iPhone impressions

So it is the thing to do these days. Posting one's impressions of the iPhone.

Oddly in explaining why he is not getting one now Adam Engst sums up much of my joy over the phone:

The cost becomes especially steep here in upstate New York, where cell service is fairly spotty. I'm sure the iPhone would get fine reception in downtown Ithaca and at Cornell, but all bets are off once you go more than a few miles out of town. Poor reception promotes a feedback cycle - if you can't rely on having access wherever you are, you stop thinking about using the cell phone unless it's absolutely necessary.

So I do not live in upstate New York. I live in radio-free Nevada. In being radio free we're free from all sorts of radio towers including cell phone towers. But last December, shortly before the announcement of the iPhone, Cingular remedied that situation. For the last six months I've been slogging through my Sprint contract waiting for the moment to come when I could drop the phone instead of the call from my boss. For me the greatest feature of the iPhone is the number of calls I haven't dropped. In one weekend of ownership I've had more trouble-free calls than the last two years of Sprint's dis-service. (Sprint by the way now claims that even my 3-year-old phone is mysteriously under 'contract' but that's another story). As shiny and sleek as the wonderful little phone is there is little to compare to the joy of simply having a phone that works.

Visual voice mail some getting used to. Each time I finish listening to a message I keep holding the slim phone to my ear waiting to hear "to delete press...." but it never comes. Never. And the longer I wait the more foolish I feel when I remember that I don't have to play that silly game anymore.

Back to the overall impression of the iPhone. Dave Winer sums it up pretty well:

You don't want to give it to someone, you want to just hold it. I know it sounds silly and dorky, geez it's just a phone, after all, but it's not. It's a totem. A symbol. A charm. A fortune cookie. It's personal. It's mine.

On that note Winer's been good about pointing out some of the things that can be worked on in software and hardware improvements. He mentions the lack of a Home page setting in Safari. I think I understand why because Safari never really starts or stops running it's always there. You browse the web and get a call once you're off the call you're back in the same place on the web. It would be tough to be taken to a home page every time. There is a work-around though. Setting the page you'd like to use frequently as your top bookmark makes it readily accessible when you do want to go to your home page. Like Winer I use a plain jane page with a series of links that I find handier than bookmarks in many settings. Can't wait until this thing has a fractional web server on it.