Just the best device ever. Ever.
(or skip to my recommended apps)
December 2009: Oh, did I mention my iPhone? God am I in love with that device. This may surpass ReplayTV as the digital device of a life time (or is that life style?). (Although there are a few problems.)
Back in March we were in the UK and her niece was showing me her iPod touch. Having never played with one I was clueless. Several times she had to say, with the great exasperation only a 12 year old can muster, "not like *that*; just flick *here*." She's a little cutie and so polite, but I could just hear that "sheesh" in her voice. The next weekend I bought one so that I could be as versant as a 12 year old. I found that it was just a small taste of a drug I needed.
I did the Canada fishing trip without my laptop, just the iPod Touch. The wireless access was reasonable and I found that I could web surf and email on the iPod. It was a small screen, but I could still get the job done. Jon was showing off all the advanced features of his newest model iPhone and that made me realize that I had to have one. I wanted to do all this without the need for a Wifi hotspot. I wanted to do it while someone else was driving me down HW101. I wanted to do it while sitting in the park.
I had some worries. My old RAZR 3i had five days of standby time and I still found myself with a dead battery. I don't make many calls and I'd misplace my RAZR for a few days, maybe a week. I heard that the iPhone had a weak battery. Jon said, "oh just charge it every day." Oh sure, no way. It was probably more fragile than the RAZR. I toss my phone all over the place. I'd probably break the touch screen. I heard it wasn't all that great a phone. Crap, $800 down the drain.
All those problems didn't matter, I had to have one. And I had to have one now. The week after we got back I bought an iPhone over the internet and had it in hand by the end of July. A 3GS. OH MY GOD. In the last four months it has barely left my hand. I haven't lost it because it has become a part of me. If I don't know where it is, I go and find it. There's a joke photo going around on the web. It's a picture of a person's palm and written on the palm is this, "If you can read this call the police, someone has stolen my iPhone." I know just what they mean.
I should say that the battery life is very good. It lasts for days. I charge it every other day or more frequently if I use it a lot. And I use it a lot. A real lot. I'm not sure if the mediocre phone reports are due to the iPhone or the ATT network. When people complain that it's not a good phone; they are missing the point. Who makes phone calls anymore? For me the iPhone is the perfect intersection of portability, connectivity, and presentation. This device is now my ebook reader (yes the small screen works beautifully for this), email client, GPS device, portable camera, stock tracker, and general advice provider. So many people have written about it, that I won't repeat their platitudes. I will say that my next computer might even be an Apple because of this thing.
I have some recommendations for apps that you should get. Check it out.
I have found a few issues with the iPhone. Just today I spent two hours on the phone with support. Believe it or not, I am not frustrated. I've spoken with three excellent support folks today. They listened to my story, they offered good advice based on the symptoms. I wasn't asked to reboot the phone until we were way into the troubleshooting. They worked hard to duplicate the problem with me. All in all they were superb. If you're interested, here are the two problems:
Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)