Apple iPhone 3G
Love it or loathe it, it's here
There are games like Super Monkey Ball, which invites you to give the iPhone's accelerator a workout while you manoeuvre a monkey, in a ball, around the screen. Not exactly genre-defying, but it's fun. There's also Twitterific, which will let you join the Twitterverse of happy texters, although the iPhone's keyboard may wipe the smile off your face because it hasn't changed and is still awkward to use.
There's also PayPal Finance, Facebook, Shazam (which lets you identify songs without phoning), eBay, but perhaps most usefully, Apple's MobileMe application, which syncs your email, contacts, calendar and photos over the air and pushes them to you when you need them. Nice, but it's £59/$99 a year after a two-month free trial period, and it's easy enough to set your iPhone to check for new messages every five minutes.
That said, MobileMe does provide a way to keep a number of PCs, Macs and iPhones in sync, and we've used it to keep key info on two Macs and an Eee PC running Windows XP all up to date.
Currently available in black and white
Despite the 3G upgrade, there's no extra camera for video conferencing
The App Store's selection of software is nowhere near as diverse as the range you get with a Windows Mobile device or a Palm OS handset, but it's very early days for the platform and it's bound to grow - probably very quickly. And with Apple's supposedly rigid compliance policies, we'd expect everything to work as it should when you download. Ours did, but other users have reported otherwise. Expect an OS update soon, ahem...
In addition to MobileMe, iPhone users can also get push email pushed over from Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and the on-board Mail app now has the ability to view - but not edit, alas - Microsoft Office documents as well as the PDFs if could handle before. So it can join the increasing queue of Blackberry botherers - if corporate IT types will permit its use. Mac buffs can send each other iWork docs too.
So, what about the bad stuff? Well, it's got the same so-so two-megapixel camera with no flash and no video recording, which seems positively toy town in comparison with any other mid-range handsets today. There's still no memory card slot, no cut and paste functionality, and no MMS. All this sounds more like a no-name handset bought from street vendor down Whitechapel way rather than a cutting-edge communication device.