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I Gave In…



iphone Ok, this could be considered way off-topic for what we normally cover on GBM, but in many ways, it is right on-topic given the issue of touch that we cover frequently on the site. Given that it is the weekend, I figured ….”why the heck not? Let’s have some fun!”.

I made my way to the AT&T store yesterday afternoon, plopped down my bank card, and walked out with an 8GB iPhone. What pushed me over the edge was the unlocking software hack that made headlines yesterday. I know, the AT&T legal eagles are now putting the squeeze on the software companies, but I’ve been pretty darn pleased with the Edge coverage in my area, so it is becoming a non-issue for me.

So, what do I think of the phone so far?

As a mobile touch-enthusiast, I’ve been looking forward to experiencing the iPhone first hand, and I’m getting more and more impressed the more I interact with it. In short, I have touched the future and I like how it feels.

You’ve probably read more reviews on the iPhone than you care to confess, so I won’t bore you with a lot of that. My sole interest in the iPhone is from a touch perspective, and a desire to experience what we all want in touch from Ultra-Mobile PC’s. Squeezing, sliding, flicking, rotating – I’ve interacted with the iPhone in ways I have yet to do with a UMPC. What I found very interesting in regards to how touch is implemented on the iPhone is the use of the meat of the finger. See, the iPhone doesn’t respond well to the finger nail or a stylus – it wants you to use the meat of your fingter. Using the iPhone leaves me frustrated with the current state of touch in Vista, Tablet PCs, and UMPCs, but very excited about what lies ahead.

Also of interest to me was the support for mail, calendars, and contacts. It is clearly not a business phone, due to the well-known limitation of not syncing with Exchange. As a POP3 / SMTP user, that didn’t matter to me. After going through an initial setup, the iPhone imported all of my Outlook 2007 settings ( except for the passwords ) and created the necessary accounts in the iPhone Mail settings for me. I’m syncing my calendars and contacts with Outlook with no issues. Working with the calendar is very intuitive and clean, as is the Mail application. The Mail application could use some cleaning up, though, so less tapping is required to get to the inbox. For example, after tapping Mail on the home screen, it takes three taps to get to the inbox. In my case, I have two POP3 accounts, so once I’m in one mailbox, I have to tap twice to back to the account screen, then tap twice to get to my second pop3 mailbox – that’s a lot of tapping.

The phone quality has been pretty darn good, too. My wife is not too keen on my buying new gadgets, but she told me that my voice was really clear and crisp.  Making calls, putting them hold, and navigating contacts is as simple as touching and flicking. Don’t tell my wife I told you, but I think she is secretly admiring this latest purchase.

I’ve used a lot of smartphones, pocket pc phones, and regular phones. I”m definitely going to be holding on to this phone for awhile – at least until version 2 with 3G support comes out :-)

If there is any interest, I’ll post an InkShow or GBM Short video of the phone demonstrating things that are of interest to mobile-touch enthusiasts. I’ve got a 2710p InkShow to get up first, so don’t expect anything until the September timeframe.

Ok – gotta run – I need to go “touch” my kids rather than just “squeezing” the picture of them on the iPhone. Have a great weekend.


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