iPhone 3G Impressions

So the iPhone 3G has finally been released and 30 hours (give or take) after I picked mine up it has finally registered on the O2 network and I am good to go with all my mobile internets. Now even though I haven’t had 3G for the last 30 hours, I was able to unbrick the device via iTunes and have been playing around with it on Wifi.

A while ago I ventured into an Apple store to try out an iPod Touch but it isn’t a perfect experience, as you are having to use it in the store and without your email, contacts and calendar setup, so it isn’t an accurate test of the device. On that day I only really had a chance to test the iPod functionality and web browsing, which were both excellent but the device had been well used, so the screen was fairly irresponsive and the accelerometer was a bit off.

The experience itself has been incredibly simple. Like any iPod owner will know all you need to do to sync an Apple device is plug it in and let iTunes do all the hard work and thats exactly what happens with the iPhone 3G, which uses iTunes as its hub. Plug in the USB cable and iTunes springs to life and is ready to sync anything you need (e.g. musics, contacts, calendars, emails, applications etc) directly to the device. The process is incredibly simple and is made even simpler by some nice graphics that break down what is taking up all of the space on the iPhone.

With all the data uploaded it was time to test out some of the mobile applications. One of the first things to point out is that the iPhone will detect all available internet connections and use the quickest one, in my case that meant sizing up 3G and Wifi and realizing that Wifi was the way to go. All the standard applications are available; Mail for email, Safari for web browsing and the iPod software for listening back to some tunes, or watching some videos. The really impressive aspect of all of this is that they run just like they do on a Apple desktop or laptop. Obviously they are running at a smaller resolution and without a keyboard but they look identical, they run just as quick and the touch screen controls are so well designed and implemented that it shortly becomes second nature to pick up.

One of the key selling points for me was the MobileMe integration, which promises Exchange like push email, contacts and calendars for the iPhone. It is fairly simple to setup- just sync the mailbox details then browse to email settings and turn on push email, push contacts and push calendar and you have Exchange in your hand. Any changes that are made get sent back to “the cloud” and updated on your laptop and/or desktop and back to the web interface on me.com. Incredibly simple doesn’t do it justice.

I’ve yet to use my iPhone long enough to see how much of an issue battery is but it looks as though it does a good 5 hours of talk time, which should be plenty, assuming I’ve always got a charger to hand. I don’t intend to watch hours of video on the device, in fact the only videos on there at the moment are a couple of podcasts that only last for 10 minutes or so.

Posted byMichael at 10:34  

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