So yeah, I got an iPhone

First off, sorry friends & family for not blogging in a while. I'm more actively using these nowadays:

Twitter: (microblogging - stream-of-consciousness stuff)
Flickr: (photos)

Both of which I can send content to easily and directly... from my shiny new iPhone!

Yes, I caved. I picked up the 16GB model on Jan 27th, a few days before we took a short trip to Disneyland. I'd spent the previous few days borrowing a technology-demo unit from a co-worker, and after getting over the initial hurdles I was, of course, hooked.

So how does it stack up against my Mobile Device Needs and my previous device?

Caveat: In December I put a hacked WinMo 6.1 ROM on my old HTC Apache to give it a temporarily fresh new life. It greatly improved the experience, but it was still a big slow old brick.

  • Clock - better than WinMo; touch the power button the the screen is on instantly, and you never have to wait a second for the clock to tick to be sure you're seeing the correct time.
  • Google Calendar - I'm using NuevaSync as an Exchange proxy. Google has apparently GCal sync for iPhones too but it might require our admins to twiddle something.
  • Contacts - one time sync WinMo --> Outlook --> iTunes --> iPhone. Now its just iPhone --> iTunes --> Outlook as a backup
  • Personal Email - I have my work email via IMAP, and Hotmail via forwarding through GMail. Not ideal, since I still treat Hotmail as the master/archive source. Hotmail is now exposed via POP3 but it's stucktastically slow, so I'm holding that in reserve for now.
  • RSS Feeds - I'm using NetNewsWire which is a pretty good feed reader, through the NewsGator back end service. The web site - necessary for adding and organizing feeds - is abysmally slow, but the sync speed to the device is great since the device is talking only to the NewsGator back end. Occasional glitches, but I'm very satisfied with he appl
  • Web browsing - Safari is great. Apple has done a stellar job here. I just wish I could more selectively disable screen rotation for surfing while snoozing.
  • SMS/Text Messaging - acceptable. This is the place where I feel the pain of a software keyboard, since I can't type as confidently while walking as I could on the Apache.
  • Telephone - seems to work well, so far. The proximity sensor avoids stupid mistakes that occurred on the Apache.
  • Google Maps - OMG I love this; with GPS it's just adorable. We used it for navigating from LAX to DL and back. But there's also Google Earth which makes me squeee geekily.
  • Today's weather/weekly forecast - One touch away on the menu; I do miss the integration into the HTC Home launcher and wish the weather was displayed on the "Lock" screen, but it's not any harder to access than on my previous device if I left it on the app launcher tab.
  • Calculator - yes, it works.
  • Work Email - See above
  • SSH client - I tried TouchTerm out on the technology demo device, some of the non-free choices might be better, but I just haven't had the need yet and can always snag one from the App Store over the air in an emergency.
  • IRC client - I'm not on call any more, and without SSH tunnels this is a little trickier. However, we have a web gateway so I don't need a dedicated client for emergencies. I may be able to use VPN access as well.
  • Ebook reader - Stanza is free, all the features I want, and has integrated browsing for free books from multiple vendors. Sweet.
  • Picture viewer - Built in, and the touch gestures (pinch, drag) and accelerometer (rotation) really are useful, and just feel right.
  • Video player - only has YouTube at the moment
  • Camera - much better than the Apache's camera, albeit with no flash (not that the Apache's was great). Geotagging is schweeet, tho!
  • Games - I miss Marble Madness. But I have Katamari in my pocket! And Defend! and Attack! which are just wonderful. I have a handful of "lite" editions I'm not terribly taken with but keep me occupied.
  • Astronomy - I have my eye on Starmap but haven't purchased it yet.
  • Marquee - I've only started to dabble in iPhone programming, so I don't have this rewritten yet.
  • Flash player - only YouTube. No Flash games, alas.
  • Music player - oddly, the iPod is the worst part of the iPhone. It works acceptably enough that I've stopped carrying my Rio Carbon, and without the double-click-on-the-mic to skip songs I'd go mad, but it still stands out as the least polished part of the system. It sure is pretty, though.
Overall: it's just a sexy, seductive device. You want to take it out and cradle it gently in your hands and stroke the curved edges. My precious... my precious...