iPhone Review

GR iPhone

I’ve got my iPhone about 100 days ago and used it daily. There’s a lot of good things to say about it and also a bunch of stuff that I don’t like. Here’s everything worth mentioning, starting with the nasty stuff so I can end up on a positive note, because I am just that kind of guy.

  • UGLY! The “keyboard” is a disaster. I was hoping to get used to it after a while, and I sort of did, but I don’t like it any better.

    • It has very poor feedback. Aim… type… check… backspace… try again… For every couple of words, I have to use the backspace key.
    • The autocomplete works and it’s useful if you type in English, French or another supported language. But the feature can’t be disabled if you type in a non-supported language. It gets in your way in the most unnerving manner if you type a lot in Romanian.
    • The keyboard also works in landscape mode, making the keys almost twice as big, but only in Safari. Why not in every app?
    • The characters on the keys appear always capitalized, instead of representing the actual lower- or uppercase letter, depending on the Shift or CapsLock status. The keyboard should work like the Mac OS Keyboard Viewer.
  • UGLY! Can’t install third-party apps. Ridiculous. SDK FTW!

  • UGLY! There’s no clipboard on the iPhone.

  • BAD! Contacts are only available in the phone section, instead of being their own application.

    • When in the Phone application, only the contacts that have a phone number should be listed. I don’t care about my 1000+ email-only contacts while I am making a phone call.
    • There’s not proper search. If you only remember a contact’s last name, company or url, it doesn’t help.
  • BAD! Sync notes with Mac Mail, please. It’s silly that Mac Mail uses the same look and feel for its (otherwise useless and buggy) Notes feature and even returns error messages mentioning the iPhone synchronization, but the feature isn’t there.

  • BAD! The Mail application has its share of downsides.

    • The app handles well fat Word or PDF files, but not .EMLs, the format for messages forwarded as attachments.
    • Can’t CRUD for IMAP folders.
    • No spam filtering.
  • BAD! The Clear recent calls command removed all recent calls. I wish it could also clear only the missed calls list.

  • BAD! Since there is no clipboard on the iPhone, there should be a way to forward SMS messages by email or SMS, or even to forward an email as an SMS.

  • BAD! The camera quality is poor and it can’t record videos. It makes usable photos in daylight but it’s a disaster in any other situation. My K750i is 3 years old by now and it shoots awesome photos and clips.

  • BAD! The battery dries out after 4-6 hours of iPod and web use. Most people think that’s actually ok, but IMHO charging a phone daily just doesn’t feel right.

  • BAD! The fact that you have to go trough iTunes to sync contacts, calendars, bookmarks and mail doesn’t make any sense, but I got used to it. The problem is that the iPhone iPod can’t be updated from more than one iTunes library at a time. The good-old manual update from the classic iPod is not available on the iPhone.

  • BAD! Can’t have a random albums mode, only random tracks.

  • BAD! You can’t use the iPhone as a USB drive in the Finder or Windows Explorer. Another feature lost to the classic iPod.

  • BAD! There’s no file manager on the iPhone. I would use this a lot to store and read articles offline, in either PDF or HTML.

  • GOOD! The Photo and iPod applications are as cool as they seem in the demo videos.

  • GOOD! Contact photos are synched bad to Mac Address Book.

  • GREAT! It’s sturdy. Metal and glass, shock-proof, easily pocketable, great feeling on the few buttons.

  • GREAT! The Mail application is just awesome. It can read most messages and attachments and is very well adapted to the touch interface.

  • GREAT! Safari renders pages beautifully and is snappy even on EDGE.

  • GREAT! The headphones and mic are only so-so, but that click-to-answer or to pause-fowrward the iPod is just great.

Overall, I am happy with the iPhone, despite its shortcomings. That’s what I tell people when they stop me in the train or in the park to ask about it. Yes, a Parisian will even talk to a complete stranger just to be reassured before they spend €1000/year on a gadget.