The iPhone was perhaps the most hyped and anticipated piece of technology to hit the market in 2007. From its huge touch screen interface to the abundance of features within the device, it has become one of the most desired items of the year.
Initial Pros and Cons
Without even exploring the phone, there are several noticeable pros of this device. Firstly, anyone who looks at this phone will notice the incredibly large touch screen. This is definably a plus for those users who struggle to read the content on a smaller screen. From the commercials that were displayed months prior to the release (and after the product was released), a huge amount of unique features, such as the ability to use Safari and iTunes on one device, were introduced. Finally, this is an Apple product and Apple has a long history of providing quality entertainment products.
There are many noticeable cons of this product that can be observed before the unit is even turned on. Perhaps the biggest initial issue with the iPhone is the outrageous amount of money necessary to purchase the unit. Another issue a lot of users will have is that the iPhone is currently exclusive to AT&T service. Finally, many users may shy away from the iPhone because of the visible lack of a keyboard.
The iPhone is essentially a phone and this phone has many good qualities to it. The iPhone incorporates a simple calling system, which allows it to be the one feature users will not have to adjust to using. The contact management system is nice and allows for easy management of all contacts. The five call function categories are sufficient for most users. The favorites category, for example, is nothing more than Apple’s own version of speed dial. The dialpad used to dial out to other people is nothing more than the industry standard 12-key system.
Even though the iPhone is a solid communication device, there are several issues that deserve to be mentioned. For example, it is quite a hassle to find contacts as the system lacks a keyboard interface to search for them. Numbers typed in the dialpad are not saved as contacts, so the user will have to remember the number and manually add it to their contact list. Another issue is that call quality is average to say the best. Along with that, the person receiving the call will receive the same quality of sound that the iPhone user will. Finally, it should be noted that custom ringtones and MP3 ringtones cannot currently be used with the iPhone.
Users will first notice the sleek design of the iPhone and how this look was properly done by Apple. The phone is made with sturdy and beautiful materials, such as a finely detailed back panel. The curvy design fits in the hand nicely, which makes it extremely comfortable to hold. The iPhone is equipped with a very nice two megapixel camera that is nicely blended into the design of the phone. The cellular device also includes a standard audio and microphone port for those wishing to treat their iPhone like an iPod. Speaking of which, the default iPhone headphones are pretty solid for those who want to start listening to music without buying a pair. The display of the iPhone is well designed as the screen is extremely resistant to scratching.
While the hardware of the iPhone is nearly perfect, it does have flaws. For example, Apple has a recessed audio port which prevents a number of headphones from being connected to the unit. Another issue with the hardware is that sometimes the phone will freeze while charging and will, in some instances, require a soft reset. Another issue with the iPhone is the lack of 3G support and the sometimes buggy Bluetooth interface.
Let’s face it, someone isn’t buying an iPhone just for the hardware. The advantages and innovations of the software of the iPhone is what warrants it of the high price tag. One of the biggest innovations in the iPhone is the finger controlled user interface. For example, users can navigate through the iPhone by making different motions, such as drags and taps, with their fingers. The virtual keyboard is another big innovation, removing the need for an external keyboard that can be prone to jams, scratches, and such. There is also a horizontal version of the keyboard for use in Safari which makes internet browsing a whole lot easier. Speaking of Safari, it is one of many convenient programs that have been bundled with the iPhone. Some of these programs include a calendar, calculator, a SMS client, and a YouTube viewer.
With the new technology introduced in the iPhone, there are sure to be disadvantages. For example, the user interface is inconsistent from program to program. Due to this fact, the user interface system requires a learning curve and patience before someone can fully master the system. Another con of the iPhone software is that the theme cannot be customized by the user. To add on to this issue, different applications are themed differently and there is a lack of consistency. Yet another con of this software is that the virtual keyboard does not feel as good as a physical keyboard. The virtual keyboard is also prone to typing inconsistencies, such as confusing a ‘N’ for a ‘M’. Yet another issue with the virtual keyboard is that one key must be released before the user can press another key. To further add to the list of issues, the virtual keyboard forces users to switch to the alternative symbol keyboard to use a period. More keyboard issues include the inability to easily switch between caps on and caps off, the fact that all text looks capitalized when it is being typed, and the fact that hitting the space bar when typing numbers will send you back to the letters keyboard. The internal dictionary is also buggy and will require some user additions to avoid aggravation. Finally, it is worth mentioning that some of the programs, such as the YouTube viewer, are buggy when viewing certain videos over certain connections.
The Final Verdict
If you are into high tech gadgets, the iPhone is for you. If you simply desire a phone with a few extra quirks, then you should probably go with another option.