First Impressions on the New iPhone

I’m finally an iPhone customer. My wife and I spent Friday morning in line and got the last two white 16g models that the store had. Here are a brief overview of my impressions both good and bad:

– 3G is a game changer in the mobile market. Having this speed of connectivity available opens up all kinds of possibilities for mobile computing. It underscores the importance of using broadcast spectrum for all carriers, public and private, to create a level playing field where carriers and manufacturers can innovate. Once we can move across the country or globe on a standard network and receive truly uninterrupted high speed mobile connectivity our communications experience will be transformed. The iPhone 3G gives us the first glimpse of that

– Disappointed in the lack of syncing for Notes, To-Dos, and calendars that are auto-generated by notes. This just feels like Apple hasn’t caught up with the little features. I can understand that for a 1.0 release, but not the 2.0 release. I’ve been syncing notes and To-Do lists with my phone for almost four years now, ever since iSync first came out, first on my Nokia and then on my Sony Ericcson phones.

– Location services are awesome, but the functionality is spotty. Every now and then the phone fails to geo-locate me. In order to fix this the phone has to be restarted. This happened to Chandra out of the box. At first we thought her GPS was broken, but after reading up and finding that the phone uses multiple methods to geo-locate we realized it was probably a software problem.

– It’s almost passe to mention this, because it’s so obvious, but the iPhone is the platform for mobile development now. I know that Apple probably won’t do this, but I think they should begin looking into licensing the SDK to other phone manufacturers. This will give app developers greater reach. It would increase the customer base for the App Store, iTunes, and the user base for Safari. This increased software user base would probably lead back after several years to increased purchases of Apple hardware.

– Satellite radio should be scared. With Pandora and Last.fm on my iPhone, I now have personalized radio stations with more interactivity for free or dirt cheap anywhere that I have coverage. Broadcast radio is so dead it’s not even worth mentioning. But why would I plunk down money for satellite radio now? Because it gets coverage where 3G doesn’t. As coverage increases this reason will go away.

– Docking with a separate computer is a hassle. I don’t mind that I can only sync with one iTunes library. But I should be able to connect my iPhone to a different computer, not sync it, and use that computer to enjoy the media on my iPhone without lots of threats of erasing my iPhone. If the phone is already synced with one iTunes library, just don’t try to do any sync activity with a new computer unless I manually prompt it.

Given the mix of positive and negative here, I’m really hoping that Apple moves to a more iterative release cycle for the base software of the iPhone. Roll-out enhancements and improvements for things like To-Do syncing and more reliable location services. Don’t try to shove it all into a major massive release once a year.

Looking forward to a lot of mobile computing and media.

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