As most of you know, I am not an iPhone lover. I bought my first one right when they came out and, then, immediately brought it back to the genius bar to ask why the speakers didn’t work. My iPhone version 1.0 story is chronicled in two articles from July 2007. The first July 7, 2007 was a love letter entitled, “iLove my iPhone,” which is mostly about my first impressions. The second, written on July 21, 2007, was “iPhone Reality/Sanity Check — my iWish list,” which is just what it says it is.
By September 2007 (see iPhone Aftermath) I’d had enough fun with my iPhone and I purchased a Verizon BlackBerry World, which was actually my least favorite of the BlackBerry family, but it worked as designed. The moment Verizon offered the BlackBerry Curve, I was in the store. It is what I carry today and it works exactly as designed. Although, I won’t miss it at all.
I have a good deal of experience with the Apple App Store. I have been using my old iPhone as an iPod Touch since it was decommissioned and, more recently I purchased a 16GB Touch because I have too many apps for my 8GB iPhone. Size matters!
A few weeks ago, I downloaded an app that made me think about returning to the iPhone fold. It’s called Daylite Touch. It’s a simple program that seamlessly integrates Daylite (my favorite contact/pipeline management software) with the iPhone. I liked it on the Touch, but after using it for a short while, I knew it was really going to be something special in a 3G broadband cloud. I was right.
Last week, I purchased a new 32GB iPhone 3GS. It is beyond awesome. Daylite Touch and Omnifocus sync so perfectly with my other Apple computers it makes me giddy. If you like an app on the iPod Touch, you will absolutely love it on an iPhone 3GS. (There are over 65,000 apps at the App store, so you are likely to find something that makes you smile.) Many of the utility functions that were truly missing in the earlier iterations of the phone are now included, and the user experience is, well, Jobsian! That’s the good news.
The bad news is that I still have to carry a second cell phone with me. Ironically, it’s the same flip phone I purchased to accompany my first iPhone. Why? Well, what was true then, is true now. I have yet to end an iPhone conversation in “goodbye.” It’s always, “Hello? Hello?” As a phone network, AT&T sucks!
I was standing at the bottom of the elevator bank inside of 30 Rock and went to call the person I was going to see to tell them that I was coming up stairs. Four bars on my Verizon BlackBerry, no bars on my AT&T iPhone. Error message dialing the iPhone, “Call Ended” (before it began), a quick answer on the Verizon Crackberry and a conversation that continued into the elevator. AT&T does have anytime minutes … as in, anytime you can get a signal! And, they do rollover. That’s nice.
Now, and this is the important part, you actually need to go out and get an iPhone 3GS and you should get the 32 GB model. I thought you could experience the future with an iPod Touch and the associated ritual trips to the App Store. I was wrong. You cannot emotionalize the experience of having a location-based, app help you do things you need to do at 3G speeds with full graphics on a iPhone screen. It’s off the charts. The network is nowhere near as fast as I’d like it to be, but the overall impact of Google Maps or the Fandango app or some of the social networking apps, to say nothing of the productivity apps, is mind-blowing.
I did not open up my laptop at two meetings today because I simply didn’t need the connectivity. I was able to access all of the data I needed through my iPhone and, again, the sync was flawless.
I absolutely hate the AT&T network as a phone network, but even their sub-optimal service cannot dampen my enthusiasm for my latest purchase. Do I really want to carry a second cell phone? No. Will I? With pleasure. The battery on the iPhone should not be wasted with things as trivial as voice communication!
One last thing. Back in the day, there was a program called Visicalc. It ran on an Apple II+ and was the first true spreadsheet software. I remember hearing business people talk about how the cost of the Apple II+ was more than justified by this one piece of software. There are very, very few times that I have been inspired to purchase a piece of hardware by a specific piece of software. Oddly enough, all of them have been Apple products. Since OS X, the must-have hardware/software combos in my world have been: Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, iPods/iTunes and the latest, Daylite Touch/Omnifocus/iPhone 3GS.
Is purplera1n in my future? No, I won’t jailbreak the iPhone. However, if the DOJ does happen to make Apple open up the platform, I’ll be back to Verizon in a heartbeat!