I’ve followed the iPhone since the Steve demoed it at MacWorld back in January. I thought that I knew pretty much everything about it but after using it for a week I’ve discovered a couple of things that I didn’t know. Not good things either. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love it and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a game changing device. Seeing several friends crowd around last Friday evening and start streaming YouTube videos, browsing the Internet and playing music without any need of a hint proved just how intuitively clean and simple the interface is.
I’ve only crashed the iPhone once and that was when running my battery down to condition it. I was playing a movie at full volume and screen brightness with WiFi and Bluetooth on to speed up the process a little. On placing it back on the dock to charge a low battery crash log was displayed which I then sent to Apple.
We Brits love text messages. We send over one billion each week. That’s over 4,000 every second. Unfortunately this is where the iPhone falls down. Messages are presented as SMS conversations à la instant messaging which is all very impressive but there is no way to start a new “thread”. Likewise, there is no way to forward a message or send a contact as a text message. A lack of MMS support will probably be met with horror by many people but I can safely say that it doesn’t bother me. I’ve probably sent and received less than ten MMS messages in my life.
Fortunately all of these things are easily fixable with a software update. What is not going to be fixed so simply is the lack of 3G but personally I think that this has been blown out of proportion. Most of the time I am near a WiFi hotspot (home, office or The Cloud) and if not then the 2.5G EDGE technology is not as painfully slow as people have been making out. I have a suspicion that Apple may not be all that bothered by relatively old technology and is either waiting for 4G or WiMAX to really come of age. For me there is also the question of how the Qualcomm import ban may (or may not) have affected the roadmap. It probably will be sometime in the second half of next year before we see the use of new Broadcom chips along with a better camera in the iPhone 2.
Another — potentially more serious — revelation that has recently come to light is the IMEI tracking discovery. I’m fairly confident that nothing too underhand is going on but I would still appreciate some clarification from Apple.