Saturday, June 30, 2007

Well...THAT Was a Mistake

So, loyal readers will know that I've been drooling over an iPhone since the commercials and videos started that last marketing push a couple of weeks ago.;div>
I told myself, "You don't need a 'Smart Phone' -- you barely text and never use the internet on your phone."

I told myself, "The keyboard can't be that easy to use; if for no other reason than you've got great big blunt fingertips that the average iPhone user doesn't."

I told myself, "You already have a shuffle for small playlists, and you have a 5 gen iPod that plays video.  You don't need to have pretty, full-screen landscape video."

I told myself, "You have lousy eyesight.  Surely reading a web page would be difficult, and the text would blur if you zoom in."

I told myself, "That finger-flicking scroll thing would be annoying; you'd be overshooting things all the time.  Ditto the 'pinch' zooming."

I was at the Northridge mall tonight, and after five minutes of playing with the thing, the only thing that saved my bank account (which I'm supposed to be bulking up for Disney World) a huge hit was the fact that they were sold out.

The thing is gorgeous.

I had no trouble typing.  When you zoom in on a web page, the text is crystal clear -- and that was in portrait mode; the phone was nearly out of batteries and needed to be docked to work.  You can control the amount of zoom by holding your fingers on the screen.

I don't think I can convey how pretty it is.

Scrolling through your music library is painless.  Flicking is very intuitive, and you can tap in the middle of a flicked scroll to stop it from scrolling.  Cover flow for the playlists...meh.  But the fact that you can click and see other songs on the same album, without backing out of your playlist and into one of the music browsing modes?  So cool.

I was so enthralled, I forgot to check out google maps, but youtube loaded nicely.  The video was...meh -- but it turned out that I'd been using EDGE the whole time, so the video was very highly compressed.

How did I discover that?  I went into setting to turn off wifi (all Apple stores have wifi) to see how bad EDGE really is -- and it turned out I'd been using it the whole time!

This is going to be a very hard to resist toy, especially because of Google maps.  I can't tell you the number of times I've been driving somewhere and trying to figure out where the nearest X was.  I remember actually trying to do that two phones ago, when I didn't have a data plan at all but was desperate, knowing that I'd pay through the roof for looking up whatever it was, and I gave up in frustration.

On an ironic note, however, people are sheep.

When you go to Disneyland a lot, you'll notice things like: people line up in waits 5 or 6 trams long when often at closing, they are loading at both stops -- but people see the huge mass of people and assume that's where they should be.

At the Apple store, the table that normally held, I think, was given over to the iPhones.  There was a huge crowd of people all gathered around the table, clearly waiting impatiently for their turn to play with the iPhone.

If they'd looked two feet behind them, they'd have seen that every iMac on display had an iPhone next to it.  So I stood over there and played for a good 5 minutes, and didn't feel the least bit pressured.

By the way -- the simple, classicly Apple layout makes this device very good for tech novices -- but it occurred to me right away that there's another population this phone would be good for: folks with intellectual disabilities.

Everything is so visual and obvious -- click the picture of a phone to make a call.  You can attach pictures to address book entries.  If you get confused, click the one physical button on the bottom to go back to the main screen.  Nifty.

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