After a week of use, there are plenty of good things about the iPhone 3G but they are covered in who knows how many places. And the downsides I’ve seen in various reviews don’t mention my little issues with it, so that’s what I want to cover.
I’ll start with the only one that I think they’ll fix – the application upgrade process. I upgraded my first app tonight through the on-phone store application, and instead of actually upgrading it deleted the old one. This meant that it was at the end of my app list as if it were a fresh install, and I had to move it back to where I wanted it on my screen. I can see this becoming annoying as I add more applications.
Anyway if you’re considering an iPhone or iPod touch, there a couple of niggly little things to keep in mind with the iPod functions. As far as I can tell the iPod interface hasn’t changed with the v2.0 software; I guess these things don’t matter as much for the average listener. However, as someone who has used regular iPods for almost 4 years they make listening to long tracks (ie podcasts) more of a hassle than the clickwheel iPods.
The first, and most obvious, is seeking. The extremely accurate wheel motion has been dumped for a seek bar – it’s not even the full width in portrait mode, and it doesn’t exist in the landscape / coverflow view. Using it to seek requires a steady hand and plenty of luck, on a decent length show I find the smallest twitch still seeks 30 seconds at a time.
The hidden seek option – seeking via holding down the next or previous button – is bizarre. After a three second wait for slow tappers, it simply alters the speed of the speech; it takes another few seconds before it switches up to proper seek. This one catches me out all the time, I have muscle memory for the exact length of time to hold for a 5 or 10 second seek and I now need to relearn the time required as well as get used to a confusing garble when seek begins.
The other silly restriction on the iPod interface is a complete Inability to view podcast shownotes. Considering that it was specifically added to the iPod firmwares when Apple decided to get behind podcasting, this is a very strange omission. All you can view is the lyrics, and only one of the podcasts I listen to bothers to make use of that field. Why not allow shownotes to be viewed via the same interface?
And finally, the ringtones. This has been well documented since they were released for iPhone v1, but the ringtones are a rip off. The good news is that if you’re like me and use MP3 for everything, creating a ringtone is an easy two step process:
- Use Garageband to create a small loop from the mp3 (click the circular arrow button in with the playback controls)
- Drag the resulting AAC into MakeiPhoneRingtone
Oh and the big kicker for me is that my phone has developed two dead pixels already. With stock probably out for a while I was hesitant to get a single pixel replaced under warranty, but the second appeared last night and now I just want it over and done with as soon as possible. I haven’t quite made it an irreplaceable part of my life, so I need to hand it over before that happens 😉
Ah well, hopefully by the time a replacement arrives my invisibleSHIELD will have shipped. At least I won’t be worrying about scratches while I don’t have the phone!