By John Mark Reynolds
I have longed for it, wanted it from afar, and envied my friends who owned it. I can only thank God that the Bible forbids coveting my neighbor’s ox and not his iPhone or I would have been in big trouble. Fortunately the strength of this particular exegesis was not long put to the test. Due to the unlamented passing of my Palm Treo 650, the single worst phone ever conceived in the hearts of wicked engineers, I have been able to get a black 8 gig iPhone.
It sits before me now and it is beautiful.
My old Treo was clunky like a Star Trek communicator from the original series without the cool flip up antenna. It tore many a jacket pocket with its weight. One could count on it crashing every five minutes or so when one demanded unreasonable things from it like receiving phone calls or keeping my schedule. Getting it to sync with my Mac was always hard and I had to get special software to do the job.
The iPhone did everything, or almost everything, I wished right out of the box. Here are five observations after my first week of ownership:
1. Battery life is poor when using the Net or updating mail. In just a few hours of heavy use, I was running out of juice. The Treo was slower and rarely made it to the Net without crashing a few times, but once there it drained the battery comparatively slowly.
This is the greatest flaw I have discovered.
2. The phone connects to the world easily.
Getting the phone to sync with Google mail is easy. Getting it to sync with Google calendar was harder, but was done in a few minutes.
Of course it is easy just to go on-line to check both services, but I prefer not to always have to do so.
Wireless connections were easy to set up. Web browsing was fast in both wireless and 3G modes. It is not my home cable modem, but it has made web use in the car (for finding my location, movies, and other information) possible.
It worked perfectly with my computer which is to expected since I use a Mac, but it still was a pleasure to use a piece of technology that required no set up after I got home from the store. The phone has yet to crash or show any software problems.
3. The phone works well as a phone. My reception was equal to any other wireless in our house, including fairly expensive phones without other features.
4. The touch screen is easy to use and soon learned to cope with my clumsy fingers. For someone like I am who cannot see very well (which makes typing hard and proofing harder), this phone is a blessing. It magnifies areas and this feature makes it easier to use in some situations than my laptop.
5. Video, picture, and music use is an added bonus. I have to commute often and this allows me to leave other devices at home. I did not get the iPhone to listen to music, watch videos, or show family pictures to friends, but enjoy doing so. This was not something I wanted to do, but the phone is changing my behavior by showing me new abilities.
Now we must all learn good iPhone etiquette to avoid boring our friends with vacation pictures or videos in even more places!
By John Mark Reynolds