Posted by ark, ,
I finally got an iPhone. I wanted one the day they came out, but I'm allergic to waiting in line. I went for a bike ride instead. I showed up at the AT&T store 90 minutes after it was supposed to open, convinced apple couldn't screw up supplies as bad as they did for the 1st gen and there would be some left and I wouldn't have to wait in line. However this store was in a mall so didn't open at 8AM, they opened at 10AM and it was 9:30 and there was a line of 20 people in front. I decided to bail and after hearing about the activation issues, I'm really glad I did. When there was still a shortage a few days later I went to another AT&T store and put myself down for direct fulfilment, you pay, they ship it to the store. 2 weeks later I had my phone. No waiting in line, well worth it. I was a teeny bit annoyed, they said they'd email the day before and call day of, but I never got the email, then got the call when I didn't have my ID with me and wouldn't be going near that store for 2 more days, but I got it eventually.

I've had it a few days now and overall I can say I'm very happy with it. It's nice to use, the screen is awesome, it's liberating to be able to get to the 'net anytime I want.

However there were quite a few issues I wanted to document in hopes that they help someone else and to highlight that Apple doesn't always get it right and it doesn't always 'just work'.
  1. voice mail setup was a huge a pain. When my buddy Mark got his iPhone, I would call him and end up in voice mail, but I couldn't leave a message since he hadn't 'set it up'. WTF. He was previously an AT&T customer but he had to set it up all over again. He finally did and I could leave long ranting messages about how he sucked since he had an iPhone and I didn't. When I got mine I was eager to not make the same mistake. I tried for a long time to find out how the hell to set this up, but couldn't work it out. In the end I asked Mark and the secret is, you need to call your own number from the mobile phone and then it will go into voice mail setup menus.
  2. Google link tabs infinite redirect. One of the very first things I did was click on Safari and click bookmarks and click on Google. A nice page shows up, I click on some tabs at the top like gmail, or reader and it goes into an infinite redirect and is completely useless. What a horrible first experience using Google on an iPhone.
  3. Impossible to find gmail/talk/calendar for Google apps for your domain pages. After you get the gmail page to show up logging in doesn't work since it's regular gmail and I want Google apps for your domain mail sign in. It's very difficult to find the right urls for mail/talk/calendar for your domain. Your best bet is to get the Google iPhone application and use the links off that.
  4. There's no indication on the screen that the ringer is off when you slide the little switch on the side to turn the ringer off an icon flashes on the screen to show you that you turned the ringer off, but pick it up later and there's no indicator.
  5. closing a safari window is difficult; you need to show all windows then click red-x on the window. Then it always seems to go join a window you didn't want to join.
  6. I'm still disjointed about exiting applications - must hit home button. It seems only one app is running at any one time, switch between apps and the old app closes down and the new one starts up again. This makes it frustrating to go back to google talk (a web app) since it must reload.
  7. No way to tell how far into a song you are in iPod
  8. No easy way to fast forward in a song; you hold down the next song button but you can't tell how much it's fast forwarding and how much of the song you have left.
  9. I'm still getting used to typing on the on screen keyboard, but it's much better than a 12 button t9 type text entry, I'm less filled with dread at having to type something.
  10. No cell phone networking at first, reboot solved it (hold down the home button)
  11. icons for gmail/calendar/reader look good, but switch to https and they don't show anymore.
  12. It doesn't work with my car stereo! It seems my old iPod is too old and this new iPod is too new! crap!
Here's some good points I especially like:
  1. iPod fades between songs. My old iPod (photo 80G) didn't do this, iTunes did, my shuffle didn't. Now my iPhone does, I like it. keeps the beats flowing.
  2. iPod rating songs very easy. This is a big use case for me so I'm delighted it's so easy. I like it a lot.
  3. replaces 3 devices for me (shuffle, iPod, phone). When I ride my bike into work I was having to take three things with me. My shuffle to listen to (quietly) when I rode. My phone of course and my iPod so that I could rate songs while I rode the bus back home at the end of the day. I had even made a special bike water bottle with foam padding to hold all the crap I didn't need in my pocket. Now I just slip my iPhone in my pocket and we're good to go!
  4. When you get a call and you're listening to the iPod it fades out and then rings, clicking the headphone microphone thing picked up the call, an awesome experience.
I don't have any favorite apps yet, I guess the Google one helps find the right URLs but I rarely use it now. I'm looking for a good secure crypto notebook type thing, I'm trying a few.


My spouse and both got iPhone 3G's. Hers seemed to be slower than mine, so we eventually went back to the Apple store and they reinstalled the software. But it turns out that our "bad" test case highlights a potential iPhone problem.

Our test case was calling each other and seeing how long it took for the contact photo to appear on the screen. When she called me, my phone would display her photo almost before it started ringing. When I called her, my photo wouldn't display until 8-10 seconds after she answered the call - an eternity.

I set up my wife's phone. For my record in her contacts, I dragged one of her favorite photos of me from iPhoto to Address Book. For her record in my contacts, I cropped a photo of her in iPhoto and dragged it to Address Book.

It turns out that iTunes of the iPhone apparently don't resize photos when they are added to contacts. As a subsequent test, we took a photo of me with her iPhone and assigned it to my contact record. Viola! Now when I called her my photo came up instantly.

Bottom line: don't use large photos in your address book.