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obligatory iPhone worship

so…everyone’s already written their lust-filled posts, and enough time has passed for people to even begin shredding the iPhone for things it doesn’t have. this thing comes so close to being everything to everyone, but ultimately doesn’t take the cake. for me it does – i would pick one of these things up in a heartbeat, but the price point is what kills me. $499 for a 4GB or $599 for an 8GB? no dice for me. my 40GB iPod is just about filled, so this replacement would have to at least come close to my current capacity before i’d think of switching. i completely understand the pricing, mind you – you’re getting a crapload of product for the price, and it really is justifiable. plus, 8GB is pretty much the limit that they could fit using the current flash memory – this is essentially an iPod nano plus. a year or two in the future, when v.2 iPhone (or Apple Phone?) comes out, w/ better battery, more storage, some upgrades (see my predictions below), and a few bugs worked out – then i’ll pick up my new toy.

people have also been crying about being locked into cingular. i’m a cingular customer already, so that’s not an issue for me. locking into one provider makes the most sense at launch – it’s easier to make a product for one standard (GSM+EDGE) rather than multiple networks, it makes the provider a lot more willing to hawk your product b/c they’ll get guaranteed revenue. (though i would jump networks just to get an iPhone – read techcrunch’s review of cellswapper, a service that allows you to trade your cell phone plan instead of paying cancellation fees).

ok, here are my questions on some of the features on iPhone and predictions on what future versions will incorporate:

  • TACTILE KEYBOARD FEEDBACK: a lot of people have complained that the touch screen keyboard will be difficult to get accustomed to, despite the apparently wonderful correction software built in for spelling mistakes. it would rock if future iPhones get some sort of force feedback built into the screen beneath the keys, so that you have some idea that you’re actually hitting a virtual key. this is my qualm w/ any touch screen device no matter it’s purpose – no tactile feedback. i’m sure that at some point this will be incorporated, it’s kind of a no-brainer when you think about the benefit it could have to a user interface.
  • iChat or Skype VOICE CALLS: will Apple create an upgrade to iChat so that it becomes more like Skype and allow voice calling across networks or out to regular mobile phone / land lines? will the iPhone eventually support Skype? we don’t know yet what type of software you’ll be able to load on the iPhone, so we’ll have to wait and see. my money would be against something like this, at least for the next 2 years while they’re locked into a deal w/ Cingular. why? any voice over wifi would detract from Cingular’s revenue, which is the only reason they’re supporting this in the first place. sure, you could Skype over Cingular’s data network, but that’s just stupid considering how slow it currently is, and how much money it would cost to use that over making calls on Cingular’s voice network. maybe once the iPhone is supported for all US networks they’ll support a feature like this, since they won’t feel the need to push business toward the provider.
  • NOTE-TAKING AND VOICE-RECORDING: the new version of Apple Mail in Leopard has some nice note-taking features built in. if you’re carrying around a device like the iPhone, you’d expect to be able to take notes on it. every PDA in existence has a feature like this. will the final release of iPhone have a note-taking feature that will sync to the new version of Apple Mail? it would make sense. it could also sync to Outlook notes. or even export it a text file, though that would be very un-Apple-like. there’s a keyboard on the device, and you carry it everywhere. notes are inevitable. on the flip-side of written notes, what about voice-notes? this is a phone, and many phones allow you to take voice notes. there’s a microphone – that’s all that’s necessary. surely it will be there, if not in the first release then in some software upgrade in the future (that’s the nice thing about the iPhone – you don’t necessarily need to upgrade to a new phone, you can just upgrade the software – automatically – when you sync the phone to your computer).
  • BATTERY: w/ the current iPhone providing 5 hrs of talk/video time and 16 hrs of audio, we’re going to need a better battery. i’m sure this is the best they could do w/ current technology, and it will only get better w/ future releases, but think about it: this is your phone we’re talking about here. it is totally unacceptable if your phone dies on you. if you listen to your iPod for a bit, your battery will be drained. then you talk for a bit, more drained juice. pretty soon, you’re going to have to recharge, and w/ all the features packed into the iPhone and the inevitable use of nearly all of these features w/in one day, you’d be lucky to make it one full work day w/o having to recharge. PLUS, what happens when the battery starts to degrade? this is a non-replaceable battery, just like in the iPods. surely 3rd party battery replacements w/ better battery life will sprout up, but that will kill the warranty. Apple will inevitably have a battery replacement service in place w/in a year, or there’ll be hell to pay. people will not pony up $499-599 for a device that lasts only one year. this is a high-end device, and it should last at least 2 yrs. 😉 seriously, i would require several chargers – one at work/school and one at home for this to be conceivable; my current iPod (granted it’s a 3G iPod) doesn’t last that long – maybe 5 hrs – so i keep a charger at school and at home. also, we haven’t heard what the battery life is when the phone is in standby. many phones get multiple days of battery w/o a charge when they’re in standby – how will the iPhone compare?

so there we are. my issues w/ and predictions for the iPhone. don’t listen to me, i’m not a tech-pundit – just a techie and Mac-fanboy. these are fairly legit, though. can’t wait to get my hands on one of these bad-boys, b/c it’ll stop me from talking about it to everyone i know. i went to a friend’s birthday party the night the iPhone was announced, just itching for somebody to share my enthusiasm. Cindy had listened to me covet this new gadget as much she could stand, but wouldn’t watch the movies depicting its awesomeness on the Apple website. my dad sounded interested, but was too sick w/ a virus to go watch it. my sister was too worried about breaking the touchscreen (but is willing to take a chance on the Treo touchscreen). my mom just flat out doesn’t understand this product at all and why it’s so great. she poo-pooed it, saying something else will come out 6 months later to grab attention away from the iPhone. i felt personally attacked by that remark. i tried to explain its benefits and its Apple ease-of-use, but it’s no use trying to get a non-techie excited about tech. especially one that has trouble using an iPod and a Mac (sorry Mom, but you were asking for that).

that leads me to a tangent on which i’ll end this post: older people and technology. granted there are a lot of older people (i’ll define older people as those, say, 45 and above) who have no problem w/ tech. hell – they’re the ones that invented all of it! and also, i have to accept that those of us that i must define as younger (based on the previous arbitrary definition of older) have generally grown up w/ tech, so it’s easy for us to be introduced to a new product on a frequent basis and learn how to use it. but as a general rule, if you accept that you are going to use a tool, you better learn how to use it. you don’t take a hammer and try to pound nails w/ the pointy nail-remover side. no – you learn that one side if for inserting nails and the other is for removing them. obviously that over-simplifies things, but the point remains. don’t get a computer to use email and type up word documents and spreadsheets if you aren’t going to learn to understand the machine (what a horrible waste of a machine if that’s all you use it for, but that’s beside the point). learn how to attach files to email! learn how to move files! keep your files organized just like you would in real life! understand the dangers of not running virus software if you’re on a PC. defrag your PC hard-drive on a regular basis when you are told that it will prolong the life of your drive and keep your machine speedy! know what a freakin pdf is! learn how to look through your emails for things someone sent you 2 weeks ago! don’t complain about spam, currently an evil that you can’t completely expunge, if you are willing to use email – but aren’t willing to accept advice on how to deal w/ it (say, for instance, switching to an email provider like Gmail that has such good spam filters that i only get a few a week, or installing a spam filter to your mail program)!

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