iPhone in Review

iphone.jpgI know this isn’t a tech blog, but there are a few things I need to get off my chest. I just bought my first iPhone and tried very hard to push its little limits and was a bit saddened by how little it pushed back.

Sadness 1 – The Browser: As some background, I got the iPhone because I learned that using my Razr as a modem is effective but expensive. I wanted to be able to check email, hop online to read google reader, and minor stuff like that and not pay $40/month or more. The iPhones date package is $20/month and I’ve had AT&T as my service provider for 5 years, so… This made sense. Then I tried to email someone through the Facebook inbox. No can do. Writing the message was easy easy easy (in a one fingered pecking at the keyboard kind of way). Then I clicked “send” and NOTHING happened. This is because facebook pops up little graphical confirmation boxes that iPhone apparently doesn’t know how to cope with. I didn’t even get an attempt to reload the page that I could identify. Then I tried responding to someone’s friend request – again it failed to know how to cope with the graphical popup thingy, and nothing really happened.

<sigh>

Then I tried logging onto MySpace. For some reason the delete button acted really funny on the login text box. I’d press it once, and it would then act like it was stuck and delete each character one bye one. This was a bit frustrating.

Ok, now for…

Sadness 2 – no offline add ons: As near as I can google, there aren’t any offline widgets / applications for the iPhone at this time. I was trying to find a good version of spider solitaire or reversi or tetris or something. Maybe even some planetarium software. Nope – There are plenty of games but one must play them online.

Sadness 3 – The (lack of) calculator: I’m an HP kind of girl. Reverse polish does it for me and I dearly miss my giant graphing scientific calculator (The one I had for all of college broke, and its replacement was stolen off my desk a week after I bought it).

So, the first thing I tried on the iPhone was the calculator. It is a very pithy 4-function interface. No trig functions, no log button, not even a 1/x. Just + – * /.

Sadness 4 – The ring tones: All I want is a ring tone that sounds like an honest to goodness ring. I occasionally hear people’s phones that are amazing and polyphonic and sound like a good old fashioned analogue ring. With the iPhone, I can get anything in iTunes as a ringtone, but I can’t find a ring. And it didn’t come with one either. Hopefully, some company will start loading iTunes with rings. Maybe?

But, I won’t say I have buyers remorse. Today I was shopping for tiles and other stuff for my burnt bathroom and my husband and I were able to take quick images potential purchases (and their price tags) and to google the more expensive items to see if the stores were trying to take us for a ride. Google Maps was all I could ever have hoped for on an iPhone, and the contacts are very nice.

Luckily, all the things that are making me sad are things that can be fixed in future firm ware versions and with new additions to iTunes. Hopefully, better things are in the future for iPhone.

16 Comments

  1. matt g September 15, 2007 at 8:08 pm #

    Heya Pamela,

    Check these folks out http://www.iphonealley.com/

    They seem to have all the resources necessary for adding new apps and extensions.

    For a standard phone ring, if you can’t find one, you could always get one of those sound effects cds and rip the phone ring off that.

    cheers
    matt g

  2. George Brickner September 15, 2007 at 11:44 pm #

    I found an old style telephone ringer as an MP3 on a Yahoo Groups forum for Motorola V551 cell phones.
    I can forward it to you via email if you like.


    George
    Bartlett, IL, USA

  3. Richard B. Drumm September 16, 2007 at 1:18 am #

    Then there’s the new iPod to consider, which looks much like the iPhone…
    It has Wi-Fi built in as well, making iTunes pruchases easy. It might make a good way to check up on good ol’ Astronomy Cast… I don’t know if it has a Safari browser, though. That’d help, with Google Maps being so darn good and all. If I could get planetarium software on one of the iPods it’d be the cat’s meow!

    I’m a happy Alltel customer, so I’ll keep my current Nokia cellphone for the time being. If I could make it ring like an old fashioned telephone, though, I’d be tickled pink! I’ll have to see how to get one in the phone and then either record one or find one on the net.
    Rich

  4. Marcos September 16, 2007 at 5:04 pm #

    Hey Pamela,

    Nice blog. Facebook should have an iPhone-tuned site version now, have you tried that? Disappointing the little pop-ups don’t work. iphone.facebook.com

    I’m waiting for a bigger capacity iPhone myself before I take the plunge so … after Macworld in January 2008 I think.

    I found this blog looking for the iraf wiki, I guess it’s missing?

  5. pamela September 16, 2007 at 6:59 pm #

    Hi Marcos,

    The IRAF-WIKI was on my Harvard servers. Now that I’m working at SIUE, I should (but haven’t yet) re-create them. I hate to admit I’m actually waiting for 10.5 so I can completely restructure my server and do a bunch of chaos inducing stuff all at once.

    In other words, it will come back into existence in October 🙂

  6. Ed September 16, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    My wife has an iPhone and she loves it, unfortunately it doesn’t have the apps necessary for me to use it as my work phone. Not sure if I should blame AT&T or Apple, so I blame them both. but with that said, I love the thing. In comparison to my $400 smartphone:

    Camera:
    Menu->Menu->Media->Camera

    Email:
    Menu->Inbox->”Gmail”

    Speed Dials:
    Menu->Tools->1-Touch-Dialing (I love this one the best)

    Needless to say, that little iPhone does it a lot better, and oh by the way she can listen to Astronomy Cast on the way. Just can’t wait for the Astronomy Cast movie to come out so I can watch it on her iPhone as well!

  7. Margaret September 17, 2007 at 4:18 am #

    http://lifehacker.com/software/hack-attack/
    install-third+party-applications-on-your-iphone-295985.php

  8. Margaret September 17, 2007 at 4:19 am #

    Hmm my posting a long url sure throws out your column justification in Firefox

  9. hoosierhoops September 17, 2007 at 9:17 pm #

    I love my blackberry..old fashion i guess..but it does everything i need it to do..
    best wishes pamela..hope your school year is going good.
    -the hoopster

  10. Krishna September 19, 2007 at 10:54 pm #

    Pamela,
    One of the best posts on “modding” your iPhone with 3rd party apps:

    http://www.everythingiphone.com/forum/iphone-software/for-those-who-havent-modified-their-iphone-yet-10522.html

    Enjoy!
    -Krishna

  11. George Brickner October 19, 2007 at 1:35 am #

    Here’s a link to the “Universal Telephone Ring” sound effect.

    It’s a WAV file but you can convert it to an MP3 or MP4 files.

  12. George Brickner October 19, 2007 at 1:36 am #

    Oops! That link didn’t make it. Here’s another try:
    http://hollywoodlostandfound.net/sound/uniphone.html

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