iPhone First Impressions

After waiting 10 hours for my phone to be activated, I’ve had my iPhone 3G now for just over 4 full days. I think this is more than enough time to write a quick review.

Data Usage:

Like every other nerd in the country, I was extremely disappointed and angry after Rogers released their initial price plans. My angry rantings even made Letter of The Day in the Winnipeg Free Press! The main point of contention was complete lack of an unlimited data plan, and egregiously overpriced data buckets (with 300MB/mo going for $30. ie. $100/GB).

Once Rogers Caved to public outcry I was back onboard.

So anyways, how much data have I actually used so far? According to the iPhones internal usage stats. I’ve sent 2MB and received 36.6MB over the celluar network, for a total of 38.6MB or 9.65MB/day. This puts me on track to use 289.5MB this month. Puting me under the original 300MB that we all found so offensive. Go figure. Even though I’m using less data I had thought, I like not having to worry about going over my limit.

Apps&GPS:

The apps make the iPhone. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use another phone that doesn’t have an open-ish application platform.

My top 3 apps are probably facebook, twitterific and mobile flickr. It’s really cool to be able to take a picture from my phone and directly upload them to the web from my phone, inside the same interface. Jott and Evernote seem cool, but I haven’t had a reason to use them yet.

The fact that the apps know exactly where you are (down to 10meters!) has so much potential. I don’t know exactly what it might be, but there’s a killer app lurking in the shadows. That said, I have been a little underwhelmed by the location awareness. It’s just not quite fully … realized, like, “ok. I can see photos taken near by, so what…” Aside from that there are two other problems a) most of the data populating these apps is US-centric, so it’s completely useless to me; b) the attempts at location aware social networking depend on a certain threshold of users before they become interesting – because these apps are a niche within a niche, I don’t really see them taking off.

Bugs:

If the iPhone was a Microsoft product the blogs would be full of hate. I’ve come across a couple of major bugs so far! Namely:

  • GPS stops working for no apparent reason. In the “maps” application the GPS locator just hangs and other apps are unable to pull GPS data – depending on how well the 3rd party app is written, this bug might or might not cause that app to crash. Though I can still continue to use all other features of the phone, if I want to use GPS again I have to reset it.
  • Crashing! Apps – including official apple apps like Safari – just crash, randomly, for no apparent reason!
  • Freezing! Yup, the phone has frozen on my once or twice.

The bugs haven’t been bad enough to frustrate me…yet. They’re more of a minor discomfort. And I’m pretty confident that Apple will push a firmware update soon.

Conclusion:

At the end of the day the iPhone is the nicest phone I’ve ever had. It’s definately worth the $200. Whether it’s worth the data plan remains to be seen.