Home > Features > Product Review: Apple iPhone 1.0

It has been four weeks since Apple released the iPhone on June 29th. During the past four weeks I've been personally using an iPhone as my main cell phone, moving up from years of using a Blackberry.

Having my line-sitter wait in line for a day to assure me an iPhone on the 29th, turned out to be a good omen for the ease in which moving from my Blackberry service on T-Mobile to the iPhone on AT&T. As it turns out, once I got the iPhone home I promptly checked for updated iTunes Software. After a quick update I was ready to go.

The Initial Process: Sign Up

You hook up an iPhone just like an iPod (it has the same connector). Once connected iTunes launched and immediately recognized that an iPhone was connected for the first time. A special AT&T signup and activation page loaded inside the iTunes interface—which, interestingly, felt odd and natural all at the same time. Could this be sign of a larger future for iTunes? What else might we signup for using iTunes, I wondered?

What I was not left wondering about was how astonishingly easy the whole phone activation and sign-up process was. Why didn't someone think of this sooner?

Just after activation the device wants to be go to a full charge. This took about 1 1/2 hours but I could use the device while plugged in.

The iPod

Despite the product name this review needs to start with what Jobs called the "best iPod we have ever made." So the question is: is it?

The answer is a definitive yes.

For starters navigating with Cover Flow using your fingers is one the best things I've ever experienced in computing. It has such a wonderful quality about it and makes you wonder what the future of computer interfaces may look like.(see image 01-02).

Image - 01: : Cover Flow on the iPhone makes it the best iPod ever. Images flow remarkably smoothly and quickly. (any blur due to my digital camera, not iPhone)
Image - 02: : Choose an album cover, tap it to flip it around to reveal your songs. Tap a song to play.

So while Cover Flow may be the best big new feature in the iPhone's iPod interface, there are many other delightful qualities. Interface windows that flip around in 3D hail from Apple's OS X Widgets and here in the iPhone they serve up lots of information in a tiny space. In vertical mode (non-Cover Flow) you end up with near full-screen album art while a simple tap on the list view icon flips the window to a table of songs, numbers, and song times. You can rate your music directly on the iPhone—something you can't do on any other iPod. And the "On the Go" playlist feature is also useful and cool.

But while Cover Flow may be awesome, it's not the only cat's meow on the iPhone. Watching movies or television shows is actually very doable thanks to the superb screen quality and high resolution. In fact watching films in bed this way, with the lights off, strangely reminds you of the old drive-in days (for all you older folk, like me); after a while it feels like that tiny screen is actually a large screen hundreds of feet away from your pupils. All videos can also be put into wide-screen format so this means movies you buy from Apple's iTunes store can be watched in letterbox format.

Perhaps most interestingly of all, is that unlike your iPod, the iPhone has a set of built-in speakers that actually sound quite decent and get pretty loud. No, you aren't able to hear your music playing if you are on a loud city bus, but laying in bed, or in a park, you can listen and listen well.


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Home > Features > Product Review: Apple iPhone 1.0




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