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Overall, iLikeIt

Well, after two days, the iPhone has a few problems, but overall it's a big improvement. It still wasn't the "do it right out of the box" solution I was hoping for -- so much for Apple's signature claim -- but with some addons and a couple of kludges here and there, it now seems to be working.

Good Bits:
  • Smooth, easy-to-work with interface

  • All the phone functions work nicely and don't try to prevent you from actually using the phone (unlike the HTC touch)

  • Nice variety of apps, including app or pseudo-app versions of most of my favorite websites

  • The apps actually run and do what they're supposed to instead of sitting there for several seconds and then bombing out (unlike the HTC touch)

  • 3G is fairly fast, and connecting to my home wifi is even faster

  • It doesn't randomly turn itself on and burn itself up in my pocket (again unlike the HTC touch)

  • Voicemail is downloaded directly to your phone as an MP3, so you don't have to call and go through a "press 1 to get frustrated, press 2 to get really frustrated" interface. You just click "play" and listen! Nice actual use of the technology for a change. :)

  • It's pretty.

Bad Bits:
  • There is no native to-do list, which I still find incredible

  • To sync with Outlook requires a $100/year(!) add-on service, which also doesn't have a to-do list(!)

  • Said add-on service is wonky at best with its Outlook sync, occasionally requiring you to nuke the installation and do it again ... sometimes even on the first try (as happened to me)

  • No physical keyboard. Some people say "that's not a bug, it's a feature" -- I say, "No, that's a bug." The virtual keyboard works, but a real keyboard would work better.

  • Everything is sold separately. This is the Johnny Longtorso of phones. Want to turn that MP3 into a ringtone? Better have bought it through iTunes.

  • Whipping out your iPhone at Starbucks makes you feel like a pretentious smarmoid.

All that said, it's still head and shoulders above the POS phone I've been fighting with until now and looks like a phone I'll be happy with, after having whipped it into shape in the whole "sync with Outlook" arena. And I'm still interested in the iPad for those times when I actually want to type something. ;)

-The Gneech



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Are you running it on a Mac? My 3G model (and the classic I had before) both synch with Outlook just fine, at least for the Calendar. Email is email and so I don't worry too much about it.

Also check out iRinger, it's a free piece of software that lets you turn MP3's into ringtones that work with iTunes.
Feb. 25th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
PC, actually. Way too many things I want to do aren't made for Mac.

I'll look into iRinger, thanks!

Feb. 25th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'll second that call on iRinger, I downloaded it using the link further down these comments, and it's fantastically easy - iTunes tends to throw hissy fits on my pc when trying to do things they clearly didn't want you doing easily :)
Feb. 25th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
To sync with Outlook requires a $100/year(!) add-on service,...

What are you talking about? Are you using a POP3 and only syncing at your computer?

Feb. 25th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I'm talking about syncing contacts, calendar, etc. w/ Outlook. The e-mail is easy, but that's just a tiny fraction of what I do with it.

Feb. 25th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
I sync my home Outlook contacts, calendar and notes through iTunes and the office Exchange contacts, calendar wirelessly, all free....

Are you talking about MobileMe or something?

FYI: Free apps freeappalert
Feb. 25th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
MobileMe, yup. And no exchange server here, just me and a compy.

Feb. 25th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Ah! I never tried it since I use gave up on using my home computer's Outlook for anything but archiving my GMail and computer access to the notes.

The GMail integration on iPhone rocks very much - email and calendar are wireless. (Contacts are sync'd on sync...)
Feb. 25th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
There is a way to make your own ringtones for the iPhone; although, it requires a bit of work from the user. Add an audio file that's less than 30 seconds long to iTunes, right click the file and choose convert to AAC from the menu, find the newly created .m4a file on your hard drive and change the extension to ".m4r". After that, iTunes should see the file as a ringtone.
Feb. 25th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
I just had to set my CEO's Iphone up for him, and I have it synched just fine with his outlook email, contacts, and calendar without any extra services. It's quite happy to use the exchange server's Outlook Mobile Access service without anything extra needed (though OMA doesn't do push synching like I'd prefer, it just fetches updates every 15 minutes).

Then again, is this a personal email account you're using, without an exchange server? If so it's a different story, but if not, I don't see any reason you'll need any extra services.
Feb. 25th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
No exchange server, just my lil' compy and me.

Feb. 25th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
There is a program out ont he net called iRinger, which allows for a LOT less work to create custom ringtones. Once you get the hang of using it, it will take at most 1 minute to create a perfect ringer, and send it to iTunes. ahref="http://www.iringer.net/">iRinger Download here</a>
Feb. 25th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
I've never really liked Outlook's to-do features so I can't say that I've dealt with that issue... But there are several nice and free to-do apps for the iPhone.

If your home compy is a Mac and you want to invest a bit, I really like Things. It's halfway between project management and to-do list. It has a separate iPhone app that can sync with it.
Feb. 25th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
looking this over...
I might try this--thanks! Recently migrated from my 40 month old MBP to a nice new unibody machine.

(Deleted comment)
Feb. 25th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)

It's easy to make your own ringtones from a song. you edit the song as you desire, save it as AAC, and then give it a special suffix and put it in the right folder. Then sync your phone to your computer. Done.
Feb. 25th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
If you want to sync your stuff someplace using Exchange, you can always look to Google, who does sync for iPhones. Follow those steps and you can't go wrong.

For Outlook... well, you'll have to import, unfortunately, but that's fairly easy. You just need to sit down and make a few changes.
Feb. 26th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
I second the keyboard. I have a physical QWERTY keyboard on my Blackberry and wouldn't have it any other way. I need the tactile feedback.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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