iPhone Impressions

It has been a couple of weeks since I got the iPhone, and while it has been an overwhelmingly good experience, there are still a few things about it that I find annoying.

Annoyances With Workarounds

With the phone on and plugged in to my car cassette adapter, there is some horribly nasty GSM buzz every few minutes. Anyone who owns a GSM phone and has it too close to a radio, speakerphone, or amplified speakers will recognize the sound–it’s the BzzBzzBzzBzz BzzBzz BzzBzzBzz of interference that arrives just before an incoming call. The workaround for this is to locate a cassette adapter that eliminates the buzz (I’m not going to buy a bunch for testing, I’ll just wait until someone can recommend one) and/or set the phone to Airplane Mode, turning off the GSM transceiver, while in the car. The latter one is what I do. Even with previous phones, I never talked in the car. Between road noise, air nose from the ragtop, and a manual transmission, it’s virtually impossible to talk on the phone in the car. So now, if you dial me and get instant voicemail, I’m probably in the car.

There is no Bluetooth Dialup-Networking. I wasn’t expecting this (aside from the expectation of someone hacking the phone at some point in the future.) Fortunately, I have discovered the proper settings for taking the AT&T SIM and putting it in the Treo for use as a Bluetooth modem. It’s similar to the T-Mobile configuration document I wrote a while back, only the account name is WAP@CINGULAR.COM (all uppercase, and WAP even though it’s not really WAP) with a password of CINGULAR1 (again, all uppercase) and a telephone number of wap.cingular. The Treo, when turned off, holds a charge for a very, very long time and doesn’t take up that much space/weight in my laptop backpack. Besides, with more and more things migrating to webapps, I see this as less of an issue over time.

It’s not really a gripe, but the keyboard did take some time to get used to. Learning to trust the auto-correction was a big leap, but once done it works quite well and is perfectly adequate for what I need it to do. I’m not going to write The Great American Novel on it any time soon, but it’s sufficient for a sentence or two as an SMS or blog comment.

Annoyances Without Workarounds

In the Calendar‘s month view, you get a single dot on each day that holds an event. It would be nice if more than one dot displayed–one of each color for each category of event as defined in iCal. It would also be nice to only view one category at a time. For instance, I have calendars for work, home, and yearly (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) They are green, blue, and red in iCal. When at work, I only care about the green events–meetings, interviews, deadlines, paydays–and it’s hard to see, at a glance, which days have events I’m interested in.

Why doesn’t the camera record videos? Even crappy $50 phones take video.

Where is the scientific calculator mode? What about a programmer’s calculator (with hex, decimal, and binary conversions and bit-shifting)? It’s my intent to code this up as a JavaScript page, but it would still be nice to have it integrated without hitting the internet.

Posted in: Gadgets iPhone

4 thoughts on “iPhone Impressions”

  1. not sure how widespread this is
    or how useful you will find it
    but
    if you call
    *3001#12345#*
    a ton of info gets spit out about connections and the phone its self
    saw it for the first time today and thought it was pretty cool… and as the only person I know with one … I figured id spread the love

  2. The GSM Buzz annoys me as well, although I don’t find it so much with the cassette adapter. It makes the iTrip damn near unusable sometimes and I decide to turn on airplane mode if I use the iTrip I have left over from my old iPod.

    I love the keyboard. I’ve gotten very fast with it very quickly. I wish you had the option to use it in landscape mode any time you want, not just in safari. But even in portrait it’s eerily accurate to what I’m thinking.

    Why why WHY is there no sync with Google Calendar??? And why is there only one calendar? Even the iPod calendar system allowed yoy two have multiple calendars. My Google calendar is all nice and separated into three distinct calendars and I don’t mind having them all merged onto one so much, but then the next time I sync it puts all the info from all of them onto the main one. I REALLY hope they allow direct sync with Google Calendar (preferably without syncing to the computer) soon.

  3. Hey, how does using your Treo for DUN affect your data plan usage? When I tried that, I got like a $600 bill with Cingular, as DUN data is somehow….different…than Unlimited Data.

    Great idea, though. I just may hold onto my 650 just for that.

  4. I just got my bill the other day, and I didn’t notice anything unusual on it with regard to data. If my understanding of the iPhone hardware/software teardowns is correct, there is not really an easy way for them to determine whether the data usage comes from the iPhone software accessing the internet through the radio-modem or a laptop accessing the internet through a similar radio-modem. Yes, the phones will have slightly different IMEI (hardware serial) numbers, but because it’s GSM, they’re only billing based on the IMSI (SIM card) number because it’s legal to put the SIM card in any phone. As far as I understand it, they only check IMEI numbers for banned devices (i.e. stolen handsets, so that they can’t be reactivated.)

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