Feeds

Sons of Macintosh - shaking the Apple family tree

The Jesus Phone is not divine

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The Jesus Phone iPhone

iPhone 3G: The Jesus Phone is not, as claimed by so many, the savior of all mankind. It's a nice phone, folks, with many nice features, but its flaws make us hungry for the next time it's baked.

But let's start with the good stuff. First off: the move to 3G. For any degree of data transfer, especially full Web browsing, EDGE was a sad joke. Big improvement number two is the App Store. Say what you will about Apple's paternalistic iron grip on the Store's offerings, but tight control keeps malware from digging deep into your iPhone's private life, and the availability of hundreds of vetted third-party apps elevates the iPhone from a device to a platform.

And, god love it, the iPhone is fun to use. Slippin' and a-slidin' across menus and pages, even typing once you learn to trust its surprisingly prescient predictive corrections - all good stuff. And for the many new iPhoneys who had never owned a decent mobile Internet device before, the ability to send and receive email and browse the Web are eye-openers.

The iPhone is also a better business partner now that Apple has added Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync compatibility, Cisco IPSec VPN capabilities, and secure network-services authentication. But let's start the niggling with Exchange: Although syncing email, calendars, and notes works fine, there's no syncing of tasks or notes. Also, you're forced to choose between corporate or personal contacts and calendars - the two can't coexist on the same iPhone.

IPhone 3G

A phone is not divine

Also, you still can't cut and paste anything - a true pain, especially when quoting Web content in emails or moving info from Notes into email messages. There's no voice-activated calling (or, for that matter, voice-activated anything). Flash support is still a no-show. Typing when in Apple-supplied iPhone apps is only available in narrow, finger-squishing portrait mode (download the third-party WriteRoom to help mitigate that problem). And, of course, the iPhone follows Apple's mystifying tendency to make the battery not user-serviceable. Do they want us to merely toss our iPhones, iPods, and MacBook Airs when their batteries wear down? Mebbe so, mebbe so.

And then there's the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera, which had no video mode and a lens with the optical quality of a Jujube. Compare it with such units as the 5-megapixel Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot Phone, which includes a xenon flash, auto focus, face detection, and red-eye correction. The C902 may be overkill (as may be its soon-to-be-released successor, the 8-megapixel C905), but there are many other less-sophisticated camera phones that make the iPhone's camera look like the toy that it is.

Finally, there are features that are popular in, for example, Japan, that many users may not even know are missing, such as RFID technology that lets phones act as credit cards and train tickets, fingerprint scanners for rock-solid security, and broadcast-TV tuners.

The iPhone is a lovely device, to be sure, but a little more usability and a little more hardware innovation would help it live up to its hype.

One thing we can say in the iPhone 3G's defense, though: Don't blame it for call drop-outs and dead zones where you can't find a signal. Blame those on AT&T.

iPhone 3G: B

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Next page: And Another Thing

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.