Whenever someone takes out an iPhone, it gets me going.  2G slightly more than 3G, but going nonetheless.

I wanted to love the iPhone.  Desperately.  I have never been much of an Apple fan, largely because of their prices, but I caught iPhone fever, followed the Keynote live, and waited with baited breath to get my own.  I owned both the iPhone (2G) and iPhone 3G for three months each, which is a record for me; I really did want to like them.  So what is it about this phone that gets me all riled up?

It’s not a phone.

Not primarily, anyway.  Yes, it makes calls.  On the 2G that was even debatable, just ask David Pogue.  What I think set the iPhone 2G apart from the market two years ago was the capacitive touch screen (you don’t have to apply pressure on the screen), the response time for the main applications, fantastic web browser, and the App Store.  It’s really like having a mini computer in your pocket.  But using the phone, at least up to the 2.0 software, was a chore.

To dial a number from an unlocked state required as many as 3 actions:

  1. Start the Phone application (I ditched the Contacts app even when it became included as it takes up to several seconds to load)
  2. Select the Dialer or Contacts tab
  3. Dial the number or select contact

Comparing to any Windows Mobile Standard phone:

  1. Type the first few letters or numbers, or entire number
  2. Hit Send

In general, it seemed to me that iPhone OS was more app-centric than contact-centric, as I would expect a phone to be.  There was no quick way to start an SMS or email.

The one other item that kicked my butt was the lack of hardware keyboard.  The on-screen keyboard is great for what it is, but since there is no resistance needed, I could not type with two fingers.  It required one finger on the screen at any one time.

Give me Send/End keys, and a hardware keyboard, and I’m sold.  At least until AT&T gets an Andriod phone.


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