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Apple iPhone

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Not you'll know there's a message waiting for you, but the iPhone does list missed calls, and if you get one just call up your voicemail number on the off-chance. The voicemail button can easily be reprogrammed to dial your carrier's voicemail number. iPhone owners who stick with the official carrier won't, of course, face this problem.

Apple's iPhoneApple's iPhone
Text: SMS like a Treo... but the virtual keyboard's not like a real one

Nor will the face the connectivity hurdle that I faced when moving beyond the reach of Wi-Fi. It's not an insurmountable obstacle, fortunately - plenty of networks' GPRS settings are available online, and I simply punched in O2's in order to gain access to, when I tried it, T-Mobile USA's Edge network. Edge is just a speed-bump of GPRS, so there's no reason why this should be a hindrance.

Back in the UK, I turned on my iPhone and it connected to the O2 network. Even the tiny E icon appeared to show the presence on an Edge network.

I should just run through the iPhone's other apps, briefly. They're all self explanatory: Notes, Calculator, Settings, Camera and Text. The latter's the SMS facility, which adopts presents messages between the same people as an instant messaging conversation, a trick Palm brought to its Treo smartphone some years back.

Settings is home for all your (limited) customisation opportunities, and it's here you can activate Bluetooth for basic headset connections. I tried the iPhone with a pair of Logitech wireless headphones, but it didn't register their presence, so no A2DP wireless stereo, I'm afraid - a sad omission, though wireless stereo has yet to hit the big time.

Apple's iPhoneApple's iPhone
The Settings app and (right) its ringtone section

There's a decent selection of ringtones, but you can add more with third-party apps like Rogue Amoeba's MacOS X-only MakeiPhoneRingtone and Ambrosia Software's iToner. AppTap is a handy tool that provides a way of downloading and installing other applications, including utilities for customising your iPhone beyond the limits Apple applies. Apple won't, but someone else will come up with a VoIP app soon enough.

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Next page: Verdict

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