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iPhone 3G: Day 9

July 22nd, 2008

iphone My iPhone switcher experiment is in Day 9 and I’m still not quite ready to give up on my old Windows Mobile phone.  I’ve definitely warmed up to the iPhone but still find it lacking in some areas that important to me (and I’m probably in the minority of users here).  Without further ado . . .

  • Battery Life – I think I’ve gotten to a middle ground that works for me.  I’m leaving 3G on all the time though AT&T’s 3G network leaves much to be desired in the SF Bay Area.  I only turn WiFi on when I need it and I’ve turned location based services (GPS) off entirely.  Bluetooth is on all the time (otherwise I’ll forget to turn it on when I get in my car).  The big one is that I’ve set Exchange ActiveSync to check every 30 minutes instead of direct push.  I was quite used to have push email on all the time on my HTC Touch Dual so it’s an adjustment but I guess I don’t really need push email when I’ve got a laptop handy.  It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on my first multi-day trip with the battery life.
  • Mail application – Still a lot wrong with this application.  I can’t search for email.  I can’t sort email by person or size or anything besides data (and in most recent order at that).  The mail application doesn’t let you download attachments and keep them on the phone (not even talking about the file system).  Every time I want to open an attachment, say a powerpoint file, it has to download it all over again.  Moving between email accounts involves waaaaaaaaaay too many swipes and touches.  Come on Apple, simplify this a little bit.  I know of a great design firm that will tell you what your users think ;-), go talk to them.
  • ewallet App Store – I like the intent of a lot of the applications (both paid and free) that are available in the app store.  However, most of them feel like beta code and need some polish.  I know the ecosystem here is just getting started but early indications are really good.  The Windows Mobile apps I use are rock solid, but don’t have anywhere near the user experience possible on the iPhone so I’m holding out hope.  I like the apps that let you interact with your social networks.  Would love to see a dedicated amazon.com app.  And of course, eWallet is going to be my favorite once they actually let me sync my current data!
  • Responsiveness – I’m on the fence about the responsiveness of the UI.  Sometimes it works really really well, and other times it feels like I’m touching the same button multiple times to have the phone recognize what I’m trying to do.  Since it works really well sometimes, I’m going to chalk this up to the firmware in the phone.  Contacts is a great example:  I have about 300 contacts synced (via Exchange) and it’s a good 7 to 8 seconds (!) before I can use the app after launch.
  • Bluetooth – totally unimpressive.  Bad implementation, lots of echo in my car bluetooth kit (had no trouble before with multiple phones).  No profiles beyond handsfree.  Fail.
  • Mobile Safari – I like it.  Well done, much easier to use than any other mobile browser I’ve used before.  Big screen makes a huge difference.  3G speeds not bad for casual surfing.
  • Call Quality – seems fine.  Speakerphone is not very loud.  But otherwise, people hear me clearly, I can’t turn up the earpiece volume as much as I’d like.  Not sure what that’s about.
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