First 72 Hours With the iPhone – Grapes and Gripes

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Disclaimer: I’m aware that a lot of the points I’m making in the following article must have been made by various other reviewers. I wanted to start my iPhone experience from a clean plate and decided not read up on it too much lately.

Grapes.

It is the best mobile phone ever made.

It is so fantastically intuitive that you can’t believe it until you use one. Most things work just the way you might imagine them to work. As a proof, my – not really technical – girlfriend hasn’t asked me for advice once. It just works.

I like most of the apps but here’s few that surprised me positively:

– Safari is the best mobile browser there is. Double period. Lock on top and lose the key. Nothing comes anywhere close.
– Google Maps, works fast enough even under EDGE.
– Mail, no setup needed, just syncs your account detail from your Mac and starts ticking away. Also, with Gmail’s IMAP support (which, to me, remains a little buggy) if I read some of the mail on my iPhone, it gets tagged as read on my Mac. Good good.
– I didn’t realise the Notes.app had been included, I don’t think it was there when it first came out in the States. Anyhow, I’m using it all the time.

Gripes.

I think the biggest gripe I’ve revolves some what around that there’s no copy and paste. Now some of you might be thinking either:

1. There’s no copy and paste as Apple has designed the system so that copy and paste becomes irrelevant.

2. It would be hard to design the interface to be as intuitive as it is if you had to be able to select i.e. passages of text and then have interface for either copying it or replacing it.

or

3. Many other smart phones don’t have copy and paste.

Quick answers to these:
1. But I’m still limited.
2. Work a bit harder.
3. Poor excuse.

Longer answer:

Having copy and paste (C/P) would fix some of the limitations I’ve faced so far. For example, you can’t forward an SMS or add many recipients. C/P would help by allowing me to type a note, then C/P the text in to a new SMS and send it of. Or select text from an existing SMS and paste it into a new one. With C/P I could take images from emails and copy them to my image gallery. You see what I’m going for here? These are all features that are, for reason or another, missing.

Apple’s idea behind not including copy and paste was that what ever you might want to do with information on screen, the options you most want, are made available for you. I.e. On a website, if you click on a phone number, the phone will ask you if you want to call that number. Same with texts and emails. Images in the gallery can be emailed or attached to contact. It’s a very interesting concept and I’d be all for it if it worked with everything. At the moment, you can’t save images from, as I said before, email or from the web. I find this limiting.

What I’d like to see Apple do to fix this in a point release:

Tap and hold on top of text, you enter text selection mode. Tap once on the first and last words of your selection and a contextual menu appears. There you could have options like: copy, paste (but only if possible, you can’t paste in to website, obviously), create new contact, attach to contact (if it’s a phone number or email address) etc. Same could work with images, tap and hold to save it in Photos.app or email it or what ever. I don’t think this kind of extra functionality would cripple the intuitiveness of the interface.

Conclusion.

I know the Gripes sub-heading in this article is a lot longer than the Grapes one. This, I guess, is because it’s easier and more fruitful to discuss about problems and improvements that I feel that would help development of this already fabulous platform.

All in all, it’s a fantastic web browser, email client, iPod and a great phone. If this blog gave star ratings consumer products, it would get five out of five.

–kristian

PS. I was going to include a paragraph on which 3rd party apps I’d like to see. I didn’t. It’s a whole other story. Stay tuned, I’ll put it out in few days time.

[update 1] I’ve just noticed that on a photo of an iPhone from early July, there indeed is an icon for Notes.app which means it must have been there from the beginning.

7 thoughts on “First 72 Hours With the iPhone – Grapes and Gripes

  1. Kristian Tapaninaho

    Akseli: how you doing? Which communicator did you get?

    Wendy: But you do know me so you’ll just have to live with it, ok? 🙂

    Rikardolino: I’m a bit hesitant on saying much about the battery life at this point. I don’t think the usage during these first 3 days resemble regular usage that much. I think. Then again it might be, as it’s been now, that I’ll use my laptop a lot less, do emailing and random web browsing on the phone.
    But, it was fully charged yesterday morning and now it’s got about 1/4 left.

    Reply

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