Now that I have been using the iPhone 4 for a few weeks, I thought I would take some time to write a few notes about it. I assure you this won’t be as long as the iPad post, but would like to record some of my notes about the new phone.
Our contract was near its end (we bought the iPhone 3G a month or so after release). We were excited to see this years new iPhone, and when it was announced at WWDC 2010 – we instantly knew that it was our next phone. I (unlike a few people I know) didn’t spend all day reloading the page trying to order mine the day orders went on sale. Instead, after a few failed attempts – we pre-ordered both of ours through the new iOS Apple Store app (iTunes Link). After clearing a few things up with Apple (is this a true pre-order?, are we going to get one launch day?, etc), we waited a week for them to go on sale. On release day – I was rather worried. Sure enough, people were easily standing in line for 2-5 hours. I wasn’t going to go until after work – when the expected temperature was around 100. I went up there right around 5 – and to my amazement – there were only about 10 people in line. It took us only about 45 minutes in line and in the store to be up and running on our new phones.
So what do I think about it?
- The antenna issue is media overkill, its close to the best I have used. It’s not that bad, every phone does it, etc. I can easily replicate it in my house, but never had a connection problem due to it. Actually, I have better coverage than ever. Many stores that I continuously lost signal in easily work throughout the store.
- The screen is insane. It’s amazing how a change like that really changes your experience with the phone. And looking at anything else, its hard to believe we have lived with phones like this for so long. When I first used the phone, it was surreal. Now, its like the display just fades away. I enjoy reading on this phone, and look forward to more apps using this screen. Non-updated apps look OK, but kinda crappy at times too. I think I still like reading on the iPad more though, just due to the size.
- Very fast. I never used a 3GS for a real amount of time, but the iPhone 4 is insanely fast to me. After using the 3G for so long, I was used to waiting for things. Now I don’t feel that is an issue. Its nice for the camera to be up and ready in an instant.
- Great Cameras. The main camera is pretty awesome. I have taken a few shots with it – but nothing much. And the fact that it does HD video amazes me – and the reason I got the 32GB phone. It’s just been to hot outside to do much with it – so I still haven’t really used these cameras as much as I would like. The front facing camera is nice, and a welcome addition, but can’t say that I think I will use it much. The two images in this post are from the new phone.
- I hope this makes video chat even more mainstream. I personally don’t video chat as much as I would like to. I wish I used this feature on my computer more than I do. I just don’t chat with that many people online anymore, and never had much of a use for it. But I know plenty of people – non technical even – that use it all the time. Now that my phone has it – I hope to use this technology more. But all I have used FaceTime so far is to just test it out with the wife. I feel its very ‘this is cool, but what do we do with it’ right now. I also wished it integrated with iChat. I am sure this will all come at some point in the future.
- We bought bumpers. We both got cases right after we got the phone from Best Buy (only people locally with anything in stock). My first one just had too much friction. So we both picked up black bumpers. With last Friday’s press conference – we will probably be getting a refund for these unless one of the approved cases catches our eyes. We did this for two reasons: 1) to not grip the metal and have a better grip on the phone, and 2) lift the phone off the surface of a table. I keep my phone out all day long, and it worried me leaving flat on the desk (although there is a very slight height difference on the side – so it’s not actually on the table). The bumper has been great, even though its overpriced. I’m sure cheaper options will come up at some point, but its a decent case, and decently built. And with our rebates – they are free anyways. Although, if the rebate is in gift cards – we may pick up a dock or keyboard for the iPad.
- I don’t regret the iPad. Even though I have found myself using the iPad less since I got this phone, I still have different uses for the iPad. I prefer reading on it, writing on it, and some of the games. I feel that while a faster phone does make me want to use it more to do things – the iPad lets me do ‘other’ things better.
- iOS feels rushed/fragmented right now. I keep wanting to use fast app switching on the iPad. Certain features are on the iPad that I felt should have been in iOS 4.0. Also, I don’t personally like the various number of icon sizes needed – and not even Apple’s apps are fully upgraded. For example – the App Store still uses lower resolution icons for apps, which I don’t like. I think if it’s a Retina Display app – its icon should reflect that. This will all be worked out over time.