The iPhone Report Card – A Resource


I overheard someone at the LAX airport yesterday saying how cliche it was to blog about the iPhone. Blasphemy! That struck me as really obtuse, since one of the things blogs do best is address popular culture events quickly, relevantly, and with an unfiltered punch. So in your face, airport guy. I say it’s not cliche to blog about it, it’s probably more of a faux pas (keeping with the French…) for me NOT to, especially given how excited most of the people I associate with are about this little gadget.

Okay, question: Do I have an iPhone? Yes. We procured them yesterday, the release day, for everyone on our staff. BUT, get this: I don’t have mine in hand yet – its back at the studio, sitting, waiting for me. I haven’t touched it, smelled it, coddled it, made a call, nothing, because Scott, Mario, and I are 10,000 miles away on a job in New Zealand for two weeks. It’s an exercise in patience, I assure you.

So the purpose of this post is two-fold:
1)it’s mildly selfish in that I want to hear your opinions of this new gadget so I can live vicariously through you; but
2) it’s really more about putting together a quick forum/reference for the iPhone havers AND those who don’t but are curious and need info.

Just like my earlier post about buying a point-and-shoot camera that–thanks to your numerous and robust entries to the comments section–turned into a killer resource, let’s do something similar here for the iPhone. If you have opinions, experiences, questions, links, or reviews you’d like to share, please leave comments. Remember you can do so with your name/login OR anonymously.

I’ll kick it off. Here’s some stuff I read.
-Boingboing’s got a dissected iPhone, along with numerous reviews and links.
-TEDBlog highlights NY Times Tech columnist David Pogue’s humorous take on it.
-Someone from CNNMoney is clearly not happy with their iPhone.
-Technorati obviously has plenty of info too.

That should get us started. But while news stories and reviews are nice, don’t forget there’s nothing that can replace a personal story or helpful insight from you. Do share. I want to return to the States (and my iPhone) completely prepared. Thanks in advance for your help.

[BTW, Dartanyon and Cody--aka 'the new guy' at our office whose video interview is coming soon to the staff page--shot a one minute ambient video clip just walking down the line of people many hundreds deep at the Seattle Apple store if for some reason you'd like to see how ridiculous it was there...]

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27 Responses to The iPhone Report Card – A Resource

  1. Jay McLaughlin June 30, 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    Dammit! I’m so jealous! We can’t get them in the UK yet!!!

    I had to settle for the LG Prada phone instead!

  2. Chase Jarvis June 30, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

    Sorry Jay- We’ll get that sucker exported just as soon as Steve Jobs can make the rest of the world want it just a little bit more… The fact that they’re not being released in other countries initially is a little bit boggling for me, especially given that so much of the planet is so much further along in wireless technology than is the USA. I suspect the iPhone will find its way overseas quite quickly, but until then, let this forum and others keep you salivating ;)

    (Also, if you get a chance to check back and can fill us in on what the LG Prada DOES do to make you happy/tide you over, let us know…)

  3. Anonymous June 30, 2007 at 8:12 pm #

    I don’t have an iPhone, but there was a guy with an unopened iPhone box in the elevator at one of the gallery buildings I was in today and he was nearly mobbed.

    Couple of good, short reviews:

    Kottke.org: http://www.kottke.org/07/06/quick-iphone-review
    Daring Fireball: http://daringfireball.net/2007/06/iphone_first_impressions

  4. Anonymous July 1, 2007 at 2:33 am #

    Welcome to Godzone

  5. Oscar Lopez July 1, 2007 at 9:37 am #

    Heres the review for the iPhone done by Walter Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal. Pretty good i think.
    He only complains about the slow EDGE connection on it and the voice quality on calls.

    now.. does Chase Jarvis photography would like to sponsor a iPhone for someone in Canada? :)

  6. William Anthony July 1, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    I was really hoping for some Tickle-Me-Elmo/PS3/Cabbage Patch Kid mob action at one of the Apple stores. You know, people poking each other in the eyes while a wave of people rush into the store and tackle the display of boxes. But no… a single file line of people giving staff hi fives… WTF?

    Geeks are so well behaved.

    I’m one of those who is going to wait til v2.0.

  7. Chase Jarvis July 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm #

    Godzone: yes, I hear it’s quite nice having everything at your fingertips… I was just video ichatting with Kate (my wife) while she was goofing with the phone, she was looking up stuff online faster than i was in front of my computer, taking photos of a few things in my house and sending them to me via email on her iphone, and google mapping my location in New Zealand all practically at the same time! Godzone seems like a nice place to be…

  8. Chase Jarvis July 1, 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    Oscar: Yes, I’ve experienced EDGE, and I’ve heard it lags bigtime, but think how much time you spend in/on wireless networks these days… See my GODZONE reply above – when it’s on a network it rips. That said – it IS meant for mobile, so ulitmately I’ll have to agree. And thus, dammit AT&T;, get with the 3G program!

    As for getting ‘em in Canada, I saw yesterday you can get ‘em on eBay for $1000 USD ;)

  9. Chase Jarvis July 1, 2007 at 12:21 pm #

    William: The visual of someone tackling the display of boxes is hilarious. But true, as you say, Geeks are so, well, NICE!

    Regarding your waiting for v2.0, I’m curious on your (and others) take on the following:
    a)don’t you think that a lot of first year or so worth of continued leapfrog upgrades will happen in the software? I mean correct me, but things like battery life (via energy conservation), keyboard type-ability, even a video component can be added to the phone, simply via a software update… So when you’re waiting for 2.0, do you have an idea on how long you’re willing/planning to wait? Is a year worth it, two?
    b)okay, I’ll grant that ipod v1.0 and 2.0 were substantially different, even fundamentals like the clickwheel changed, but did the fundamentals of the ipod change enough to warrant waiting? (I have friends who still have v1.0 ipods in their cars or whatnot. Agreed v2.0 to 3.0 ipods changed quickly but that was years after it launched. Where are you (others) on these thoughts??

  10. William Anthony July 1, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    I have found that for whatever reasons, the premiere version of any new product in the market will not necessarily be the best version of the product. Ever.

    No matter how much usability testing Apple may have done up to this point, the amount of user feedback (and cool re-purposing like this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lcB8CKa73B0) will be exponentially greater now. And it is now being tested in real-world situations. They will probably discover problems they never considered.

    My girlfriend bought the first iPod Nano and the case split in two and the screen got scratched to hell in less than two months. The next version solved those problems.

    And most importantly for me, I don’t have a pressing need for an iPhone. Yet.

    I do plan on getting one eventually. I’m just in no rush.

  11. Anonymous July 1, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    Chase -
    I like the idea of the iPhone . . . I’m an apple/mac guy.. .
    BUT
    I’m not getting one because they are — from what I understand — exclusive with AT+T and cell phone service here in Maine is occasionally not so great (at best) and AT+T is the worst in this dept. Lots of dropped calls, dead zones, bad customer service etc. . . Around here Verizon is in charge of the cell market.
    Just food for thought –
    ~ Roger

  12. j.w. ramp July 2, 2007 at 6:55 am #

    okay, so typing this entry from an airplane that just landed in Atlanta on my way back home to Alaska. I picked my iphone up on friday night an hour after the release without having to wait in line at the apple store in Pittsburgh. I’m simply amazed by the keyboard that is auto-correcting all of my typing mistakes. Having wireless internet everywhere that i go is sooo handy. Since Friday night I’ve used 41.5 mega of data and don’t have much to complain about the network’s speed.

  13. BJP July 2, 2007 at 9:42 am #

    so far the iPhone has met up or exceeded my expectations except for one program that really has do do with Google. Google maps is great but the traffic is really unaccurate compared to the clunky but effective wa.dot app on my old Treo.

    I’ve heard a lot of bitching about the price and whatnot, but I bet if everyone who complained about it stopped driving and rode a bike or a bus they could buy one in about two weeks from the savings of not buying gas…another reason to go green, so you can have an iPhone!

  14. GeekCreate July 2, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    I too waited all day in an iPhone line !!! but man wass it worth it. I don’t think that any of the pictures really convey how tight this little package is … very sleak, awfully sexy. Oh by the way, it works awfully darn well too. Of course there are Mossberg’s and Pouge’s reports, which I think are the most comprehensive, but you may want to also check out the Today in iPhone podcast, useful stuff there too.

    Enjoy it when you get your hands on it.

  15. Chase Jarvis July 2, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    jw: must be nice to have been in Pittsburgh with NO LINE! Wow.

    You’re only the second person I know who has raved about the keypad, which is interesting. Glad some people love it. Another review I read about the keypad mentioned how fast you ‘learn’ to take advantage of its capabilities. Once you begin to rely on it, the speed really becomes apparent.

  16. Anonymous July 2, 2007 at 12:36 pm #

    Online I noticed that there are quite a few “haters” about the iPhone, only noting the weaknesses. Having purchased one I must say that I am a satisfied customer. Connecting to wi-fi is awesome. Seamless integration with iCal and Address book on my mac made my life a lot easier. The keyboard took a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, its all easy squeezy. I am really disappointed about no flash support. I am hoping that this will be fixed in a future update. Other than that, It’s a well designed unit, Sleek and uber-cool. I give the iPhone 9 out of 10.

  17. Chase Jarvis July 2, 2007 at 12:36 pm #

    Bryan: Hmmm. Good to know that Google Traffic has issues (not that my 2 block commute requires it — neener neener…). Kate showed me how well Google Maps displayed on iPhone and it seemed as sweet as it is in the ‘normal’ computing environment. sound more like an issue (as you say) with google’s traffic than the iphone…

  18. BJP July 2, 2007 at 11:18 pm #

    so after three days of use I love the key board/pad/typing thing. Chase it is an easy transition from the treo.

    I find it interesting that most people only have beef about the iphone. All over the radio I hear people tearing it down. With all the negative bs i hear i think to myself that only the best tech items really get criticized-i don’t think the razor was ever really talked about half as much as the iPhone.

    So far the iphone is the best phone i have ever touched. Here is what I like and hope is changed on a software update:

    Like
    -the full screen clarity and brightnes
    -coverflow is very fluid
    -sync with macs is awesome (iCal etc)
    -4 way + conference calling
    -battery life
    -ear proximity sensor(by treo always hung up on people with a simple ear lobe tap)
    -WIFI!!!
    -visual voicemail

    Needs updating
    -only one signature for all email accounts
    -no copy paste feature that I kind find
    -google traffic accuracy
    -GPS integration into google maps
    -flash integration into safari
    -direct access on iphone to buy music
    -iChat integration
    -a “mark as read” feature for multiple messages

    The beautiful thing about the iPhone is that its software can be updated and you never know what apple has built in and is just waiting unlock it, possibly new programs or more amazing features. I would give the iPhone a 10 out of 10 based on it changing the cell phone industry and based on its future potential with software upgrades.

  19. Chase Jarvis July 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm #

    Thanks Bryan. We appreciate your detailed opinion here…

    I suspect that the updates you mention will happen quite swiftly as the beefs you have seem to be common. Additionally, I agree that any “hating” that’s going on seems to be a product of, well, lack of something smart or nice to say. It would be hard to argue that, like it or hate it, the iPhone has certainly changed the landscape of mobile computing/phones forever. I’ll even liken it to Nirvana or the Beatles. You don’t have to like em, but you have to acknowledge them and understand that they changed the game in many ways…

  20. Anonymous July 6, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    I love my iPhone – all the hype was not for nothing. It truly is amazing. Yes, yes, yes all the features are amazing the rotating screen, the touch keypad (that does take a little getting used to, but once you’ve got it, it is so easy), and brilliant Apple simplicity as you would expect, but what about some of the other lesser praised pluses??

    - Activation. I can’t believe that I plugged my phone into my iTunes and 5 minutes later I had switched my plan with AT&T; and transferred my music, contacts, photos, etc. Amazing!

    - Packaging. Apple always excels with its packaging, but how sexy were those little boxes?!?

    I couldn’t be happier with the performance and I have not had one single (knock on wood) problem. Chase, you must be counting the days…

  21. William Anthony July 7, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    Ok. So I stopped by the U Village Apple store today.

    Now I want one. Bad.

    Only problem is I am not on AT&T.; And I really like my carrier. (Plus, like I said, I just added someone to my plan and JUST finished all the paperwork.) What’s a guy like me to do?

    Do y’all really think Apple will stay AT&T-only; for TWO whole years?

    These phones really must be seen, held and demo-ed to truly be appreciated. Safari is really nice and viewing and reading off the web is surprisingly easy.

    If you absolutely positively DO NOT want to be tempted into the biggest impulse buy of the fiscal year, don’t go to an Apple store to check one out.

    Serious.

  22. Noah July 9, 2007 at 1:52 pm #

    William… I’d have to agree. You have to touch and see it to believe. I was a bit skeptical about the phone in general, especially the touch-screen input; it roxors the soxors. Text messaging and email will be a breeze. If I would have had a couple hundred in my pocket at the time, I’d now have an iPhone (and, of course, the wrong service provider).
    Chase, and everyone else who has one… you’re lucky bastards.

  23. BJP July 10, 2007 at 10:59 pm #

    One last review from my end and I’ll be done. I’m not a huge fan of the AT&T; network. All the advertising I see from them is about being the company with fewest dropped calls, however in the past two weeks I have had more dropped calls then my entire time with verizon (within the city, not out in the boonies)

  24. Chase Jarvis July 15, 2007 at 1:17 pm #

    Bryan: Interesting. I’ve been back for 6 days with one dropped call. I do notice some b/s with poor “edge” connections pretty regularly, where I didn’t notice this with my former Blackberry.

    Overall I’m still in heaven. Connection to available wireless networks is the bomb.

  25. Chase Jarvis July 15, 2007 at 1:18 pm #

    Also, many of you may have seen this. If not, check it. Remote Desktop for your iPhone. Scary cool.

    download:
    http://code.google.com/p/telekinesis/

    screenshots:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonx/732542457/

  26. Simon November 12, 2007 at 6:16 am #

    iPhone just launched here in the UK (we’re a bit behind, generally!). Have any photogs tried optimising their sites for iPhones? Could be worthwhile if they’re likely to be more popular with ‘art-director’ types than the general demographic?

    I just added a simple scrolling page to my site for iPhones, ’cause navigating my main site is a pain due to size of buttons.

    Take a look, on your iPhone, here if your interested:
    http://www.simonwinnall.com/iphone.html
    Any comments are welcome!

    Whats everyone else doing about this? Chase what you thinking due to the flash on your site?

    Si

  27. Chase Jarvis December 26, 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    @ simon: then next iteration of our site will have some contemplations for the mobile viewer. And I suspect flash will be added to the upcoming iPhone’s software/firmware release soon ;)

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