How could we look back over ten years of iCreate product reviews without featuring the first iPhone? When we got our hands on it back in 2007 it was not only the first time we’d seen iOS (then known as iPhone OS) but the first time we’d seen a true touch-screen device from Apple. Back then there was no App Store, no home screen wallpapers and no built-in 3G.
Learn more… • www.apple.com/iphone
Key features • Visual voicemail • Touch screen • Intuitive interface
Available from… • Apple: www.apple.com • AT&T: www.wireless.att.com
For the past few years, smartphone users around the world have been waiting for advancement in functionality and quality. While some believed the iPhone would become the greatest product the technology world has ever seen, others viewed the new device as a guaranteed flop with typing and battery issues. Now, finally, comes the moment of truth.
While opening the iPhone packaging, it immediately becomes apparent that Apple is responsible for this device. With a stylish box and great presentation, you’re immediately immersed in the world of iPhone. Included in the box is a manual called ‘Finger Tips’ that gives you some quick facts on how to make the most of your iPhone. Believe it or not, this comes in quite handy when you’re trying to figure out how to zoom in on pictures or simply find your way around the groundbreaking device. Besides the manual, the iPhone comes with nice sounding earbuds (that unfortunately plague you with discomfort after prolonged use). Along with the earbuds, there is a dock, USB cord and a USB power adaptor that allows you to plug the device into any wall outlet instead of your computer.
When you remove all of the materials from the box, you need to plug your iPhone into your computer and get ready for activation. It will only be able to sync with your computer if it’s running iTunes 7.3 or higher. Downloading the update is quick and easy, and installation proved to be just as simple.
Once the iPhone is connected to a Mac or PC, iTunes immediately recognises the device and starts the process of activating it. After inputting personal information and choosing a service plan, we get down to the task of getting it ready to use. In a matter of minutes, the iPhone is ready to go. Without a doubt, the activation process is better than any other mobile phone activation process and could easily become an industry trendsetter.
The iPhone’s design is simply gorgeous. With a unique look that’s second to none, it fits easily into your pocket. Its rugged screen, although susceptible to smudging, is impervious to scratching and easily visible in even the most direct sunlight. It would have been nice if Apple could have lengthened the screen a little to give it a more full-sized feeling, but then again it is so large compared to the video iPod, any size issues are quickly forgotten.
Although some people had reservations about the interface, the iPhone touch screen, keyboard and menus are superb. It may take a while to get comfortable with the keyboard, but once you do, we can guarantee you’ll never want to use a Treo or Blackberry keyboard ever again.
Much like Mac OS X, the iPhone features the same Safari and Mail icons on the bottom, which are flanked by phone and iPod functions. If you’re a Mail or Outlook user, the iPhone will sync with either and copy all of your settings onto the device. If not, you’ll unfortunately be forced to manually set up the Mail program, but it tends to be quite simple.
Browsing the web is better than any other experience on a mobile device to date. Unlike a Treo, the iPhone displays full-sized webpages and allows you to either tap the screen twice or use the ‘Pinch’ feature to zoom in. For those who are unaware of the ‘Pinch’ action, you take your index finger and thumb and either bring them together or separate them to zoom out or in, respectively. A very clever little function.
The iPhone is, hands down, the best iPod ever released. Not only does it offer 8GB of storage, but it also easily syncs with your iTunes library and sports a Cover Flow view where you can flick your way around your album art in a fashion that is quite similar to Front Row and the Apple TV interface. Even better is that the iPhone contains a built-in speaker that lets you listen to songs without the need for earbuds. That said, the speaker sounds tinny and could be better.
As a phone, the iPhone performs fine. In no way is it the best phone you have ever used, but it’s adequate, given the other features. The speaker phone function leaves much to be desired and tends to be of no use in crowded or loud environments. All in all, it seems Apple did not spend as much time on the actual phone performance as it should.
With a nice camera (but no camcorder) and a unique ‘Pinch’ feature that will surely impress friends, the iPhone is one of the most groundbreaking devices you’ll ever use. Although it features an average- performing phone and is of sluggish speed while connected to AT&T’s EDGE network, its wi-fi capability and all- round usefulness make this the best mobile on the market. Cast aside your doubts and believe the hype.