Bill Morefield My thoughts, discoveries, and occasional rambiings.

February 26, 2011

Two Weeks with the iPhone

Filed under: mobile technology — Bill Morefield @ 9:00 am

I’d never been that impressed with the iPhone until the iPhone 4 came out last year and I had the change to play with a friend’s phone.  The only problem was the AT&T exclusivity and my issues with AT&T locally had led me to Verizon after a number of years as an AT&T wireless customer.  AT&T has improved since then, but not enough to make me switch back (though they did finally deploy 3G data here back in early January).  So I was happy to hear the iPhone come to Verizon in early February.

I purchased an iPad last fall and it had largely converted me into the iOS camp.  I have no plans to replace my Windows computers with a Mac for day to day use, but using the iPad made me appreciate the simplicity of the system and the convenience of having a small and long life device for things like email, reading PDF documents, and the like.  I’ve really noticed some amazing benefits of integrating it into my work life, but that’s another post.

Still the experience with the iPad had me ready to look at an iPhone when it came time for a new phone in June.  The decision came a little earlier as the issues my phone had experienced since going for a little swim in a creek in the late summer had become much worse.  Finally they reached a point of becoming too annoying two weeks ago so I walked out into a Best Buy one Saturday afternoon and walked out with a 32 GB iPhone 4.

I like it.  The convenience of the apps cannot be overstated.  As a phone the iPhone really isn’t any better than the Windows Mobile phone it replaced, but the interface is smoother and the apps make the thing a true PDA in addition to a phone.  I’d have trouble going back even after just two weeks.

Even though I do love the phone I am surprised at some simple things the phone cannot do and may look into Jailbreaking to implement some of these.  First the texting interface is a bit weak to me.  I’m not a large text message user, but something about it just doesn’t working right for me.

I’m also amazed that the phone doesn’t have any way to automatically set it to vibrate or silent when my calendar shows me busy.  My much derided Windows Mobile phone could do this before the first iPhone even came out.  In addition the ability to configure alerts is weak.  I really don’t want to hear a tone if I get an email at 5 AM, but I would like the phone to ring or alert me to a text message.  I had an application on my Windows Mobile phone that would go to a silent mode at night for everything except phone calls for example and turn off bluetooth to save battery.  So far I’ve not been able to find anything like this for the iPhone that doesn’t involve hacking the phone.

These are mostly minor things and they don’t dampen my overall enjoyment of the phone, but I’d really like to see some of these added in the next iOS version.  And if I’ve missed any obvious fixes for the above problem, feel free to point them out in the comments.


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