I’ve been using the iPhone for a little over 3 days now. I’m still in the honeymoon period, but below is a first impression review. I’ll do another post with the bits I really like - there’s too many to list here…
Things that I’ve Missed
Below is the list of stuff that I have actually missed so far. I’ve recently being using a Samsung D900 so unfortunately the bar is quite low and the iPhone surpassed most existing functionality by miles.
A better way to snooze the alarm
I sleep with my phone under my pillow so snooze is within easy reach when the alarm goes off. I want to be able to whack anything on the phone to snooze. My old Samsung D900 was good at this, you could press any of the buttons anywhere (even the volume ones) and it snoozed.
With the iPhone you have to exactly press the Snooze button right in the middle of the screen, which requires you to be at least faintly lucid, of which I never am when the alarm goes off. If I could tap anywhere on the iPhone screen that would probably be better. Since you have to swipe to stop the alarm so you couldn’t accidentally sleep in and then get stuck in traffic.
UPDATE: It seems that I might have been delirious when I first tried to snooze. I tried again this morning and all of the buttons did indeed snooze the alarm. Excellent.
Being able to listen to music through iTunes
For some reason you can’t listen to music on the iPhone through iTunes. This was sort of a problem with my iPod Nano as well, but the “Manually manage music” workaround helped there. That option isn’t available on the iPhone so you can only listen to music through the headphone adapter or the line out adapter on the base station.
The headphone adapter for the iPhone is quite small and my nice padded headphones at work didn’t fit. Luckily the jack fitted the line out adapter on the iPhone base station.
WPA Enterprise Wi-Fi security
Work uses WPA2 Enterprise security at work so I’m out of luck getting Wi-Fi access there.
Decent Gmail access
This isn’t really the fault of the iPhone because Gmail only supports POP access at the moment. However, if the iPhone supported Java then there might be the option of using the Gmail Mobile client that is supported on most phones.
Things I Think could be Improved
Below is a list of the random things that I think could be improved. Slightly different to many of the lists you’ll have seen.
Being able to use landscape keyboard for SMS
Most applications know how to use landscape mode. I think that using the keyboard on it’s side might be easier. I know how to touch type and it feels a little cramped in portrait mode with either my thumbs feeling like sausages or hen pecking using a single finger. The word completion magic is pretty good though and when I fumble quite badly it seems to do a good job of getting the word I actually meant.
I haven’t really noticed the lack of tactile feedback being a major problem. I’ve even turned off keypad noises so there is very little feedback. As I’ve used the keypad more I’ve noticed looking more at what is being typed as opposed to where I need to press. I always hated texting because I was so slow entering text using the 9 button keypad. The full keyboard makes things much faster.
A better feeling Home button
The entire iPhone interface is so light to use. The lightest touch on the screen registers and does something. The Home button feels positively clunky requiring quite a good amount of pressure to activate and a reasonably long throw when it does. Many people complain about the lack of tactile feedback on the phone, but having a bad tactile feedback can be just as annoying.
A surface with better grip on the back of the phone
With such a lovely piece of hardware I’m dead scared I’m going to drop it. The feeling is exacerbated by the extraordinarily slippery surface on the back of the iPhone. It’s a lovely looking bead blasted or etched finish on the back that contrasts beautifully with the raised and polished Apple logo but it really doesn’t give the fingertips much to hold onto. The glass front face and chrome surround is nice and secure in the hand but I’m convinced I’m going to drop it one day.
Having the black portion on the back line up with the bottom of the screen
The base of iPhone is black on the back and it’s about 4mm different to the base of the screen when turned on. It just looks wrong in my opinion.
Better location for the camera
Each time I’ve used the camera I’ve started with my finger over or partially obscuring the camera lense.
An easier way to turn Bluetooth on and off
Bluetooth was a battery hog on my old phone. An easier way to turn Bluetooth on and off would be good. Perhaps next to the Wi-Fi setting at the top of the Settings page.