Calling my iPhone

Iphone

iPhone

Last night my phone rang. I’d been in bed about 2 hours, but woke up to the annoying default ringtone. I picked up the phone, sort of concerned that something had happened, saw the name, and realized the friend on the other line was likely drunk dialing. I shut off the ringer and went back to bed.

When I woke up this morning at 8 am to get ready for work, I decided to call this person, sort of as a “you-disturbed-my-sleep, now-I’m-hoping-to-do-the-same-to-you.” He didn’t pick up.

On to the real story. I’ve had my iPhone for about 2 weeks now, and wanted to do a quick review.

Cons:

  • When entering a subterranean Metro station, I immediately lose service. This isn’t really a big deal, but I’d like to check my mail and RSS feeds as I sit on the train. Verizon at least has service in the stations.
  • My phone occasionally just shuts off and restarts. I haven’t figured out why, but it usually happens when I launch an app. Rumor has this will be fixed in an upcoming firmware update. Update: Firmware 2.01 runs much better!
  • When I get a picture message, I cannot view it. This shouldn’t be a big deal, because AT&T provides a link to view it in a web browser. Too bad it won’t work on your iPhone. AT&T’s pic message retrieval service is Flash-based and Flash isn’t supported by the iPhone’s Safari browser. AT&T needs to fix this, ASAP.
  • No tethering feature.
  • Text messages should be part of the data plan. A text message is around 2 kB in size, maybe. A Web site is closer to 1000 kB (1 MB), so why do I pay an extra $5 a month to send 200 texts (400 kB) when all my texts in a month equate to less data transmitted than loading a single Web page?
  • If your browser locks or freezes (like when I try to view a picture message), there isn’t a way to reset it. You just have to wait until the problematic page gives you an error before you can check another page. In my case, this took an nerve-racking 5 minutes.

Pros:

  • The virtual keyboard is actually pretty easy to use. I think it would be even better if I could turn my phone sideways to type out e-mails, but the accelerometer feature doesn’t work with the iPhone’s e-mail functionality. How about adding this functionality, Apple?
  • Setup of MS Exchange e-mail took three minutes.
  • I was eligible for a discount to my service plan through Johns Hopkins. Check here for eligibility.
  • The interface is great.
  • Most of the applications are really easy to use and helpful.
  • After some initial problems with the GPS unit, it seems to be working just fine. This fix seemed to work. Now that the GPS unit provides accurate results , I use the maps application all the time. Just search “ATM” and you’ll know the nearest place to get cash.

Notes:

  • Your battery will die quickly if you use the e-mail “push” feature (meaning your phone constantly sends out a battery-consuming signal to see if any new messages are available). I suggest using the “pull” e-mail setting, that updates your messages when you open your e-mail inbox. Instead of “crackberrying” e-mails every time your mobile device vibrates, this setting lets you pull up e-mail at your leisure. My battery lasts all day with this setup.
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