Wednesday, 17 June 2009

iPhone 3.0 – Biggest anticlimax ever!

As per most owners of the iPhone, recently i have been waiting for the formidable update to the phones operating system known as 3.0, which after reading so many tech websites, Apples own site and watching several online videos about the whole thing, and to say the least, i was getting very excited about the “100 new features” that were coming along!

So today the 17th of July 2009 is the fateful day that Apple release 3.0 to the masses!

And at the moment i sit on the fence!

You may be well aware that conveniently… not long before the release of 3.0, the iPhone 3GS had been announced, and without surprise, several of the new features DO NOT work with the 3G, so i suppose that is a prompt to go out and buy the 3GS? Hint, hint…

After waiting 10minutes for iTunes to pull down the update, followed by about 3 hours trying to get it to update, due to the Apple servers being overloaded by everybody doing the same thing, i eventually gained an “update slot” and away it all went. The iPhone powered down and iTunes transferred the update, followed by the update being installed on the iPhone.

The iPhone then requires the need to reconnect to iTunes to activate the new update… iTunes promptly crashed…

Restarted iTunes… which then refused to recognise the iPhone which never moved from its USB dock…

Restarted the PC, logged into Windows and thankfully the iPhone was recognised and iTunes automatically restarted, followed by the online activation of 3.0, so semi-painless at least!

Finally! Were up to 3.0! First things first, lets play with these (100) new features… hit the home button.

OK great! A voice recorder! And… ooh! A search screen if a pan to the left… better test that! Type a word… yep that's pulled up all my junk emails and the odd song from the iPod… try something else… aha! Found an App, some more tracks from the iPod and more junk emails…

OK next… err… hey the SMS icon has changed… and… well… ??? am i missing something?

Check the camera! Should have video… hmm… no the icon for the gallery is messed up… no video?

[EDIT] - The gallery button isnt broken, it now shows a small preview of the last picture you have taken.

Right… ill look for the ONE feature that i really wanted! Voice Control… i was excited to hear this was to be included with 3.0 as its one feature i really appreciate on a mobile phone (the N95 was superb!), but again… i cant find it?

OK, onto iTunes and open the iPhone user guide… hopefully that’s been updated… success it has!

Search for Voice Control…. 3GS only… Fuck you!

Video… 3GS only…

Video upload… 3GS only…

Compass… 3GS only…

And so on…

Great! So i need to invest in a 3GS… so technically 3.0 is NOT free is it? Not if you want to exploit the true usage? Nice one Apple!

However yes, there are some good and mediocre parts. Allow me to start with the least impressive.

MMS… people have harped on about the iPhone not having MMS since time began, and yes Nokia, SE or Samsung etc. will sell you a phone, that have been able to for a long time.
And great! We can now do it with the iPhone, but I'm sorry, its useless!
Why? You ask…
What's the point? MMS allows you to send a few words, a small picture and a tiny horrible sound file or a flash file that a BBC Micro would be proud of… and if you’re in the UK it will cost you about 25p PER person you then send it to.

One thing the iPhone is “reasonable” at? Sending emails!
Which, if you have WIFI or unlimited data connection… is free… to send as much text as you want! To as many people as you want! Where they can read at their leisure on a phone or a computer, and reply… for free!

Granted the iPhone is a bit crap as you only seem to be able to attach one thing with the standard system, although i do believe some Apps allow expansion on this.

Rather than adding MMS i would much rather have seen a significant improvement to the email system.

OK, one thing i am thankful for is the addition of the “Tethering” system, although i am yet to test this, but will do in the next few days. If this had been 3GS only, i would have seriously gone ape shit and probably smashed the thing to smithereens and gone out and bought something else! But my sanity was retained for at least one feature!

Landscape keyboard… good but not brilliant, yes its nicer and easier to use, but somewhat, so far, I've found it really squashes up the actual area you are typing into… for an SMS you can only see the last line or so of the SMS you are replying to!

YouTube Login… this i feel is a nice addition. I use YouTube quite a lot and this makes using the iPhone to browse the Tube much more appealing.

Store Accounts… Helps to make life easier buying stuff i suppose. I am also yet to test this properly. At the time of writing there is NO HOPE of getting into the App Store via the iPhone!

iPod Shake To Shuffle… set to OFF… sorry… but what a load of crap!
Double tap the home button = iPod controls…
The button on the headset = iPod controls…
The Kensington LiquidAUX in my car = iPod controls…
Three very adequate control systems that DONT make me look like i am fapping with the iPhone.

Granted the one thing i don't see on the surface is the so called “New APIs” for developers usage for new Apps. In which case i am hoping to see some new, cool and interesting Apps emerge, as at the end of the day 75% of the good stuff on an iPhone is all third part development…

So yes… completely unimpressed! Ill have to wait until the 19th to see how much a 3GS is going to cost me! Again granted it has a better camera (i like to have a decent camera for those random moments) and all the nubbins inside are supposed to be better, and thus make it quicker and have better battery life etc. or so i read… but after this I'm not too sure…

Nokia N97 does look nice!
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