So, I’m coming up on three weeks with the newest member of the family and I thought it would be fun to pass along my first impressions of life with the iPhone.
I’m happy to report that after such great expectations, the iPhone has not disappointed in any way, save for the handful of dropped calls I’ve experienced. We know who’s to blame for that and it ain’t the Apple. Already, I’ve had more dropped calls in my first ten days of AT&T service then I did in all my ten (was it??) years of Sprint service. But that was to be expected.
On to the iPhone.
Usability: So far, I’ve found the iPhone easy to use, and while not 100% intuitive, the answers are always easy to find on the internet. I like the finger flick on the screen to scroll or page through content. Fast. And the on-screen keyboard is just fine by me, but all I have to compare it to is using the keypad to type in text, so this is a big step up. And as soon as I get used to the fact that the delete key is not the return key, I’ll be a whiz. I love the auto-complete and is it just me, or does it seem to get smarter the more I use it?
The Screen: A big beautiful color screen for web surfing and everything else under the sun.
Email: I’m using my Gmail account on the phone rather than Mac mail and it’s such a pleasure now to be able to return email when I’m away from my computer. The only thing I miss is the ability to star/flag an email (on the phone the only option is to mark it unread.) A minor gripe.
Contacts: I love having the convenience to phone or email anyone in my contact list (as opposed to one or the other.)
Voice Memo: I’ve already mentioned how this one came in handy while birding. I can see voice memo getting a lot of creative use in the future.
Camera: The image quality is a huge step up from what I had before and I love it. I’m still getting the hang of touching the screen to focus but that will come with use. I’m looking forward to playing around with it more and getting creative. I’ve spent only a minute or two messing with the video, so lots to try there. Having the ability to snap a photo on the fly and email it to friends or carry it around for reference is terrific. For example, I had to pick up a drawer organizer at the Container Store. Rather than try to remember what all I was trying to contain, I snapped a photo and stood with it in the store trying to figure out the best option. Brilliant.
Image Capture: Using this simple program on my Mac, I can easily download photos from my phone to save and manipulate on my laptop. Way way way easier than before.
Silencing the phone: Is now as easy as flicking a tab on the side of the phone. With my old phone, this simple task touch three menus and five key punches to achieve.
Spotlight Search: Having the ability to globally search the phone is terrific. I needed to gather all the dates and info for this year’s Lyric Opera season. A quick search for Lyric pulled up all the necessary dates in two seconds.
Compass: Came in handy a few days after I got the phone and had to drive Maisy out to the imaging center in Buffalo Grove. I started to GoogleMap the location on my laptop and then remembered, I could take the map with me! In real time it followed me along the route and gave me traffic info along the way.
Notes: A great way for me to jot down quick information or my thoughts. The items for this blog post started as a note page on my iPhone, collected on the fly. Also handy for notes about books I’m reading. I like that there’s also the ability to email a note.
Alarm: This one is taking the most for me to get used to. I’ve used my cell phone as my alarm clock for years and for some reason, this interface is taking a bit of getting used to. Also, I’ve learned there are certain ring tones I will sleep right through. The one drawback with using the iPhone as an alarm is that when a message or a calendar alert comes through (ba-ding) it will wake you up!
iPod: Now I have the ability to click on a song that’s playing and access the entire album it came from. This is something I’ve long wished my old iPod could do. Genius Mixes (a new iTunes feature that creates a kind of genre-specific personalized music stream from your own music) are a great way to dig deep into my music library.
The Size: Here’s the only feature where my previous, compact flip phone had an edge over the iPhone. With the size and heft of a thin brick (albeit an awesomely powerful and cool brick) the iPhone just doesn’t easily pop in the pocket. But I’ll just have to suffer.
Tomorrow, more about the apps I’m using.