The local shops were out of the 4GB version last night. I heard that it was beginning to be hit and miss at AT&T stores. Apple Stores were pretty well stocked and do keep updating their availability site at: http://www.apple.com/retail/iphone/
Here's a review I did for another group:
Much to my wife's chagrin (she works for Sprint), I brought home my
iPhone last night. No lines, no waiting, just walked in at 8pm and
picked one up from one of the smiling and helpful Apple Store
employees. I talked to the police officer assigned to the store, and he
said this was worse than the PS3 launch from a crowd control point of
view. To quote him, "these Apple people are NUTS!".
I am expecting today (Saturday) to be a bigger day for iPhone. Friday
was for the "must have it now" crowd. Today will be the real test as
the lookiloos that were playing with the demo units last night come back
to buy today. I'm actually headed back down to look at some
accessories. Like swarms of locusts often do, the store looked in
pretty well picked clean last night, and the store manager said they
would have it fully restocked this morning.
Okay, enough of that.
First impressions: I can't believe how small this thing feels in your
hand. I had a Motorola SLVR prior to this, and it's not much bigger at
all. Maybe a quarter inch wider, and an "smidge" thicker.
Setup was too simple. I mean it was like, "hey, I can't believe I'm
already done" and "am I sure I really completed activation???" Plug
phone into your computer (mine is a MB Pro 17"). iTunes just comes up
and walks you through the process. Since I already had Cingular, it
asked me for my number, had me select a $20 data plan, offered some
other options for text messages (which I didn't select at this time),
and voila! Less than a minute later iTunes told me that I was activated
(along with the email from Apple, AT&T, and the SMS message from AT&T
welcoming me to iPhone). I think the entire process took 3 minutes.
The unit itself oozes simplicity. The single button (a la one button
mouse) to operate the interface is brilliant. I used to get frustrated
with the menus and button pushes on my SLVR to access Media Net, SMS,
mail, and other options. I don't see where the naysayers keep talking
about how much navigation is required to do something. Most everything
I can think of right now is available from 2, maybe 3 taps away.
The phone is perfect. Setting up my new voicemail account for visual
voicemail was pretty easy. Press a button to record your message, or
just select the default greeting. After only 23 takes, I had my message
recorded (note to self: do not become a radio broadcaster).
IMPORTANT: If you have any saved voicemails that you cannot part with,
save them to something BEFORE you set up visual voicemail. You will
lose any saved voicemails.
Making a call is just as easy as the commercials and videos on Apple's
site. Too easy. I found myself accidentally calling a couple people
while navigating the contact list. My own fault. Just me being
stupid. Sound quality is good. Not quite Motorola good, but good
enough. It sounds like there is a digital processing unit that is
handling audio, so to me the call sounded "mechanical". More so than
any other digital cell phone I've used in the past.
Pairing the unit with my Motorola bluetooth speakerphone was not
intuitive. I had to navigate around "settings" until I figured it out.
Then I needed to remember the darn passcode from the speakerphone when I
tried to pair it to the iPhone. After the cobwebs were pushed away
(d'oh, it's 0000 for most Motorola bluetooth accessories), it paired
immediately and works like a charm.
Setting up WiFi was the only difficulty that I had. I have my wireless
access point locked down to limit by MAC address. It took some real
digging to find the MAC address, but once I found it, all things went
smoothly. Speed is an interesting concept. Given that the iPhone
probably has a pretty slow processor in comparison to the latest G4, G5,
Intel or AMD systems, I found browsing complex sites (like my.yahoo.com)
was slow when compared to a PC or Mac. At first, I thought I might be
stuck on EDGE and that was the problem, but after doing some testing, I
think complex webpages are a bit of a chore for the little iPhone.
Don't get me wrong, compared to web browsing on my SLVR, or my buddy's
Treo, the iPhone is blazing fast. Just not what I was expecting from
the iPhone commercials. BTW, with my Verizon FIOS, I ran a speed test
from my iPhone. I still was getting 3-4mbs on my 5mbs FIOS connection.
One other thing. Any page with Java or Flash will show a "lego" icon on
the page where the java or flash is located. According to the Apple
news sites, Flash is coming soon. I hope the greatness of Steve deems
java worthy at some point and provides it in a software update in the
Mail works fine. Connected to my Verizon account, downloaded mail, and
it works perfectly. Nuff said. For all you CSCers out there, I am
hoping we can find a "push" solution for Lotus Notes, but in the
interim, you can use iNotes. It's ugly, it's a webmail solution, but it
works. You just have to get past the "Unsupported Browser" error and
just use Webmail. Again, it works, it's ugly, but it does work.
Music and video is... well, it is what it is. For such a small screen,
the iPhone shows very well. I uploaded The Incredibles and it looks
really good. I do have to figure out why some of my videos I ripped
using Handbrake won't load, but I think that's because I used the
AppleTV format instead of the Video iPod format when ripping them. I'll
test it later and let you know.
I can't think of anything else to say at this time. Feel free to ask
any questions, or reply with your own experiences with the iPhone.
Update: Just went to the Apple Store at Willow Bend Mall in Plano, TX.
The place is as much of a zoo as it was last night. The same police
officer that was working yesterday was back for today. All he could do
was laugh. I asked the store manager to get the officer an iPhone for
free as a thank you. I doubt that will happen.
BTW, if you are in Plano and looking for a 4GB version, don't bother.
The Apple Store only has the 8GB left. I went by a AT&T store looking
for the right kind of case (I don't like the ones specific to the
iPhone). Don't use an AT&T store. The people who work there just don't
understand customer service. All they want to do is hold you there long
enough to talk about long distance, cable, internet, etc., while the
other person "searches the back" for your item.
Another update: As strange as this sounds, when using the keyboard,
"use the Force, Luke". Just let the autocorrect do its thing. The
developers really did a good job on the predictive text algorithm.
Also, I seem to be getting 200kbps speeds out of EDGE, which for Dallas
is something of an improvement over my friend's Treo last week (80-90kbps).
There have been sporadic reports of activation issues, but as I stated
in my initial review, mine was painless and took something like 3 minutes.
I've been surfing the web all day on this thing, and have found very few
sites that don't work. So when Apple said you get the real internet,
they weren't kidding. Safari is cool, and using the AIM application
, I now have instant messaging beyond SMS.
I've grown to hate the mail application (just like I do on OS X). You
have one Inbox, one Sent folder, one Trash folder, no matter how many
different email accounts you have. I would really like to organize my