Eating my words

I am a skeptical guy. My previous posts on the iPhone balanced criticisms with cautious enthusiasm. But looking back on them, it is hard for me to remember how I felt back then. When I bought the iPhone, I expected it to follow the usual trajectory of my research purchases, use it for a while to see what I can learn, then throw it in a drawer with the rest of them, or give it to the kids to destroy.

What actually happened was that the the numerous deficiencies of the iPhone have failed to keep me from addiction. The week it came out, a colleague posted on his Skype comment line “Apple iPhone: underhyped.” I got a good laugh out of this, but he said he was serious, and now I tend to agree with him.

My biggest objection was the slow WAN data connection, and it is slow. But it’s way better than no WAN connection at all. I browse the web for reviews when I am vacillating in Fry’s; I read the news when I am waiting in lines or waiting rooms. But the absolute neatest feature is Google maps with its congestion indications on the freeways. Fire it up and look at a map of the city and you can see the jammed freeways highlit in red. Google maps is also useful on the iPhone the same way it is on the PC screen: center the map on your current location and type in “restaurants” or whatever.

The nice big screen makes email reading easy. The timer is great for steaks. I have ditched my alarm clock in favor of the iPhone. I have even started listening to the occasional podcast of my favorite radio shows…

Sometimes I catch myself engaged in rapt contemplation of its ineffable look and feel.

It is far from perfect, but it is in a different (and superior) category from any other phone.

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