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First Full Blown Review of the iPhone


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First Full Blown Review of the iPhone
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jcoley2
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2007-06-27, 07:51

I am not counting that silly NY Post review yesterday as it did not sound like the reviewer actually had a phone. As usual, Walt got to test the iPhone for a significant time (2 weeks) so his review is below. While he is know to obviously be very pro-Apple, I still thought it was a good review, and for those that do not subscribe to WSJ.com or Wall Street Journal, I cut and pasted is below for your convenience.

In general I thought it was very balanced, and the only "feature" that bothers me is the Comma and Period thing described below.

Testing Out the iPhone
We Spend Two Weeks Using Apple's Much-Anticipated Device
To See if It Lives Up to the Hype; In Search of the Comma Key
By WALTER S. MOSSBERG and KATHERINE BOEHRET

June 27, 2007; Page D1
One of the most important trends in personal technology over the past few years has been the evolution of the humble cellphone into a true handheld computer, a device able to replicate many of the key functions of a laptop. But most of these "smart phones" have had lousy software, confusing user interfaces and clumsy music, video and photo playback. And their designers have struggled to balance screen size, keyboard usability and battery life.


WSJ's Walt Mossberg says Apple's widely anticipated iPhone raises the bar for all other smart phones.
Now, Apple Inc., whose digital products are hailed for their design and innovation, is jumping into this smart-phone market with the iPhone, which goes on sale in a few days after months of the most frenzied hype and speculation we have ever seen for a single technology product. Even though the phone's minimum price is a hefty $499, people are already lining up outside Apple stores to be among the first to snag one when they go on sale Friday evening.

We have been testing the iPhone for two weeks, in multiple usage scenarios, in cities across the country. Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.

The Apple phone combines intelligent voice calling, and a full-blown iPod, with a beautiful new interface for music and video playback. It offers the best Web browser we have seen on a smart phone, and robust email software. And it synchronizes easily and well with both Windows and Macintosh computers using Apple's iTunes software.

It has the largest and highest-resolution screen of any smart phone we've seen, and the most internal memory by far. Yet it is one of the thinnest smart phones available and offers impressive battery life, better than its key competitors claim.


The phone is thinner than many smart phones.
It feels solid and comfortable in the hand and the way it displays photos, videos and Web pages on its gorgeous screen makes other smart phones look primitive.

The iPhone's most controversial feature, the omission of a physical keyboard in favor of a virtual keyboard on the screen, turned out in our tests to be a nonissue, despite our deep initial skepticism. After five days of use, Walt -- who did most of the testing for this review -- was able to type on it as quickly and accurately as he could on the Palm Treo he has used for years. This was partly because of smart software that corrects typing errors on the fly.

But the iPhone has a major drawback: the cellphone network it uses. It only works with AT&T (formerly Cingular), won't come in models that use Verizon or Sprint and can't use the digital cards (called SIM cards) that would allow it to run on T-Mobile's network. So, the phone can be a poor choice unless you are in areas where AT&T's coverage is good. It does work overseas, but only via an AT&T roaming plan.

In addition, even when you have great AT&T coverage, the iPhone can't run on AT&T's fastest cellular data network. 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 the initial iPhone model cannot be upgraded to use the faster networks.

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. Walt was able to log onto paid Wi-Fi networks at Starbucks and airports, and even used a free Wi-Fi network at Fenway Park in Boston to email pictures taken during a Red Sox game.
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.

AT&T is offering special monthly calling plans for the iPhone, all of which include unlimited Internet and email usage. They range from $60 to $220, depending on the number of voice minutes included. In an unusual twist, iPhone buyers won't choose their plans and activate their phones in the store. Instead, they will do so when they first connect the iPhone to the iTunes software.

Despite its simple interface, with just four rows of colorful icons on a black background, the iPhone has too many features and functions to detail completely in this space. But here's a rundown of the key features, with pros and cons based on our testing.

Hardware: The iPhone is simply beautiful. It is thinner than the skinny Samsung BlackJack, yet almost its entire surface is covered by a huge, vivid 3.5-inch display. There's no physical keyboard, just a single button that takes you to the home screen. The phone is about as long as the Treo 700, the BlackBerry 8800 or the BlackJack, but it's slightly wider than the BlackJack or Treo, and heavier than the BlackBerry and BlackJack.

The display is made of a sturdy glass, not plastic, and while it did pick up smudges, it didn't acquire a single scratch, even though it was tossed into Walt's pocket or briefcase, or Katie's purse, without any protective case or holster. No scratches appeared on the rest of the body either.


There are only three buttons along the edges. On the top, there's one that puts the phone to sleep and wakes it up. And, on the left edge, there's a volume control and a mute switch.

One downside: 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. And, while the iPhone uses the standard iPod port on the bottom edge, it doesn't recognize all car adapters for playing music, only for charging. Apple is considering a software update to fix this.

Touch-screen interface: To go through long lists of emails, contacts, or songs, you just "flick" with your finger. To select items, you tap. To enlarge photos, you "pinch" them by placing two fingers on their corners and dragging them in or out. To zoom in on portions of Web pages, you double-tap with your fingers. You cannot use a stylus for any of this. In the Web browser and photo program, if you turn the phone from a vertical to a horizontal position, the image on the screen turns as well and resizes itself to fit.

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.

Keyboard: The virtual keys are large and get larger as you touch them. Software tries to guess what you're typing, and fix errors. Overall, it works. But the error-correction system didn't seem as clever as the one on the BlackBerry, and you have to switch to a different keyboard view to insert a period or comma, which is annoying.

Web browsing: The iPhone is the first smart phone we've tested with a real, computer-grade Web browser, a version of Apple's Safari. It displays entire Web pages, in their real layouts, and allows you to zoom in quickly by either tapping or pinching with your finger. Multiple pages can be open at the same time, and you can conduct Google or Yahoo searches from a built-in search box.

Email: The iPhone can connect with most popular consumer email services, including Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, EarthLink and others. It can also handle corporate email using Microsoft's Exchange system, if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.

BlackBerry email services can't be used on an iPhone, but Yahoo Mail supplies free BlackBerry-style "push" email to iPhone users. In our test, this worked fine.

Unlike most phone email software, the iPhone's shows a preview of each message, so you don't have to open it. And, if there is a photo attached, it shows the photo automatically, without requiring you to click on a link to see it. It can also receive and open Microsoft Word and Excel documents and Adobe PDF files. But it doesn't allow you to edit or save these files.

Memory: The $499 base model comes with four gigabytes of memory, and the $599 model has eight gigabytes. That's far more than on any other smart phone, but much less than on full-size iPods. Also, there's no slot for memory-expansion cards. Our test $599 model held 1,325 songs; a dozen videos (including a full-length movie); over 100 photos; and over 100 emails, including some attachments, and still had room left over.

Battery life: Like the iPod, but unlike most cellphones, the iPhone lacks a removable battery. So you can't carry a spare. But its battery life is excellent. In our tests, it got seven hours and 18 minutes of continuous talk time, while the Wi-Fi was on and email was constantly being fetched in the background. That's close to Apple's claim of a maximum of eight hours, and far exceeds the talk time claims of other smart phones, which usually top out at five and a half hours.


The interface features "cover flow" technology for flipping through album covers.
For continuous music playback, again with Wi-Fi on and email being fetched, we got over 22 hours, shy of Apple's claim of up to 24 hours, but still huge. For video playback, under the same conditions, we got just under Apple's claim of seven hours, enough to watch four average-length movies. And, for Web browsing and other Internet functions, including sending and receiving emails, viewing Google maps and YouTube videos, we got over nine hours, well above Apple's claim of up to six hours.

In real life, of course, you will do a mix of these things, so the best gauge might be that, in our two-week test, the iPhone generally lasted all day with a typical mix of tasks.

Phone calls: The phone interface is clean and simple, but takes more taps to reach than on many other smart phones, because there are no dedicated hardware phone buttons. You also cannot just start typing a name or number, but must scroll through a list of favorites, through your recent call list, or your entire contact list. You can also use a virtual keypad.

One great phone feature is called "visual voice mail." It shows you the names or at least the phone numbers of people who have left you voicemail, so you can quickly listen to those you want. It's also very easy to turn the speakerphone on and off, or to establish conference calls.

Voice call quality was good, but not great. In some places, especially in weak coverage areas, there was some muffling or garbling. But most calls were perfectly audible. The iPhone can use Bluetooth wireless headsets and it comes with wired iPod-style earbuds that include a microphone.


Google maps on the iPhone.
A downside -- there's no easy way to transfer phone numbers, via AT&T, directly from an existing phone. The iPhone is meant to sync with an address book (and calendar) on a PC.

Contacts and calendars: These are pretty straightforward and work well. The calendar lacks a week view, though a list view helps fill that gap. Contacts can be gathered into groups, but the groups can't be used as email distribution lists.

Syncing: The iPhone syncs with both Macs and Windows PCs using iTunes, which handles not only the transfer of music and video, but also photos, contacts, calendar items and browser bookmarks. In our tests, this worked well, even on a Windows Vista machine using the latest version of Outlook as the source for contacts and appointments.

iPod: The built-in iPod handles music and video perfectly, and has all the features of a regular iPod. But the interface is entirely new. The famed scroll wheel is gone, and instead finger taps and flicking move you through your collection and virtual controls appear on the screen. There's also a version of the "cover flow" interface which allows you to select music by flipping through album covers.

Other features: There are widgets, or small programs, for accessing weather, stock prices and Google Maps, which includes route directions, but no real-time navigation. Another widget allows you to stream videos from YouTube, and yet another serves as a notepad. There's a photo program that displays individual pictures or slideshows.

The only add-on software Apple is allowing will be Web-based programs that must be accessed through the on-board Web browser. The company says these can be made to look just like built-in programs, but the few we tried weren't impressive.

Missing features: The iPhone is missing some features common on some competitors. There's no instant messaging, only standard text messaging. While its two-megapixel camera took excellent pictures in our tests, it can't record video. Its otherwise excellent Web browser can't fully utilize some Web sites, because it doesn't yet support Adobe's Flash technology. Although the phone contains a complete iPod, you can't use your songs as ringtones. There aren't any games, nor is there any way to directly access Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Apple says it plans to add features to the phone over time, via free downloads, and hints that some of these holes may be filled.

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.

Now that I got a job, I can buy more Apple products!
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BuonRotto
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2007-06-27, 08:58

Check out Fake Steve's take on Mossberg's review

"* adds multiple steps to common functions that are easy to perform on a regular phone.
* runs on EDGE, which is pokey, and the can't be upgraded to run on faster networks.
* does well on Wi-Fi, but this "doesn't fully make up for the lack of a fast cellular data capability."
* won't work with a lot of iPod accessories.
* has no overall search.
* has no quick way to move up and down on pages.
* has no way to cut, copy or paste text.
* can read Excel, Word and PDF documents, but can't edit or save them.
* can make phone calls but in many ways it's a pain in the ass, even more so than with other smart phones.
* boasts voice quality that's "good but not great."
* has no way to get your contact list from your old phone.
* can't turn contact groups into email distribution lists.
* has some third-party apps, "but the few we tried weren't impressive."
* has no instant messaging.
* can't record video with its camera, and has 2-megapixel resolution.
* has no support for Flash, so can't view stuff on some Web sites.
* can't turn your iPod songs into ringtones.
* has no games.
* can't access iTunes Music Store directly.
* costs twice as much as its competitors.
* isn't for the "average person" who just wants a cheap phone for making calls and texting.
* probably isn't for corporate types either.

Conclusion? "A beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer."

Of these, I think the first about efficiency of input, the speed/quality of the network, the one about editing Word files (which the previous point about clipboard functions is really part of the same point), the lack of iPod games, and the lack of OTA syncing and iTunes purchasing are legit problems that Mossberg seems to say "oh, but it's worth it anyway." Most of the others are either sub-points, are agiven, or are a bit inane IMO.

Also...

NY Times Review by David Pogue

Highlights:

"Making a call, though, can take as many as six steps... Call quality is only average, and depends on the strength of your AT&T signal.

"E-mail is fantastic...

"The Web browser, though, is the real dazzler...

"...In practice, you’ll probably wind up recharging about every other day.

"There’s no memory-card slot, no chat program, no voice dialing...

"The two-megapixel camera takes great photos, provided the subject is motionless and well lighted . But it can’t capture video. And you can’t send picture messages (called MMS) to other cellphones.

[regarding keyboard]"...once you stop stressing about each individual letter and just plow ahead, speed and accuracy pick up considerably.

"Even so, text entry is not the iPhone’s strong suit. The BlackBerry won’t be going away anytime soon.

"...When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, going online is fast and satisfying.

"But otherwise, you have to use AT&T’s ancient EDGE cellular network, which is excruciatingly slow... [He then adds some truly ridiculous, possibly suspect times for page loads on EDGE]

"...I encountered a couple of tiny bugs and one freeze.

"In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn’t hype at all..."
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jcoley2
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2007-06-27, 09:05

They both forgot to factor in the "coolness" feature. . .
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Moogs
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2007-06-27, 09:08

Probably the A-1 reason, aside from price, that I will not consider buying one yet is the part about the network. I want to be able to have at least two choices, and I certainly want to be able to use each company's fastest available data speeds. No ability to upgrade to new networks or network standards = no purchase. If I'm paying $500 I damn well better be able to use it somewhere else in a year if I choose to.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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rampancy
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2007-06-27, 09:37

Check out the video for Pogue's review (only about ~5 mins.) - it's absolutely hilarious.

"But, uh-uh, i-is there an Apple logo?"
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jcoley2
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2007-06-27, 10:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Probably the A-1 reason, aside from price, that I will not consider buying one yet is the part about the network. I want to be able to have at least two choices.
I am pretty sure I read somewhere that AT&T has a 2 year contract to lock all competitors out, but I cannot find the reference.
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LudwigVan
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2007-06-27, 10:25

I'll repost from the locked "$2000 Question" thread:

Mossberg's video review
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apple007
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2007-06-27, 14:46

I mentioned this in the locked $2,000 thread ... Apple apparently told Pogue the iPhone battery starts losing capacity "after 300 to 400 charges" and that iPhone will need to be shipped to Apple for a battery replacement if it comes to that.

I understand iPhone is supposed to have great battery life, but I expect I'll be docking/syncing my iPhone to my PB at least once or twice per day whether the battery needs charging or not. Does that mean I'm going to hit the "300 to 400" level after just six months, or is that referring to full-blown 2-hour charging sessions? (In other words, does it count as a "charge" if I connect iPhone to my PB for a quick 2-minute sync?)

Thanks.
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BuonRotto
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2007-06-27, 14:59

From the old iPod support docs, a "charge" refers to a full charge for the device, not to each time you plug it in. So, for example, you use 1/3 of the battery, plug it in to charge it fully, you've consumed 2/3 of a charge. 300-400 charges is cumulative.

I fully expect there to be third party batteries and services to replace the battery in lieu of Apple doing it for an absurd $100. Yeah, that voids your warranty, but you won't be doing it before your warranty runs out anyway (unless you get AppleCare, in which case it should be covered, no?).
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apple007
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2007-06-27, 15:14

Thanks. If it's really 300 to 400 full charges, then that shouldn't happen until about the time I'd be looking for my next-gen iPhone anyway, but hopefully there will be an in-store battery replacement solution if it comes to that. As I mentioned in the other thread, I can live without my iPod for 3 days, but no phone for 3 days? That would be tough.
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Mr Ten
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2007-06-27, 15:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
From the old iPod support docs, a "charge" refers to a full charge for the device, not to each time you plug it in. So, for example, you use 1/3 of the battery, plug it in to charge it fully, you've consumed 2/3 of a charge. 300-400 charges is cumulative.

I fully expect there to be third party batteries and services to replace the battery in lieu of Apple doing it for an absurd $100. Yeah, that voids your warranty, but you won't be doing it before your warranty runs out anyway (unless you get AppleCare, in which case it should be covered, no?).
i would assume apple care not to cover the battery, since the battery life lost is normal wear and tear. but like the other post said, by that time, you're on to bigger and better things anyways. funny how our standards will change. today, this phone is a big deal. tomorrow, it "might" be your backup.
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Windowsrookie
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2007-06-27, 15:43

Funny review.

http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_stor...3940afb8a3f7c8
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pscates2.0
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2007-06-27, 15:46

Wish Apple could've just designed it for a user-replaceable battery. How hard would that have been?

I fear that in a year or two from now, when people have to take their phones in (or send them off to Apple) there's going to be a minor revolt. We're not thinking about that stuff now, in the giddy glow of the impending release. But, mark my words, a day will come when this thing (and some of Apple's sillier policies and ideas toward it) will be the target of some serious bitching and moaning.



We're still cutting the cake and dancing that first dance. The honeymoon will begin this weekend and last throughout autumn. Then the seven-month-itch will set in...

"You don't stay charged up like you used to. And you used to respond to my touch a lot more too. What happened? It's...it's another data plan, isn't it? You bastard! "
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apple007
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2007-06-27, 15:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I fear that in a year or two from now, when people have to take their phones in (or send them off to Apple) there's going to be a minor revolt. We're not thinking about that stuff now, in the giddy glow of the impending release. But, mark my words, a day will come when this thing (and some of Apple's sillier policies and ideas toward it) will be the target of some serious bitching and moaning.
No question about it. As I mentioned above, going without an iPod for 3 days is one thing, but three days without a phone is out of the question, at least for the hardcore smartphone users this thing allegedly targets.

Quote:
We're still cutting the cake and dancing that first dance. The honeymoon will begin this weekend and last throughout autumn. Then the seven-month-itch will set in...

"You don't stay charged up like you used to. And you used to respond to my touch a lot more too. What happened? It's...it's another data plan, isn't it? You bastard! "
Our boy 'scates is having quite a couple of days in the humor dept.
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jcoley2
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2007-06-27, 15:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windowsrookie View Post
That was hilarious. My favorite quotes:

"Walt Mossberg Please!"

". . . wi-fi: fast and satisfying. . . .AT&T cellular: slow and horrible"

"Is there an Apple Logo on it?"

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LudwigVan
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2007-06-27, 17:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Wish Apple could've just designed it for a user-replaceable battery. How hard would that have been?
I can see this option (if logistically feasible; I don't know how the iPhone's put together): bring the phone to an Apple/AT&T Store and have the folks there replace the battery on-site and within X minutes, perhaps just for the cost of the battery itself--if they're feeling charitable.

"Virtually bursting with adequatulence."
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apple007
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2007-06-27, 18:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by LudwigVan View Post
I can see this option (if logistically feasible; I don't know how the iPhone's put together): bring the phone to an Apple/AT&T Store and have the folks there replace the battery on-site and within X minutes, perhaps just for the cost of the battery itself--if they're feeling charitable.
I have to believe Apple Store and/or AT&T staffers are going to be trained to replace batteries, if such replacements become a widespread need (or even if not).

Aside from the inconvenience, people would be losing 2-3 days of their phone if they need to do a mail-in, which would mean people would want a proportional refund for lost usage. That could add up quickly for AT&T.
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pscates2.0
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2007-06-27, 19:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by LudwigVan View Post
I can see this option (if logistically feasible; I don't know how the iPhone's put together): bring the phone to an Apple/AT&T Store and have the folks there replace the battery on-site and within X minutes, perhaps just for the cost of the battery itself--if they're feeling charitable.
That would be acceptable to all but the most dickheaded of society. I'd much rather do that - drive over to my local store, stand around for 5-10 minutes and then get it done and be on my way - than drive to Atlanta to drop if off at and Apple store or ship it back to Apple for 3-5 days.

That won't fly with anyone, I'm tell you now...so they'd better come up with a way. For all we know, there's some special tool you use on a hidden latch somewhere that Apple and AT&T people know how to get to (and word will leak eventually, of course) to replace the battery if needed.

I find it hard to believe Apple would expect people to go without their phones/contacts for 3-5 days. As others have said, doing that for an iPod is one thing. For your phone? Uh, no. I wouldn't.

BTW, I ran by my local Cingular/AT&T store after dinner. They've got posters up and the girl there said they'd have a nice shipment in Friday, but, being realistic, wasn't expecting a "big NYC mad dash...which is pretty cool because you'd be able to walk right in and get one, then be on your way, without a huge line or hassle".



She says they've gotten a lot of questions and interest expressed, but she doesn't see them "selling out", or having a line out front.

Chattanooga just isn't that kind of town (and if this person will commit and buy my guitar/amp like he said he was wanting to, I'll go get one because that'll be paid for, more or less).

She said they're not allowed to open them up, and that they simply sell them and the customer takes it home to activate it, confirming/reiterating all that stuff we learned about yesterday (iTunes activation, number transferring, etc.). She said it was very "hands off", the point-of-sale, and that it's been designed so that people can activiated, choose their plans, etc. all from home, at their leisure.
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Luca
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2007-06-27, 19:11

Well, I was never really that excited about the iPhone, seeing as how I'm very much a "free phone" guy, but these reviews aren't doing anything to change my mind.

Some of the oversights seem just obvious, too. Lack of global search? What happened to spotlight? The iPhone is perfect for Spotlight because it's accessible no matter what you're doing and it lets you jump around from one thing to another. And no copy/paste is rather stupid too.

Lack of games + lack of third-party apps would bother me too. I still think it's a bad idea for Apple to lock out third party developers. Outside developers always think of much more clever software. This is especially true of Apple - they have some nice software, but sometimes it seems to me like Apple's software is designed for one particular "ideal" user who does a few prescribed things and nothing else.
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julesstoop
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2007-06-27, 19:13

Just give them (apple) some time to sort things out and strike some smart and strategic alliances with third parties.
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pscates2.0
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2007-06-27, 19:25

Tell me this...would things like Spotlight and copy/paste be possible via software updates? I mean, it would have to be, right? It's all screen-based anyway, so there's nothing - unlike that EDGE hardware which means an upgrade in that area to something faster isn't possible - keeping something like that from being implemented (other than will and desire by Apple)?
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Windowsrookie
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2007-06-27, 19:28

yes.
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Robo
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2007-06-27, 20:07

I want one. Bad.

So bad I'm honestly debating sitting outside my EB Games tomorrow with my Wii in a box, with a sign saying "For Sale."

I mean, come on. It's an Apple phone. That's just not fair.

I think I've learned a lesson in the past few months - there are some things I probably shouldn't cheap out on. When someone as into phones as I am signs up with a tiny MVNO with a whopping three phones to choose from just because it's the cheapest possible carrier, that's a mistake. And I might be paying the price for it, in the form of a $175 ETF. (Though maybe I could get out of it, as Helio still hasn't billed me correctly.)

Considering my phone geekery, I think I can pay for AT&T, just like everybody else. (Actually, I'd still get a 15% discount. ) The iPhone plan isn't half as bad as I thought it would be...and my Ocean has been getting irritatingly bulky...

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
 
2007-06-27, 20:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Well, I was never really that excited about the iPhone, seeing as how I'm very much a "free phone" guy, but these reviews aren't doing anything to change my mind.

Some of the oversights seem just obvious, too. Lack of global search? What happened to spotlight? The iPhone is perfect for Spotlight because it's accessible no matter what you're doing and it lets you jump around from one thing to another. And no copy/paste is rather stupid too.
Yes, agreed. In a way, as this seems to be the PDA that Jobs derided many years ago, the lack of copy/paste is an oversight. Perhaps v.2 will see it implemented. Missing out on Spotlight is a good observation too - that would have been a perfect integration of OS X technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Lack of games + lack of third-party apps would bother me too. I still think it's a bad idea for Apple to lock out third party developers. Outside developers always think of much more clever software. This is especially true of Apple - they have some nice software, but sometimes it seems to me like Apple's software is designed for one particular "ideal" user who does a few prescribed things and nothing else.
Given Jobs' reputation for being a control freak, I can understand his locking out 3rd party developers at this point. Simply put, there is no way that he would allow 3rd party apps to compromise the user experience at this crucial stage.

Another aspect could be that it takes time to develop and IDE and maybe it was too taxing on resources to have to baby that through to deployment now as well.

Of course, I expect all this to change in the not-too-distant future as I (like many others) can see the iPhone really benefitting from 3rd party development.

All I want is a simple life
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Mr Ten
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2007-06-27, 21:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by julesstoop View Post
Just give them (apple) some time to sort things out and strike some smart and strategic alliances with third parties.
i agree with this, better to have intended control and growth of your product rather than let it get hijacked in another direction by the masses... or at least those who create innovative web apps will have a stronger voice, better to qualify people's efforts with that system. i like the relatively conservative approach they take, it'll all work out for the better in the future, be it with apple or another phone.
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Chinney
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2007-06-27, 22:37

Quote:
In addition, even when you have great AT&T coverage, the iPhone can't run on AT&T's fastest cellular data network. 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 the initial iPhone model cannot be upgraded to use the faster networks.
What is the reason for this?

Is there some sort of technical limitation of the iPhone that has caused Apple and AT&T to adopt this approach? Or is it related to some shitty deal that Apple has made with the AT&T that ties the iPhone to a service that the telco wants to promote or is otherwise underused? Or is this a form of intentional crippleware, made this way for reasons only the elves understand and about which we can only speculate?

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2007-06-27, 22:52

On the 2 HSDPA/3G phones I've used (Blackjack and 8525), battery life was abysmal, largely because of the 3G thing. It's well-known that to improve the battery life on those phones, you have to make them strictly EDGE. Battery life was such a problem on the Blackjack that Cingular started packing in an extra battery for free!

It is still unfortunate because 3G allows things other than just high speed surfing - call quality is better and you can use data and voice services simultaneously.
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Chinney
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2007-06-27, 23:09

Ah...battery life. That explains it. (I imagine I could have found the answer if I had dug around the 3-4 other iPhone threads.)

Life will be simpler when they make the next big leap in batteries.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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Electric Monk
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2007-06-28, 02:14

It's no more then a 30% hit when running purely on a UMTS network. Otherwise we're talking like 10-20%.

That is with Japanese hardware and 6 years of 3G experience—but Apple should be able to match that. Not the end of the world I think we'd all agree.

The more likely reason is simply that AT&T's 3G coverage is weak, and so Apple saved a few bucks and bought 6 months worth of development time on 3G chipsets[1].


[1]This is important because there are 3 worldwide UMTS bands, and current tri-band chips are much bigger/costlier then the more common dual band (North America) or single band (rest of the world) chips. I imagine Apple would prefer to use a tri-band chip and keep a single iPhone model instead of World and NA versions.
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