Another iPhone Review

There’s been plenty of talk about Apple’s new iPhone, and no need to rehash most of the well-traveled ground. Yes, the hardware is unbelievably sexy. Yes, the UI is revolutionary, a game-changer, and so new and different (no hover state?) as to be a bit puzzling (e.g. lack of text-selecting and copy-and-paste). Yes, I still haven’t gotten the hang of the keyboard. A few things that have struck me:

– If you’re like me and have been trying to embrace open formats, this is a step back into a walled garden. A gorgeous walled garden to be sure, but a walled garden all the same. Push email? I’ll have to move (or fwd) from gMail to Yahoo Mail. Writing notes? SiEd game me plain ol’ text on my Treo.

– The iPod’s lack of a speaker never seemed to be an issue, but now that it has one, its a killer feature. Combined with the gorgeous screen, the iPhone is absolutely perfect for watching videos in bed. The sound quality doesn’t need to be perfect, and the convenience of not having to bother with headphones is a pleasure. This is the delight of non-accessories. Just pick it up and go. The main reason the Treo is almost useless for music and video is that extra adaptor that’s needed to plug in a pair of headphones.

– A UI complaint: the ringer/vibrate button should act as a one-touch mute, no matter what kind of sound is coming out of the iPhone, be it ringer, video, song, whatever.

– iChat: hopefully this is a tech issue–Apple needs more time to port it–rather than a business issue. I.e., AT&T keeping IM off the phone in order to charge customers for text messages.

– Games: why isn’t Chess, a Mac OS X staple, included? They’re going to charge me for everything, aren’t they? Argh. Let’s hope that SDK comes out soon.


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