Remember this post, where I described the things I always travel with? My faithful Palm III PDA was one of them.
I celebrated my birthday recently and the guys at work gave me my present last week: an iPhone...!
I could not believe it. I had been looking at an iPhone for ages, glued to the window like a kid in front of a candy story. And finally, I had one.
My team said "We know how attached you are to your Palm III, but you can not really head a technology team using a 1997 piece of 'wannabe PDA'... So we're bringing you into the 21st century"...
It is true, in a way. At work, we have a "museum"glass cupboard displaying all pieces of old technology we used in the past 20 years. From a manual of WordStar (remember that?) to old VHF radios, a keyboard from a 1970's IBM mainframe and... a Palm III. Many people could not believe my faithful Palm III survived all the travel, the dust roads I drove on, all the remote places I've been to, and all the emergency operations I have served in. It stored my agenda with appointments going back to 1997. It held all the business contacts of people I met in the past 12 years, and all the notes I took while on mission. And it still did its job.
So I spent much of last weekend exploring my brand new iPhone 3GS, figuring out how to use it and the applications I wanted.
Here is my rundown of the things I love about it:
- the user interface, the way the different applications are working
- its display (it is color, yay!), the resolution, the touch screen
- the integration of wireless LAN connectivity and all web applications is out of this world
- the speed in which it discovers and registers to wireless LANs.
- the vast amount of applications you can download
- the speed of the applications
- the quality of pictures and video is great. I always cursed the poor quality of both on my old Nokia phone. Just this is a real plus for me, as it will make the iPhone a great tool to take ad hoc snapshots to post on my blog.
- for the first time, I can have all I wanted of a PDA, iPod, compact digital camera/videocam, telephone,.. in one
- I can Twitter, Skype, Email etc... to my heart's content, which for a social media addict like me is a definitive plus
- it seems Bluetooth is not used to connect the iPhone to the computer's iTunes. I need to have the cable (or did I miss something here?). I also seem to have problems to get my computer pick up the Bluetooth connection from my iPhone and vice versa.
- iTunes is heavy on a PC (maybe I should finally by a Mac?), it is slow, takes ages to load, and has a horrible user interface. It seems to only be a beefed up version of a music library, but does not feel intuitive at all.
- I also hated the fact I needed to register my credit card while subscribing to the iTunes store. Even if I did not want to buy anything...
- the battery runs down in less than 24 hours
- I did not find a way to define the resolution for the camera.
- and the worst part, unfortunately, is the "phone" part of the iPhone: its GSM sensitivity is ways below what my Nokia offers. In a GSM-signal poor country like Italy, this means I no longer have coverage where I used to have it. And that includes my apartment. A real bummer.
- it took some tweaking to have the phone work on data-over-GSM. Luckily some hacker-friends gave me a patch where I could define the data-configuration for my GSM carrier, but somehow this should have been more transparent for the user.