iPhone – why its not for i

Posted: August 2, 2007 in Apple, hardware
Tags: , ,

To quote a good friend – “what’s that all aboot?” Well, as you may or may not be aware, i live in Canada, and for a number of reasons we don’t have the iPhone here as of yet (except for the people working in the Apple iPhone call centre, but that’s another story) and even if we did, this guy is not getting one.

I had the opportunity to visit indianapolis, indiana on the weekend – a working trip i assure you – and when i had a few hours to kill one day, wandered over to the mall near the hotel and found it had an Apple Store. After i managed to get my excitement under control i wandered in and could not believe the number of iPhones out on display. An entire table devoted to the iPhone as well as having them beside every Mac in the place. Since I didn’t have to wait in line to use one as I would have expected, I immediately starting playing with the iPhone to see if it really was all it is cracked up to be. The web browsing was very intuitive and relatively quick and responsive, which is very important, and also the touch-screen was large enough to read most webpages to see which stories/links/parts/etc you wanted to zoom in on. This is where the iPhone shines – zooming. As long as you have two fingers and can spread them apart and close them together you will be able to zoom in and out. This is very important because after all you are dealing with a relatively small screen, and most web site are optimized for a 800×600 on a 15” screen. To test this i opened my website and while you could tell what it was it was impossible to read without zooming in.

One of the other features/functions of the iPhone that is worth noting is the automatic flipping of the image from vertical to horizontal as you turn the phone. Great for viewing some websites or for flipping through your photo collection. I have to admit, i flipped it back and forth just to watch it happen about a dozen times, i can only imagine the fun you would have on a boat in rocky waters if trying to read a website. I think it is only a matter of time before someone capitalizes on the function and invents a game that uses the automatic flipping as part of the control, sort of like the old wooden games where you rolled the ball through a maze by maneuvering and manipulating the maze’s background.

One real downside for me was the keyboard. The buttons appear too close together for my fingers. I say appear because there are no actual buttons, just a touch sensitive keyboard that appears when you need it. The keys enlarge as you touch them to show you what key you pressed, which for me was the wrong one about half the time. I’m not the fastest typist in the world nor the most proficient but i do normally do better than 50% when typing. My blackberry is easier to type on even though the keys seems smaller, and most of that is the tactile experience you get from a real keyboard rather than typing on a completely smooth flat surface. Maybe with a lot of practice i would get used to the iphone keyboard, but it will never be the same as actual keys when it comes to typing for me. I need the sense of touching and depressing a button to know i did something.

All in all, a great gadget with many pluses as you would expect from Apple, and if they had them in Canada, and they were a more reasonable price, then it would be a maybe, but only after all my other toys and gadgets that i wanted were purchased. If you need to view real websites on a portable device then the iPhone is in my opinion the best way to do it, but this guy is happy using a blackberry curve that has most of the same features for a lot less money, camera/email/media viewer/mp3 player, etc, and i will just live with the fact that most websites look nasty and disjointed on the blackberry browser, i have a mac (or five actually) that i can view them on so it’s not an urgent need for me.
TCG

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