The Lazy Blogger

Using the iPhone 3GS


By Sumit

Finally I have the long cherished iPhone. A spanking new 32 Gb 3GS. As I begin to use it as I want it, I am building the list of likes and dislikes. Some of the dislikes might be more of a usage issue some are genuine. So here goes: Likes: 1. The whole package of the phone. It's definitely one of the most beautiful phones around. 2. It's ability to seamlesly handle data and voice is amazing. It gets better when you are using wifi, it's simply seamless. 3. Attachment viewing is amazingly fast. This little guy was able to open a 1.8 mb PowerPoint attachment without batting an eyelid. It takes longer on a laptop. 4. AppStore is cool. So far I managed to get most of what I need without additional cost. Mint, BoA, Wordpress all pretty nifty tools. Deciding on which office tool to get among the two available: Datawiz and Quick something. 5. Camera: I know everyone is interested in this one. Well to be honest I did not buy it for any of the camera features but then you can't help talk about it. The first surprise was when the emailed images where only 800x600. I was confused because my 1.2MP LG Chocolate's camera used to take bigger images. Turns out it pulls a fast one on you by resizing them down to 800x600 automatically. Naughty Apple! should atleast give an option right? Specially if you are using your own home wifi there is no reason to resize it. Over 3G is understandable. After transferring them over the wire the images were indeed bigger. Quality of images are acceptable. They won't win a photography contest (unless it's an iPhone only contest) with it's soft and saturated images. I don't have surgeon's hands so low light photography is out of scope and so are indoor shots. Video: This was a BIG surprise. The quality of video is just amazing. Even though max resolution is VGA the frame rates are great resulting in crisp videos. The videos will can definitely give the regular point and shoots a run for their money.

On the fence: Functionalities I love to hate 1. Keyboard: well I can't imagine life without the landscape keypad. So all who managed without it so far - kudos. Though I started off with fat-fingering every second character I have improved over the past few days and I am sure it will not be a problem in future. Though I haven't used one but I hear the 'clicky' feedback of the Storm is pretty cool. If storm can have it so can the iPhone, what say?

Voice Commands: I consider this a fun feature. However if it works it's a good to have. It dials the correct number most of the time. But to get it to play the song I want is a different deal. Hopefully with time I will be able to talk to it in an accent that it will understand better than it does currently.

Dislikes: 1: The battery life: it may be 'cool' to have the thinnest and dandiest smartphone on the block but if it's battery dies in half a day when you use it like one, it ruins the fun. Only other option is to carry a battery pack if you really want to remain 'Wireless'. Most of the battery packs out there double up as a hardcover; cost you another 30-70 bucks and ruin the cool lean feel of the phone. So apple, all your efforts to create the coolest phone is well appreciated, now how about something more practical? Options: have another version that has double the battery life and is slightly thicker. Here is another kicker of an idea, double the thickness at the top half making space for a higher MP and better camera, as well as space for bigger battery. I am sure they can work out the ergonomics. Keeping the base thickness same would not break backward compatibility of docking stations! User replacable batteries: which I believe goes against apple's business model considering they have gotten rid of user replacable batteries even in their laptops. 2. Another major issue are ear plugs set. They are Bad by all standards. The sound is cheap and tinny. To make matters worse the socket is proprietory and none of the adapters in the market have good reviews. I have a nice pair of Bose earphones that are going a waste right now. (Update: the Bose earphones work without adapters but ofcouse they don't have a microphone).Thinking of getting a Bluetooth headset which again is a battery hog. So request to Apple - make an adapter that is clipon with the microphone and the controls for play, voice commands etc. And provide a standard headphone Jack on the control module so that people who want to use better headphones don't lose out on the other 'cool' features.

Have't tried: the oleophobic screen. Did not have the guts to leave the screen without a screen protector specially with a three year old around.

That's it for now. Will continue to update my experiences with the iPhone. This post was entirely written using the wordpress app on the iPhone.

[Update November 10, 2009] After the initial feel good wore off, I did find some bugs in the phone. Most prominent being application icons getting messed up and OS crashing or not recovering from sleep mode. Both seemed to have been resolved in the last bug fix path of the OS. ITunes stopped downloading iPhone app updates and syncing applications from iPhone gives an error saying applications could not be updated because it is not a registered computer (needless to say it IS registered and will not Reregister to itself).

Apart from that I've come to terms with ATT's service which is pretty bad in Milpitas and Boise two areas where I spend my 'out of office' time.