Here are my photos of the iPhone’s debut at the Knoxville Apple Store in West Town Mall.
My thoughts on the wee gadget? Overall, I agree with Dane: “It’s really rather addictively fun to play with. The touch screen thing is fantastic, beyond any other touch sensitive device IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever used. Flicking around stuff is fun, and really fast and feels very natural.”
That opinion seemed to be shared by most everyone at the store; the atmosphere was really electric at the table where people were playing with the iPhones. One person after another expressed a mixture of delight, glee, stunned amazement, etc. at how awesome the little gizmo is. I must have heard some variation on the sentiment, “I really wish I could afford one of these,” a half-dozen times. (Clearly, I wasn’t the only person who showed up just to play with the iPhones even though I had no intention of buying one.)
Alas, the biggest sticking point for me all along — well, aside from the price, the fact that I’m under contract with Sprint (though I guess it’s possible to sell your contact), and the inability to use it as a modem — remains a sticking point: as good as the touch-sensitive keyboard is, and as quickly as you get better at using it after even a few minutes, I still don’t think it would ever become possible to type as fast as I can on a regular cell-phone keypad in T9w mode. Moreover, without tactile feedback, it almost certainly wouldn’t ever become possible to type without looking, which I do all the time on my current phone. If you’re accustomed to sending short text messages and writing brief e-mails from your phone while not doing anything else that you need to look at, this is not a big problem. If you’re accustomed to composing and publishing a dozen 256-character blog posts on your phone during the course of a football game you’re attending, it’s a somewhat more serious concern. :)
That said, the phone is so cool that it might very well, at some point, be worth the small sacrifice of dealing with the limitations imposed by the non-tactile virtual keyboard.
However, I don’t think I’ll ever get an iPhone unless and until it can be used as a modem. The slowness of typing with the virtual keyboard — this short post took a good 10 minutes to type (though I’m sure I’d get somewhat faster with time) — only reinforces the importance of being able to still use my laptop for blogging, e-mail, etc., while I’m on the go and it’s convenient to do so. No way does the iPhone’s own web access, while excellent for a phone, totally replace that. In other words, at least for a power user, the iPhone does not “remove the need to carry around your whole computer” in all circumstances. In some circumstances, yes, but not all. Phone-as-modem must be added at some point, or the iPhone will not be a viable option for me. And I’m not alone. A very quick search found tons of bloggers complaining about the same issue. See, for example, this post: “Because the iPhone currently canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be used as a USB modem, it is useless for me. Sure, the video and audio features are cool. Sure, the user interface makes me drool with envy. But all that canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold a candle to letting me work when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m out in the boonies. Staying connected means more than just accessing the Internet from my phone. I need a phone that can get my laptop online as well.” This is not a trivial issue, and no rationalization regarding the “target audience” can mask the fact that a non-negligible segment of potential users will be unable to seriously consider buying an iPhone until this feature is added. Its absence is, simply put, a total deal-breaker for many people. Are you listening, Apple?
I had a few other pet peeves as I played with the phone, which I’ll talk about after the jump. (Don’t get me wrong — I really like the thing, and most of these gripes are admittedly nitpicky. But you already know the good stuff, as it’s been widely publicized, so I’m trying to add something new to the discussion by mentioning these pet peeves.)
First, though, here’s a rather lengthy video of me playing with an iPhone. To be honest, I’m not sure if it will be of much interest, but for those who want to get a feel for what it’s like… well, I’d suggest you just go to an Apple Store and see for yourself :), but if you don’t want to do that, you can watch my video. Around 9 minutes and 15 seconds in, you can see me log into the WordPress interface (I excluded the part where I enter my password, obviously) and type up a post, so any potential WP-using iPhone bloggers can get a sense of what it would be like to blog via iPhone. Enjoy!
NOTE: My typing speed in this video is a bit slower than my typing speed when using the iPhone normally. I was slowed down by the unnatural angle at which I had to stand and hold the thing in order to keep it on camera.
Speaking of video clips, in the post below, you can view my footage of the Apple Store opening the doors at 6:00 PM.
Anyway, like I said, after the jump, my pet peeves. :)
The clock has just struck 6:00 PM in San Francisco, where Gizmodo is livecasting the iPhone’s debut:
UPDATE: Meanwhile, here’s my video of the Apple Store at West Town Mall in Knoxville opening its doors just over three hours ago:
The pregnant wife calls. :) Liveblog over, but stay tuned for more photos and observations later.
Here's a photo of the below post as I was typing it. It took the better part of ten minutes to type. Pet peeve: there is no period on the main screen of the virtual keyboard. You have to go to the screen with numbers, symbols, etc. to type a period.
I’m typing this via the regular WP interface, accessed via Safari on the iPhone. Seems to work fine. The typing does take some getting used to, but I have gotten significantly better in my maybe 20 minutes of use. Hard to type really fast, though, and probably impossible to do no-look typing. Still, a very cool device. People here seem overwhelmingly impressed — blown away, even.
I knew posting a picture of Glenn's site as seen on an iPhone in Knoxville would get me a link. :) Here's a shot my own site on the iPhone's screen in vertical mode. Again, photo taken with my boring old Sprint phone (which seems to be better at close-up shots than the iPhone’s camera, but maybe there’s a macro setting on the iPhone that I haven’t discovered yet).
Sent from my iPhone
CORRECTION: Before Becky has a heart attack… the caption “Sent from my iPhone” was added automatically by the phone that I was trying out in the store. Same goes for the posts below. I did not — repeat, did not — buy an iPhone. :)
powered by Hipcast.com