Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…

iPhone & Burgers

Ok – iPhone 3g arrived yesterday. My eyes are bloodshot and I have managed to train my burst sausage fingers into typing on the small iphone keypad. The iphone in one word – impressive. I have been a nokia user for a long, long time and anyone that knows me will tell you that my biggest gripe with symbian was the counter intuitive interface. How do you turn off bluetooth? How do you enable call forwarding? It was never just simple to navigate my way through the GUI and locate how it was done.

The N82 is still an excellent phone and after having a quick look at the E71, I rate it highly too. But in my opinion, both are hindered by the OS and are handicapped by the lack of a touch screen interface.

The iphone does come with several annoyances however, let me just get them out of the way. You open the box, use the little tool to put your sim card in and start drooling over the prospect of starting up and using one of the hottest gadgets ever to be made. Now you have to understand I am a Mac & Linux user, and I therefore consider myself too elite to read manuals. People may say… ‘dumbass’ – they might be right.

Switch the bad boy on. Bork. ???? The phone tells you to plug it into the computer and connect to itunes. This can be annoying for people who do not want/have itunes. Fortunately I do have itunes (and use it) so I could over come that problem. It does say you need it on the box, so I guess the fanbois will all scream from the high heavens that I am the idiot in thinking otherwise.

Bork number 2 – You MUST create an istore account. This means handing over credit card details. I think that this is a serious fail. Credit card fraud in SA is rife and people are extremely hesitant to do this. This is NOT explained on the box. I already had an itunes account, so I never experienced a problem, but some friends at work did.

Bork number 3 – The most monumental bork of all. It appears that the apps available in the istore is dependant on where you have registered your itunes account. My account is a UK registered account and I have access to google earth as a free iphone app. But it appears that South African based itunes/istore accounts do not have access to google earth. There are also a number of other apps that are not avaible, but google earth is  the most prominent. I also noticed that the apps on offer to me are heavily weighted towards UK based apps, such as London underground maps. But I suppose this is to be expected as it is a UK based account.

Anyway after the griping – the UI is a real treat to use. It is simple, yet advanced. To make a call, it is two simple taps from the home screen. Many of the same ideas have been incorporated from Mac OSX into the iphone. For example, the configuration and setup is all under one item – settings. It is easy to configure every aspect of the phone from there – much like it is with OSX.

Because the screen’s sensor is based on conductivity rather than stress, it is responsive and increadibly accurate. There is no stylus (as it would not work) unlike other touch phones and the action of sliding your finger – such as unlocking the screen – is smooth and simple.

My main purpose of using the iphone is to test the push mail functionality of our mail system. The mail client is slick and extremly rich in features – especially for a mobile mail client. It is obviously based on the ‘Mail’ app in OSX and users of Mail will feel the familiarity.

Safari is just as good. Full featured, tabbed browsing on a mobile is tremendous. There is no way back from here.

Apps I will talk about in later posts – but I noticed that there is a built in Cisco VPN client. And that led us to scratch around and find this http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/integration.html It seams that apple are really going after the enterprise and challenging RIM. Having a VPN connection back to our network and an ssh client will be really handy for remote support.

A lot has been said about the features that the iphone lacks as a phone in comparison to other smart phones – no MMS, no SMS forwarding, no native video recording, inability to use as a modem. All legitimate complaints but for me, the above mentioned gripes are far more annoying. The MMS thing – I can see why Apple have dropped it / not included it. You can take a photo and instantaneously publish it on the web in a whole manner of ways – facebook is one of them. It is also easy to email it as an attachment. So it can be argued whether the functionality will be missed.

Only a 2M pixel camera. Compared to the N82, the iphone does not compare. But, I have a canon EOS400d so if I want to take good pictures, that is what I will use. If however I would like to take good snaps while I am on the move or have no access to my camera, then I will let you judge whether the quality is good enough –

Francois

Francois - looking borked.

Eric trying to get his wifi working!

Eric trying to get his wifi working!

There are some other small differences that I think are great. One of them is that SMS’s are now seen as conversations. This is good and bad. It is good in the sense that all the SMS’s are neatly organized and you can see conversation history. But it also now makes SMS feel like IM. I have never sent so many SMS messages in a 24hr period!

I will update this blog with news and views of apps, news, links and annoyances relating to the iphone, but for now I have to say (again) that it is a very impressive device.

Ok – why burgers? I am on a mission (inspired by How I Met Your Mother) to find the best burger. Having not been a burger fan for a very long time, I decided to make my own a few months back and to my utter astonishment, it was amazing. So my aim is to find the greatest burger. I will keep this blog updated with my findings. I will start off by unofficially saying that the Irene Country Lodge does a great burger. More details though will follow.

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