Sunday, December 21, 2008

iPhone for a day.

I bought an Apple iPhone Friday.  I returned it Saturday.

1. ATT Wireless network dropped a call Friday and another Saturday.  That NEVER happened with Verizon Wireless.  After that the other reasons did not matter.  It is primarily a PHONE, something that Apple does not grasp.  Ironically, the ATT Wireless 3G data network performed better that its reputation.

2. I like to read The New York Times on the 3.5 inch screen of my Palm TX, which can connect to the Internet only through WiFi.  The Palm TX cannot handle things like video and it presents the Times as text, not as an image of itself.  The iPhone presents an image of the Times front page.  Obviously, the image is small.  The iPhone has this cool thing where you push two fingers apart or together to change the size of the image and then slide the image around to view different parts of it.  And turn the iPhone sideways from portrait to landscape, which I needed to do often to be able to see enough text at a reasonable size for it to be readable.  Cool.  But try doing that for an hour, constantly resizing and re-orienting the image.  You get a headache.  The iPhone was clearly designed for people who do not read.

3. Yahoo mail worked irregularly, fetching messages then repeatedly stating that it could not connect to the server and demanding that I confirm that I understood this to be OK.  I thought that the OK button was a snide Apple and Linux criticism of Microsoft.

4. I could not load anything from the App Store, the biggest positive about the iPhone.  I am sure that eventually it would have worked but the fact that it did not added to my increasing frustration.  This should have been made to work by the Apple person who sold me the iPhone and provided a generally good orientation.  He did tell me that I might have to log in to iTunes on my Windows PC.  I even tried that.  iTunes crashed.  Enough.

5. My PHONE, not to be confused with audio only, headset would not fit into the iPhone jack.  The Apple person who handled my return of the iPhone told me that the iPhone audio buds, the ones that fall out of my ears, include a mic.  Who knew?  The sales guy should have told me.  More frustration.

6. I knew that text entry on the touch screen was an acquired skill that might take a few days but it was more frustrating to use it for a while rather than the few minutes at a time when visiting an Apple store.  Going back to change something was shown to me by the sales person but it was pretty awkward.  What is Apple thinking?  What are iPhone sycophants thinking?

7. Moving among the functions was clumsy.  I had thought that the integration of functions was a big strength but it is not so.

8. iPhone could not play all video forms!  Amazing for a non-verbal product.  At I clicked a video and was eventually informed that the browser was not acceptable.  iPhone played youtube videos well.  That was cool.

I tried everything.  Some stuff I liked.  Most gave me problems.  If the iPhone itself had been overwhelmingly cool, I might have been tempted to overlook the week ATT Wireless voice service, which the ATT rep I spoke to insisted, several times, should be good because I was in a good reception area.  What does that tell me?

Apple accepted my iPhone, provided credit and contacted ATT Wireless to cancel that subscription.

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