iPhone 3.0 - born on schedule...
...and (mostly) healthy
Lightning Review Apple's iPhone 3.0 Software update went live Wednesday at around 10:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. After a few hours of reviewing its flagship features, I can report that all - well, most - seems to be in order.
After a half-hour download of its 230.1MB bulk over a sputtering DSL connection, I fired up the installation process. Thirteen minutes later, my iPhone 3G was upgraded and its free space had shrunk marginally from 614MB to 605MB.
After my iPhone self-started, I took a trip through Settings, where I discovered a few changes. As widely expected, enhanced parental controls in Settings > General > Restrictions now provide finer-grained control over what Junior can download from both iTunes and the App Store - although a quick survey of the App Store shows that a majority of developers have not yet age-tagged their apps, as Apple's iPhone software chieftain Scott Forrestall asked them to do during the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote last Monday in San Francisco.
iPhone 2.2.1 (left) had blunt-instrument restrictions; iPhone3.0 (right) is more refined
Interestingly, my first trip to Settings > General > About showed that I had zero songs and zero videos on my iPhone - and there had been plenty there before I upgraded. I launched the iPod app to check whether they had, indeed, evaporated, but they were still there. I then went back to About, and the songs and videos were now correctly enumerated. By the way, there's also a new line in About that tells you how many apps you have installed.
The addition of the new Voice Memo app - more on that later - to the first home screen caused a bit of a pain in the butt by moving one of my previous first-screen apps to a new second screen, all by its lonesome. Simply moving that bumped app to the third screen, however, caused the second thus-emptied screen to disappear.
The promised Spotlight search - accessed by swiping left from the first home screen - finds text strings in Notes, Mail, Contacts, Calendar; iPod-tune artists, song, and album names; and more - although you can narrow the areas searched in Settings > General > Home > Search Results. A tap on a document listed in the search results launches the app and opens the doc. Be forewarned, though, that the search includes Mail's Trash. If you haven't cleaned yours out in a while, you will now.
Notes, messages, contacts, events, tunes - it's all searchable
In addition, Spotlight conveniently find apps by name and launches them with a tap on their icon - a blessing to geeks like me with around 100 apps.
The much-ballyhooed cut-copy-paste abilities do indeed work in some third-party text-entry applications - cut-copy-paste worked just fine in WriteRoom but not in ShapeWriter.
Text from Mail can be pasted into WriteRoom - and vice-versa
However, I found cut-copy-paste to be a finicky, touch-and-go affair. Admittedly, I'm as ham-handed as they come, but after an errant deletion or two, I found myself searching for the Undo button. Couldn't find one. [UPDATE 3:45 PDT: A number of readers have pointed out that an Undo dialog can be invoked by shaking the iPhone. So it can - but that's a dumb UI, IMHO.—RM]
And although cut-copy-paste worked just peachy in Safari, I wish it also worked in apps that simply present rather than edit information - but, alas, I was unable to cut-and-paste Sammy Sosa's steroid-infused 2003 stats from Bulbous Ventures' Baseball Statistics into an email to baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
Even when zoomed in, cut-copy-paste works well in Safari
Borked for ages on me.
Downloaded fine. But when it finished couldn't connect to Itunes for hours to finish the update process. Took about 3 hours all told to sort it self out. Very fustrating.
The error message, something like "Timed out while trying to connect to Itunes store - check your connection and try again." Strangley I could connect to Itunes and download other things.
I kind of feel like its a windows update. Sure its faster and better now, but what a pain getting it installed. Why do I have to reboot so many times...
@All the Pissy People posting
Get a life, you aren't all that interesting nor as important as you think you are. Put down the mouse or most likely the xbox controller, open the door and go out and take a walk in the real world for a change.
I can't be bothered. Calling me a liar, saying that *I'm* hiding behind anonymity, Chris 72? Pathetic. My Tytn (SVP M3100 - actually made worse with Orange "customisations") with it's pesristent memory was a pile of junk , both in terms of build quality AND operation. That was my experience. Yours has obviously been better. Well done you. Do you want a fucking medal? All camera phones are shit - yes, even the LG's. Why? Simple physics. It seem that whatever is done to, added to, or even *invented for* the iPhone won't be good enough. I stand by everything I said - especially YOUR blinkered views towards Apple products. Your whole tirade was about using the best tool for the job - so long as it isn't Apple. Your loss.
Landscape Texting: Yay or Nay?
I am finding the landscape texting mode to be less useful than the standard ("portait"?) orientation. In portrait mode, the multiline conversation bubbles take about 4/5ths the width of the screen, which is fine. But landscape mode does not resize these bubbles; they take up only about half of the screen width. Therefore, with the keyboard is visible, you'll probably have to scroll to read the last message in its entirety, unless it's less than about 100 characters. This is a big oversight, in my opinion.
"So I have to use an SD card to store all my contacts, text, email and data settinfg on then? That's shit. The Touch and Tytn (the two phone models that I owned) had a pitiful 128MB of "persistant memory" - requiring me to buy an SD card to make sure that data was not lost. If the battery ran out of power - batteries do that occasionally - the settings, ie modem settings, mail client settings et c. would disappear."
I have to ask, did you *really* own either of those devices? Because the T-Mobile branded version of the Tytn my wife owned never lost data due to a loss of power. And neither should the Touch. Why not? Because they both run on newer versions of WinMo, versions which mandate the use of persistent storage for all of the stuff you claim would disappear.
"Microsoft officially state that there should be "enough for 72 hours of storage". Never - 72 seconds, maybe. Have they fixed it then? It didn't seem to work when I had them..."
Where do they state that in relation to WM5 or above? This 72 hour requirement was part of earlier versions of WinMo, none of which would have been installed on the two devices you mention.
"Apps on mobile devices. I can count the times on precisely NO hands the amount of times I used mobile Word or Excel. They are useless IMHO."
Yes, in YOUR opinion. In my opinion, or in the opinion of countless others who do genuinely find having such apps in your pocket at all times, they're anything but. Just as you seem to think MMS is useless when you can simply email photos to people, ignoring the point that many people use phones without email capabilities but which are MMS enabled, or that MMS is pointless because you've yet to see a phone camera worth taking photos with (ever tried the LG Viewty or similar? They're damn close to being compact cameras with phone functionality tagged on, rather than a phone with a camera). In YOUR seemingly narrow view of the mobile world, the iPhone is all you seem to need, but it's a big wide world out there and not everyone subscribes to the "if it's not in the iPhone, no-one really needs it anyway" mindset.
"Also the iPod functionallity works whilst I compose messages or browse thy web (on a browser thaht allows *multiple* windows too). as for your comment "Or how about being able to kick off the delivery of a large MMS/email and then go do something else without having to wait for the message to be sent?" I'm able to do that on my iPhone just fine, ta. Have you looked at or used yor wifes iPhone at all?"
Yes, I have. Which is my point - in order to achieve these basic abilities, without which the iPhone would truly be a pile of cack, it needs to be able to multitask. So why do you think multitasking is such a bad thing to open up to the user?
Multi-window browsing eh. Most HTC devices now ship with Opera, and there are various other free/payware browsers to choose from, which offer tabbed browsing - so we'll call that even shall we...
"As for the last part - not liking something *purely* because of your percieved prejudices is small minded and blinkered, and frankly childish."
So you're saying Apple don't sometimes overstate or misrepresent the capabilities of their products? The ASA would beg to differ with you here. Or that Apple don't exert a significant level of control over what owners are allowed to do with their own property? They're neither perceived nor prejudices, simply personal opinion based on fact.
"You have the chutzpa to insinuate that I'm an fanboy - pot, meet kettle."
I post using my real name, you post as Mac Phreak... I don't need to insinuate anything, you're doing a damn good job of that all by yourself. And I'm no fanboy, I use whatever device suits my needs, which is why there's a well-used iPod Classic sat next to me. I can appreciate the quality of their products without needing to like the way they do business, can't I?
"So Apple aren't allowed to market their stuff now? Are they not allowed to apply quality control to products that carry their brand."
Of course they can market, but they have a habit of consistently bending the truth to suggest their products are better than the rest, and that's not allowed. If their products are genuinely good - and as I've said plenty of times, I think they mostly are - they'd sell themselves without any hype. Hell, these days the cult of Apple is so strong, just slapping the Apple logo on something will guarantee sales figures most manufacturers would kill for, they simply don't need to do anything more than basic "here's our new product, available from Monday" advertising.
As for QC, I don't have a problem with them shipping only carefully configured devices and only officially sanctioning/supporting Apple-tested apps. It's when they start restricting the abilities of end users to try moving outside that walled garden (orchard?) that I think they need to loosen up a bit. How many iPhone users have ended up going down the jailbreak route because of Apple's over-protective stance?
"As for Microsoft being a "paragon of openess", have they released *their* internal API's to the Windows developer comunity then? Didn't think so."
I didn't say Microsoft were open, just that compared to Apple, and from the perspective of an end-user, their products seem to/actually do offer more freedom and open-ness.
"It would appear that I touched raw nevre. Were you the AC that wrote his story about being "down the pub" with his "mate"?"
No, I've never felt the need to hide behind a cloak of anonymity. And I can't remember the last time I set foot in a pub...