After two months of Apple iPhone bliss, no glitches. Sales are currently exceeding Apple’s expectations, according to reports. And more innovations are coming, such as the Audi car interface for iPhones. The Web browsing and online services work faster where WiFi is available, so I regularly stop outside a Starbucks (where I can use my T-Mobile WiFi account) to check email, browse the Web, etc. As I don’t need a table or outlet, I don’t need to buy coffee and I can even stay outside. Besides, free WiFi is available in lots of places including many hotel lobbies and even in the S.F. MUNI subway under Market St. Drive-by WiFi is nearly automatic with unprotected WiFi nets or free services.
So don’t pay much attention to the speculation that the iPhone is not living up to expectations. By comparison, today’s crop of cell phones and smart phones look and feel like clumsy contraptions from a different era, with inscrutable menus and features that take to long to figure out how to use properly. Compared to state-of-the-art smart phones that cost the same or even more (see this review by Peter Svensson of AP and reviews in “Shut Up and Play Your iPhone, Volume 2“), the iPhone holds up well in features and in price (and even in AT&T’s service, so far the only one to work with the iPhone without hacking it). But the iPhone takes a giant leap further in interface and design; opening a new path, so to speak, to a finer universe where everything will work better. Like the original Macintosh that kick-started the graphical computing industry (including Windows). Like the iPod and iTunes combination that rocked the music world.
The Web 2.0 sites and services I use most work fine on the iPhone, and I can use pop-up and drop-down menus on sites with ease and grace. The exception is Google Docs — I can edit in this comment from my iPhone using Google Docs in HTML edit mode, but I can’t edit or write very well. However, my WordPress blogs are easier to access and I can write and post blogs from the iPhone. Using a Web service in Safari on the iPhone for this is better than using the iPhone’s Notes feature, because in Safari you can tilt the iPhone to get landscape view for your display and also your keyboard — which makes the keyboard wider easier to use.
Gripes aside, I still see the iPhone as a platform and capable of leading the portable device industry into new realms and riches. And as any device that can run the game DOOM is considered a platform, the iPhone is hereby annointed with a DOOM proof-of-concept. Of course you can already play online games — check out PopCap’s Bejeweled.