Some Quick iPhone Thoughts

July 16, 2007

No, I didn’t succumb. I haven’t bought an iPhone, and my getting-ancient-yet-trusty Palm Treo 650 is still my smartphone of choice. But I did get to play with a friend’s iPhone several times, and discussed the finer points of the iPhone with him — with him demo’ing everything at least twice to me. ;-)

Some quick thoughts, to supplement what I wrote before the iPhone was released:

In the iPhone’s favor:

  • It sends shivers up and down my spine! It is so geekingly freekingly cool. Just the way it looks, the way it feels and sits on my palm, the way the Apple logo seems to be winking at me …
  • The screen is so crisp and brilliant — and it looks so large (and bright and colorful) in comparison to my Treo’s screen.
  • Being able to rotate the screen 90 degrees just by tilting the iPhone to one side (or the other, for left-handed users) — that has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while.
  • The ability to scroll by flicking your finger in any direction on the screen is fantastic. Just flick your finger, and the page (or photo) moves / flips naturally in that direction — and gradually slows down till you flick it again. Looks as if you’re flipping through actual photos or pages. Very natural.
  • Want to magnify a photo or webpage? Just put two fingers on the screen then draw your fingers apart. Want to zoom out? Bring your two fingers together. The multi-touch screen (you can use two or more fingers at the same time) is a new feature, and a relevation as well.
  • No stylus. None. Use your fingers. Nice.
  • 6 or 8 gigabytes of memory (depending on the model you buy). Huge friggin’ amount of memory. My Palm Treo only has like 24mb (I think) of memory. Let’s see … (Switching to the calculator mode on my Treo.) How many zeros in a gigabyte? Damn, 9 zeros. Divide that by 24 megabytes, six zeros … 333 times as much memory as my lil weeny weenie Treo’s memory.
  • The Safari web browser works just like it does on an Apple computer screen. Works well with many java-laden websites like Zoho and Vitalist and their ilk. Wouldn’t work anywhere as well on my Palm Treo’s browser. And what’s more: it formats webpages just like they’d be seen on a full-screen monitor — and if you want to see different areas of the webpage, you just zoom in by sliding your fingers.
  • It’s got wi-fi built in, for those times when you’re close to a wi-fi router (like the one in your home or at Starbucks). That, plus its normal mobile-phone data connection for the times you aren’t in a wi-fi hot-spot. C’mon, Palm, put wi-fi in them Treos already!
  • The camera takes crisp 2-megapixel photos. Looks very good. Makes my Treo’s .7 (yes, below 1) megapixel photos look positively grainy in comparison. No, wait-a-min, those Treo photos ARE grainy.
  • The iPhone looks, feels, and operates like art. It looks and feels so good that it oughta be rated X — or at least NC-17.

Strikes against the iPhone (in my opinion):

  • No actual touch-feely keyboard. Sure, the keyboard pops up onto the screen, and you can type on it. But I like to walk and type at the same time without looking at the keyboard. (I could say I can drive with my knee and type at the same time, but that’s illegal in many states …) Can’t do that with the iPhone, at least as far as I know — you have to look at the screen and watch what you’re typing.
  • No ability (for now) to highlight and then copy and paste. What!? You can’t copy an address and then paste it into the Google Map app or into a new contact. I wonder if the iPhone does it more intuitively, perhaps recognizing an address and giving you the option to map it or add it to your contacts. But in the meanwhile, if you try to highlight something, a small magnifying glass shows up instead and magnifies what you’re pointing at. Ok, that’s kinda nice, but totally unnecessary for many people. I just find it very odd that these iPhones don’t come with highlighting and copy / paste abilities. I’m certain that an update soon will add this capability.
  • No memory card slot. I know, 8 gig is large enough to hold just about anything plus your kitchen sink (in technicolor). But I like being able to move information to or from a computer using a memory card rather than sync’ing. Faster, more controllable. I have a 2 gig memory card in my Treo, and I use it so much for different things — including plugging it into other people’s Treos and also different computers — that I can’t imagine not having it. (Hmm, this is beginning to sound obscene …)
  • Got new email? It only vibrates just once. Once. Not up to 8 times, like if you’re using Chatter (absolutely my favorite smartphone email program) on a Palm Treo running on Palm OS. Hope the next iPhone update will fix this.

Got any thoughts you’d like to share about the iPhone? Don’t be bashful, share in the comments.


4 Responses to “Some Quick iPhone Thoughts”

  1. J K Says:

    Hey Geek, thank you for providing the critique. I just learned about the issue re: copying/pasting, which I found to be appalling. I just read blogs at, which folks contributed their time, explaining their experiences with using iPhones. Speaking of keyboard, one of them explained that it took him five days to get used to typing it. I never thought of asking him if he could be able to type and drive at the same time. The test for him shall be in order! And, I am not paying for insurance.

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