iPhone happiness

Decided not to write a lengthy “me to” blog entry evaluating my iPhone. But, figured I’d drop a note. Like everyone else says, and as I expected, it’s a really amazing device, looks great, interaction is groundbreaking and amazing, some of it’s features are quirky or incomplete, and some functionality of other phones just isn’t there. I don’t miss MMS (never sent one), would like real IM, and features I didn’t have on my E61 like video would be cool someday.

The fact that setting an alarm is actually fun, and I  use it to read and compose mail, or look at the web when I have a laptop nearby, reflect it’s really different than other devices with similar capabilities.

I’m comparing mostly with my E61, which is a really nice device, and does more than the iPhone, but doesn’t do any of it as elegantly. An unexpected find for me was that I can type much faster, with far more accuracy, and less fatigue than the E61. My thumbs would occasionally ache after a day on the road with the E61, I now noticed after a couple weeks with the iPhone that my thumbs have become ache free. I think the E61 is heading for eBay.

Integration with the Mac is virtually flawless, compared to any prior device, so as one who manages all my massive email and contacts and calendars on the Mac, having a mobile phone that stays accurately synced, reflecting the actual data, is a jewel.

One thing I hadn’t seen folks talk about is how easy it is to use for people who aren’t gadget geeks to pick up and use the iPhone. I’ve had the opportunity to just hand the phone to a bunch of non-tech people, many of whom see no reason for a phone with anything more than a dialpad. They were zipping around the interface, and resizing photos in no time! It was far more intuitive to non-tech folks than I’d expected.

A fun story, I was visiting friends in Atlanta last week. A group of us went to a restaurant, and I was taking a picture of folks to assign to their numbers in my phonebook. A 20-something waitress comes over, excitedly and said “is that an iPhone?” I asked if she’d like to take a picture of us with it, and she got really excited. Then ran off to tell the other waitresses she’d just touched an iPhone. Through the meal, waitresses kept stopping by, wanting to see it. Two of them wanted me to take their picture. My friends then commented for the rest of the weekend “Ken, whip out your iPhone” since it turned the group into instant celebrities, depending on the venue. The single coolest feature non-tech people get giddy over seems to be the photo album, how you navigate it, and how you zoom. That makes sense, since that’s an “instant gratification” capsule of the slick direct touch interface and multi-touch.

So, those other celebrities out there, enjoy your 15 minutes. In a couple years, most mobile devices will have a similar interface. I’m looking forward to multi-touch and direct manipulation on my laptop (although I’ll want a fingerprint resistant screen :-).

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