On Friday, I upgraded to an iPhone 5 on Verizon from my iPhone 4 on AT&T (with much appreciation to my parents-in-law!). You will have read this in 100 different places by now (and this is not intended to be a serious review), but here’s a few of my quick thoughts after my first weekend with it:
- Everything about it is wicked fast. Even sending text messages seems faster. The iPhone 4 was no slouch on performance, but the iPhone 5 blows it away.
- If you haven’t held it yet, it will blow your mind how light it is.
- Get the black unit. The blacking out of the antenna band really puts the emphasis on the brilliant screen and just looks slick as hell.
- Changing connectors is a giant pain in the butt, but the Lightning connector’s robustness and size will be worth the change. (Some iteration of USB would still be really nice, but if this means the connector won’t change for 10 more years, that’s not all bad either.)
- Verizon LTE is very good and tests on par with my cable modem. One test on Hilton Head Island showed 34 mbps down, but it’s a more reasonable 10 mbps here in Charleston. There are indeed some cases where a Wi-Fi network may actually be slower than LTE. (Amazing.) AT&T users here are getting better benchmarks right now but they will likely come back to earth a bit once the network saturates a bit more.
- I’m going to need a big data plan. LTE makes blowing through data caps a trivial exercise.
- On paper, the screen size increase was not tremendous, but in practice, it sure does make a difference. Color saturation is much improved (though I am noticing a bit of a blue bias).
- Battery life on LTE is not awesome. Get it on a Wi-Fi network for best battery performance.
- There are still a lot of apps that haven’t yet updated for the new screen. Hope they get it together, because it does make a difference.
- This is the first Siri-capable iOS device I’ve owned. I see Siri being something I play with a bit, but not use very seriously. (I might use it more if there was a way to map a “Siri key” to my car’s Bluetooth package.)
- I haven’t yet put the camera through much rigor, but the lens flare issue is there. (Any leads on iPhone 5 lens kits would be appreciated.)
Flipboard is now on the iPhone, and what a remarkable piece of software it is. Flipboard is already how I prefer to browse social media and RSS on the iPad, and I can see myself doing more of the same with the iPhone version. Check out John Paul Titlow’s review at ReadWriteWeb.
A little over four years after its initial launch, it’s interesting to read Paul Thurrott’s initial impressions of the original iPhone. Some reservations, like the virtual keyboard, in the end weren’t a hindrance. AT&T most definitely is, though. Fun read.
I’m not quite sure how advantageous the new Gmail push notifications are for iPhone given just how lousy iPhone notifications are, not to mention that Google Sync via Exchange is a more complete experience. The only potential advantage to the push notification method is better battery life, though given the volume of e-mail I receive in a day, push anything usually takes a pretty quick toll. And, frankly, I only want notifications for high-priority events; a selective implementation would make more sense, not one that blasts every single message at me.
Back in late June I publicly mused on what my next phone will be and the constant state of indecision I find myself in as I consider that question. My upgrade eligibility began in early July and recently ended as I finally came to a conclusion on how I’ll be mobile going forward. As a result, yesterday I retired the BlackBerry in favor of iPhone 4. (Or, as LeBron James might say, “I’m taking my mobile talents to Cupertino.”) And thus begins the most critical 30 days since I first hooked on with AT&T (then Cingular) back in 2005. Continue reading
There are lots of people standing in iLines this morning so they can get their new, shiny, black-only iPhones 4. I did the iLine thing a couple years ago at the opening of the Charleston Apple Store. It was fun — there’s undoubtedly an energy around the Apple experience. It’s downright fascinating to watch just how easily Apple can whip the masses up into a frenzy for their products, and it seems from various things I’m reading around the Web that iPhone 4 is no exception.
I love Opera’s running timer since Opera Mini for iPhone was submitted to the App Store. Opera does a lot of nifty and important things for the Web that we often miss out on. At SXSW, Chris Mills gave a fantastic talk about mobile accessibility and showed me some CSS stuff I hadn’t yet seen. It doesn’t get the fanfare on the desktop that it perhaps deserves (while most modern browsers borrow liberally from Opera’s UI), but Opera’s impact in the embedded market, despite the ascension of WebKit, cannot be ignored.
My road trip to the ALDS Game 2 between the Yankees and Indians this past weekend was a blast, despite this absolutely horrible cold that I was (and still am) fighting tooth and nail for the duration. Continue reading
With all due respect to those disrespected by Geico, you’d have to be living in a cave if you didn’t realize the iPhone is being released tomorrow. The press coverage amounts to a giant puddle of drool over this thing — I can’t say I’ve ever seen so much excitement for a phone before. You know AT&T is happy, seeing how they’ve got the exclusive.
Paul Thurrott aims to balance things out a bit. He’s right, too — in essence, the iPhone is a $500 phone that, if it weren’t for the touchscreen and Apple-ness, would be given away for peanuts. EDGE data? Ridiculous. I realize that AT&T’s 3G network doesn’t have much of a footprint yet (trust me, I lament it daily), but that’s no reason for Apple to just omit it from the phone. To use that phone’s strengths effectively, it clamors for 3G. Yes, it’s got Wi-Fi, which is cool, but what good does that do on the go?
I think it’s neat how Safari on the iPhone can browse the Internet proper without having to worry about “mobile versions” of pages. However, there’s a reason for mobile versions of pages, because no matter how wide the screen is on the iPhone, it’s still small. Period. The fact that I’d have to zoom and scroll and scroll and zoom doesn’t really attract me all that much. There are other advantages to well-created WML pages, too: they will generally perform better, will be less taxing on the phone, and quite frankly I would not be too crazy about having the full flash and pomp of the Internet on my phone. My fear is that the advent of Safari on the phone may make designers lazy and not provide good alternatives for the 99% of the Web-on-phone-using population.
BlackBerry for Windows Mobile 6
Soon, Windows Mobile 6 users will be able to get their CrackBerry fix with a new package to be introduced later this year by Research in Motion. I think it’s cool that RIM is going to bring BlackBerry push e-mail — unparalleled in the market — to Windows Mobile devices. Exchange Direct Push, what I use, is good, but still nowhere near the reliability or speed of RIM’s software. (Perhaps Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile 6 may improve this even further, but right now I have neither at my disposal.) This is a nifty, shrewd way for RIM to give Windows Mobile users a taste of the BlackBerry experience and, ideally, convert a few more people over to its hardware, which is, in my mind, the centerpiece of the whole experience.
Target iPhone to Corporations? Are they MAD?
Neowin reports that
Cingular The New AT&T wants to target the Apple iPhone to business users, presumably because of the cost of the device (i.e. Joe Schmuck will have no way of affording its expected $579 price tag). I don’t understand how the iPhone was ever meant to have a business application, though. Mac OS X, for all its strides within the last decade, is still an inferior business client OS when compared to Windows. In some ways, it’s gone backwards — for example, Entourage is no Outlook replacement, that’s for sure. Why would the iPhone be any different? Take into account the fact that Apple will not permit third-party applications, the lack of broadband support via AT&T’s 3G BroadbandConnect, and the largely unproven nature of the touchscreen (which I would expect to be a bear with e-mail), I can’t see how any sane enterprise would touch this phone. Again, Apple’s penchant for closedness and exclusivity is going to hurt it. For enterprise, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile really are the only ways to go at this point. If AT&T wants to see iPhone get into the mix, it needs to pressure Apple to open iPhone to the world; otherwise, it’ll just be a status symbol for the likes of Paris Hilton, while everyone else talks away on their RAZRs.