Home > Features > Product Review: Apple iPhone 1.0

next page: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |


The Internet Device

If the iPhone was just a great upgrade to the iPod it would be a superb product all by itself, sans the limited storage issue. But it's not. This is a WiFi device that gets you onto the Internet at full speed with full-screen desktop-style web browsing and email.

Safari on the iPhone works very well and there are some interesting innovations going on here that don't exist on the desktop. Firstly, QuickTime movies—those just created by Apple in particular—appear to be optimized for the iPhone's screen. When you navigate to one of those famous Mac vs PC television ads or the movie trailers site you see something different on the Web page. You see a small, blue play button on the lower-right hand corner of the QuickTime movie.

Clicking it brings the QuickTime to full-screen mode (which you can turn horizontally) and suddenly you don't feel like you are on the Web anymore. Instead you feel like you are watching a downloaded movie, the web page itself vanishes and then like magic, once the QuickTime is done, you glide back to the web page.

This ability for embedded media on the Web to "go-full-screen" on you and jump out of being embedded is an interesting aspect unique to web browsing on the iPhone.

Of course not all plugins work on the iPhone. Adobe and Apple are still working on getting Flash to work, and there is no way to watch Windows Media files or Real Video files. Java too is missing. Instead Apple has robust AJAX support and this means that many, not all, Web 2.0 sites and web-driven applications work just fine.

We use Basecamp by 37signals.com internally and nearly every aspect of it works very well on the iPhone, from its calendar popup date selector to its many standard AJAX interface elements.

Image - 04: : With Safari on the iPhone you double tap images and text blocks to zoom in to their edges, giving you the maximum zoom possible without having to scroll left to right.
Image - 05 : Safari on the iPhone allows you to visit multiple sites and multiple pages. You can flip between them and they continue loading in the background.

By far the hottest feature about Safari browsing on the iPhone is the way you can zoom in (and out) on stuff. Double-tapping on a image makes the image zoom to the extents of the iPhone screen, whether in vertical or horizontal mode. Best of all, you can do this same action on text blocks—like columns of text on pages such as The New York Times or other sites like Architosh for instance. The text just jumps right at you so you can read it. (see images 04-05).

Apple has provided developers and Web designers excellent documentation to alter existing sites and design new ones that work exceptionally well with the iPhone.

e-mail on the iPhone shares many of the advantages of Safari. Attachments work very well, especially Adobe PDF files, which you can zoom into using the two-finger pinch method. If you want those attachments to live on your iPhone however there is no place to keep them. You just need to not delete that email. For now creating a "keep folder" with your email may be the best way to hold onto things you want to have on your iPhone.

Some really nice features include the manner in which you delete a message from the list view. A slide of the finger pops up a read delete button, underneath your finger. The whole thing is just genius.

Typing on the iPhone's keyboard takes practice. For Treo or Blackberry users who are use to using their two thumbs (like me) moving to the iPhone can be frustrating. Thumbs seem to be just a wee bit too wide to type well. I've switched to single index finger typing. However, on Web sites you can type on the keyboard in horizontal mode, which is very roomy, and easier for dual thumb typing.

There is another negative issue with typing with your two thumbs. The iPhone just doesn't cradle-down between your two hands well while typing with two thumbs. When you type this way you place your two index fingers under the body of the Blackberry or iPhone just above the mid-point of its back. If you don't do this your device will tip over out of your hands. What I have found helpful is that keeping the iPhone in a case that exposes the screen "thickens" the device, making it heavier as well. This enables a more secure cradling in your hands as you apply forward pressure from dual thumb typing.

Blackberry users in particular may feel frustrated with the iPhone, especially if they do a lot of email typing. I do a lot of typing via Web 2.0 applications as a method of professional communication, so getting better at typing is a process I'm still involved in on the iPhone.


next page: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |


Home > Features > Product Review: Apple iPhone 1.0




NBC on iTunes





  | Corrections | About Architosh | Awards & Press Reaction |
| Site Map |

Privacy Notice | Contact Us | How to Advertise | Corporate Sponsorship |
Copyright © 1999 - 2008. BritasMedia Publications. All Rights Reserved.
Architosh™ and the ToshLetter™ are trademarks of BritasMedia™

Quantified - Quantcast