Taken the day I got the phone. Steph was here visiting.
The best part is giving it to other people and letting them play with it. Some are too concerned with potential down sides to take it seriously: it costs too much, it doesn’t work with my current carrier, etc. Some start clicking things and figuring it out. For someone with an open mind, it takes about 30 seconds to get sucked in. Her mouth makes O shapes as she discovers every new thing.
How long has it been since the last time I was truly excited by technology? Decades, I suppose?
Most people’s biggest complaint is that data transfer over AT&T’s “Edge” network is slow. Yes, it is, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. The phone is already doing pretty incredible things, I’m more than willing to wait another 20 or 30 seconds here and there for it to show me what I want to see.
Another big complaint is typing on the “virtual” onscreen keyboard. Also not a big concern for me. I used the 10-key numeric pad for typing text messages on my old phone, so the onscreen keyboard is an improvement for me. I can’t type super-fast, but fast enough that it’s not painful.
There are a few down sides, of course. Random-access voicemail, for one thing. Instead of making you call a number and navigate a clumsy voice interface by pressing buttons on the numeric keypad, iPhone shows you your voicemail as a list of messages you can scroll through. When listening to a particular voicemail, there’s a slider at the bottom, just as if this was an mp3 or a video, so you can skip backwards and forwards. Great idea, but the implementation is still pretty flawed. All too often, the phone tells me that “Visual Voicemail is currently unavailable.” Other times, it looks like it’s working, but I can only hear a few seconds of each message before the audio cuts out. It’s not a huge deal, because you can always call the old-skule voicemail number and listen to your messages the boring way.
The maps application is a life-saver for me. I’m constantly lost, so now I have at least a fighting chance of figuring out where I’m going. It doesn’t always help, of course. Just today I missed a gathering with some people from work, because I couldn’t find the bar they were meeting at. iPhone can’t save me from streets that meander aimlessly and intersect with each other in weird and confusing ways. It worked a lot better when Steph was here. I drove, she operated the phone.
There’s this very boring work meeting I have to go to every week, on Tuesdays. I thought “Hey, now I can web browse on my phone to pass the time! Yay!” Ten minutes into the first meeting with the phone, it locked up hard, for the first and only time so far. I couldn’t reboot it, I couldn’t shut it off. The battery is not user-accessible, so I couldn’t take it out. There was nothing to do but let the stupid thing run itself out of juice, which took almost two hours, and didn’t happen until long after the meeting was over. Crap.
I just heard a song on David Byrne’s radio stream so good that it hurt my face: We Have a Map of the Piano. Bold, innovative music is like an entrance to another world.