My iPhone Thoughts

-   Oct 21, 2007 -   Hardware -   ,

I picked up an iPhone a few weeks back, right after the price drop.  At the time, I was hunting for a new phone as my Audiovox SMT5600 had finally died and I needed a something.  I thought the iPhone might work for me since I was already an AT&T customer and I had a nice plan with them already. Once the price drop was announced, I jumped.  I was really excited as I had been carrying my iPod and phone together everywhere so this seems like a great opportunity to move to a single device. I decided to write up my thoughts on the product now that the newness and wow factor have worn off a bit.  I see the iPhone as having 5 functions for me.  Phone, iPod, Web browser, PDA, and everything else.  As a phone, the iPhone has been surprisingly great.  This was the part that scared me the most going in and it really has been superb.  The reception is as good or better than my Audiovox (which was good by the way.)  The visual voice mail is really, really nice.  It would be a pain to go back to standard voice mail.  The contacts setup is also just fantastic.  Also, I just love the headphone click button for answering calls.  Just wonderful.  I can't say enough good things about the phone part of the product. Contrary to Steve Jobs, this is not the best iPod ever.  There are improvements and things that are much worse.  If I was using this just as an iPod, I'd switch back to my iPod video.  I spend most of my listening time listening to audiobooks and podcasts with some music mixed in as well.  The audiobook support is very weak.  It seems the iPhone is always losing my place in the book while the iPod video rarely did.  Also, the iPhone shows the progress of book differently treating the chapter breaks as their own tracks.  Instead of seeing one long 6 hour track, I might see 6 one hour tracks.  At first thought, it seems good, but in practice it is not, especially with the fact that I keep losing my place in the book.  Now, not only do I have to make a mental note of the minute I'm on in the book, I also have to remember the chapter.  Podcasts suffer from the same issue, except that here they are shorter and don't have chapter breaks. My other issues are minor.  The coverflow is bothersome and I can't find a way to turn it off.  Moving to a part of an audio track is not very precise, especially on the longer audiobook tracks. The good on the iPod though is that it does work.  Finding artist and tracks is easy.  Again, the headphone click for pause and double click for skip is brilliant.  I just love these headphones. The web browser as you might guess is great.  It could be 3G, but I've never had it in a mobile so I don't really know what I'm missing.  The zoom functionality makes most any page work well in the iPhone browser.  I've found myself using it much more than I expected. As a PDA, it works good.  Not great, but simply good.  I sync the calendar and contacts with my outlook and since all my email is in gmail, I've got that coming across ok as well.  The email support could be better, but since I mainly use my phone for reading email and glancing at subject lines, it is ok.  If I was a power emailer, I'd be disappointed with the setup I have.  I'm missing something to sync and read word docs or pdfs, but I personally wouldn't use this too much. The other pieces and parts of the iPhone are nice, but aren't the greatest.  I use the weather sometimes, but I prefer more details and often use a web bookmark to lookup weather.  I sometimes look through photos on the iPhone, take pictures, or watch a YouTube video.  It is very rarely though so far.  I've used the Maps once or twice, much less than I expected.  (I think maps could really use GPS, but I doubt that would make me use it that much more.)  The calculator, clock and notes are nice, but the stocks are worthless to me. Overall, I still am very happy with the device.  It really works well for my situation.  It is easily the best phone I've had and very close on the rest of the functions, all wrapped in a small sleek package.

 Charge your iPod via USB while using it

-   Jan 27, 2007 -   Audio, Hardware -  

Maybe I'm a bit slow, but it took me a little while to learn the trick of charging your iPod via my USB port and listen to it at the same time. I usually don't need to charge it and listen at the same time and rarely do, but sometimes I forget to charge it up and find myself at work with an almost dead iPod. Here are the steps that work for me: 1. Connect iPod to the PC. 2. Eject from iTunes (if you have iTunes installed) 3. Open Windows Explorer find your removable drive (iPod). 4. Right click the iPod drive and click Eject. 5. Wait a moment and the iPod menu should appear on your iPod.