bay.

Nice review, looks very enticing. Keep us posted!

If ever you feel like frisbeeing the Iliad give me a sign. I'll pay shipping! :D
"One man's refuse is an other one's treasure."

orcinus
07-04-2007, 12:52 PM
If ever you feel like frisbeeing the Iliad give me a sign. I'll pay shipping! :D


I'm offering shipping and a pint of lager worth of monies on top! Ha! Beat that! :D

yvanleterrible
07-04-2007, 02:14 PM
Oh Brother! There goes Ebay! :laugh4:

pwayner
07-06-2007, 04:47 PM
Hi--

I'm working on an article for the NY Times about e-readers for some of the new, smaller platforms like the iPhone. If anyone in this forum has an iPhone and has the time to talk about their experiences with using it to read text, I would love the chance to talk.

Peter Wayner
p3@wayner.org

bowerbird
07-08-2007, 07:00 PM
could people with an iphone tell me if this is readable?

> http://www.z-m-l.com/go/myant/myantp123.png

thanks...

-bowerbird

mrbadog
07-08-2007, 07:10 PM
could people with an iphone tell me if this is readable?

> http://www.z-m-l.com/go/myant/myantp123.png

thanks...

-bowerbird


Yes, easily. Does not size up fully automatically with a double tap, but does with a double tap + spread.

bowerbird
07-08-2007, 07:49 PM
mrbadog said:
> Yes, easily.

thanks. that's an actual page-scan, so we're in business.
of course, images are bulky, so let's try some text instead.

> http://www.z-m-l.com/go/babelfishi20.pl

of course, the "<" and ">" buttons go back and forward a page.
or type a page-number into the left box and click "go" to jump...

the "sf" button will "search for" any word you've entered in the
box to the immediate left of it. and of course "toc" is obvious.

this interface is still in-progress, so please don't judge it harshly.
(and _do_ report anything that doesn't work correctly.)

-bowerbird

p.s. the c.s.s. for centering things is wonky if you look at this in
a regular browser, but if you size the window down, it'll be right.

mrbadog
07-08-2007, 09:38 PM
It shows up. Arrows are too small to select with excess zooming. Page finder works OK. Text is not recognized by Safari, so no automatic resizing with a double tap on the text.

bowerbird
07-09-2007, 03:00 AM
ok, thank you much. it seems i'll have to wait until
i get an iphone of my own to do enough testing,
which is what i figured would be the case. thanks.

-bowerbird

FourOhFour
07-09-2007, 08:48 AM
ok, thank you much. it seems i'll have to wait until
i get an iphone of my own to do enough testing,
which is what i figured would be the case. thanks.

-bowerbird

http://developer.apple.com/iphone may help you.