what does the iPhone have/doesn't have

29 Jun 2007 - 3:34pm
7 years ago
11 replies
1842 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

David Pogue put together a great FAQ about the iPhone.
http://tinyurl.com/2gvtl7

For example, Todd, there is no iChat.

Now, remember I said my company is buying me one, but after reading
this, I'm not sure I would buy one. Here's why? remember I want to
focus on hardware issues, but there are some important software issues
for me that became apparent. Maybe these can be changed in the
firmware at a later date. Let's hope so:

1. can't use as a WAN modem for my laptop - This is a major thing I
want in my next phone.
2. no bluetooth support except for handset type peripherals. You can't
connect to your laptop for example to transfer files, sync iTunes,
etc.
3. can only use an AT&T sim card. ok, I know why they did this, but I
travel overseas for work, and being able to rent a sim is helpful.
4. Can't wifi to sync; can't wifi to share
5. Only Yahoo mail has a push feature. Imap and POP and Gmail and AOL
are every 15min. pull. IMAP - pull? Yucko. It does say here htere is
no exchange support, but I've read elsewhere that there is. Maybe this
is an "update" since Dave got his.
6. No LED flash is a tad annoying.

To Pauric's major contention about battery life it seems that they do
spend a lot of time protecting the batter life for you. Its the major
reason they claim to have not gone 3G on the WWAN. But I don't mind
recharging every day.

Now, these are very personal reasons to not get the iPhone. And let's
face it, for some people these can be quite meaningless, for others
they have even more reasons. It is one product and it will not fill
the entire space over night. It is amazing, but it is expensive, and
has its limitations.

The fact remains that there are many other good options out there
depending on your point of view. I mean, would I turn down a Nokia N95
or an e61a at this point. hell no!
HTC Touch, Helio Ocean, Blackjack, MOTOQm9 (in China you also get the
ROKRe6 and MING from Moto), Tons of Samsung options, MOTORIZR 8, etc.
Oh! and blackberries have gotten pretty good over the years as well.

iPhone does some stuff nifty and they have done an amazing job of
controlling the operator in ways that no one before except Helio (by
becoming their own operator) has ever done. And kudos just for shakin'
up that barrel of monkeys.

The world is different today (in 1.5 hours) for many reasons due to
this release whether you want one of these beauties or not.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

29 Jun 2007 - 3:49pm
Manu Sharma
2003

Dave wrote:

> 1. can't use as a WAN modem for my laptop - This is a major thing
> I want in my next phone.

Why's this so important? Any place you have wifi, you don't need the
phone. Any place you have cellular network you can use connect a
PCMCIA card with a data plan (such as the Air Card by US Cellular)
to the laptop directly.

Manu

Orange Hues
New Delhi, India
http://orangehues.com/blog/

29 Jun 2007 - 6:43pm
Dave Malouf
2005

On 6/29/07, Manu Sharma <manu at orangehues.com> wrote:
> Dave wrote:
>
> > 1. can't use as a WAN modem for my laptop - This is a major thing
> > I want in my next phone.
>
> Why's this so important? Any place you have wifi, you don't need the
> phone. Any place you have cellular network you can use connect a
> PCMCIA card with a data plan (such as the Air Card by US Cellular)
> to the laptop directly.

In the US anyway, you need to have a separate plan to use the Air
Card. I want one plan for the phone and the laptop and when I had a
Blackberry w/ screamin' EVDO it was amazingly helpful. Especially when
I was on the train commuting between NY and LI. But I also find it
useful when I visit places w/o WiFi or w/ pay for or restrictive wifi.

The iPhone won't let me do work stuff by itself for example. I just
need a WWAN modem for some stuff, but not a lot of stuff. It happens
often enough that it is a deal breaker for me. Many phones in the US
on Verizon and Sprint for example say "can be used as a modem" such as
blackberry, blackjack and MotoQ.

It might be a country thing though.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

30 Jun 2007 - 12:44am
Manu Sharma
2003

I wrote:

> Any place you have cellular network you can connect a PCMCIA card
> with a data plan (such as the AirCard by US Cellular) to the
> laptop directly.

Dave's response:

> In the US anyway, you need to have a separate plan to use the Air
> Card. I want one plan for the phone and the laptop...

The AT&T plans for the iPhone come with free data transfer which is
probably why you can't use it as a modem for a computer. Apple wants
you to surf on your iPhone as much as you wish but they also don't
want you to use the plan as a free ISP.

Therefore an additional PC Card for the laptop with a data plan may
not be an extra expense.

And no it's not a country thing, that's how you'd have to do it in
India.

Manu

Orange Hues
New Delhi, India
http://orangehues.com/blog/

30 Jun 2007 - 6:54am
Dave Malouf
2005

Manu,
If I got a blackjack from AT&T I could use it for both a modem and
phone w/ web access. Why not an iPhone? Same basic plan. I don't get
why Apple would care and if AT&T cares, then they are just gouging
iPhone users. It makes no sense to me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17785

30 Jun 2007 - 8:44am
Manu Sharma
2003

Dave wrote:

> If I got a blackjack from AT&T I could use it for both a modem and
> phone w/ web access. Why not an iPhone? Same basic plan. I don't
> get
why Apple would care and if AT&T cares, then they are just gouging
iPhone users. It makes no sense to me.

I think I answered that in my last email. It's because AT&T is
providing free unlimited data transfer for the iPhone (I don't think
blackjack has that). So if you you are able to use the iPhone as a
modem, you wouldn't need an ISP anymore. That's more benefit than
they intended. It wouldn't work out for AT&T if everyone started
consuming their bandwidth to use it as an ISP for the computer.

Manu

30 Jun 2007 - 9:10am
.pauric
2006

"To Pauric's major contention about battery life it seems that they
do spend a lot of time protecting the batter life for you."

You know, I think I've gone on about the battery a little too much.
Its a biggie for me, but in that.. its a personal opinion 'bug'.

I'm a fairly heavy Apple user, but I also dislike Apple a -lot- and
have let that bias my opinion of the iPhone, possibly justified but
without and hard evidence.

iPods have a 15% cpu overhead decrypting DRM. My powerbook G4's dvd
player is locked to region 2.. I made the mistake of thinking I could
just hack it open and watch my legally bought US & Euro dvds. I can
hack my PC though. The iTunes ecosystem/story is killer but I cant
play my legally bought music on my other players (easily). And now
the unecrypted iTunes music has secret data stored in it.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005282.php

Point being, Apple time and time again have demonstrated to me a
disconnect between Design and Experience. Form over functionality.
Telling us on one hand their leading UCD (which is true) but on the
other they're abusing user rights.

They hit the 80% nail on the head and I resent them because I'm in
the 20. I'm biased and a proud Apple using non-apple-fanboy. I'm
an engineer who gets a prickly chill down his spine when the
Marketingspeak hides the engineering-reality.

Put it another way Dave, take out the itunes DRM and that 15% budget
could probably power your bluetooth requirement.

The iPhone is killer, but it could -easily- still be better. Yes, in
reality business decisions must play a part in product design, but
thats not our role.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17785

30 Jun 2007 - 8:01am
Karthik Ram
2007

- I found the onscreen querty keypad hard to get used to (the .com button
for the browser keypad was a nice addition). The store sales guy said that I
can't switch to landscape mode for the keypad (and the auto switch from
landscape to portrait and back happened only inside photo viewer and maps).
- The browser (with the pinch gesture to zoom) and music player were really
cool.

On 6/29/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> David Pogue put together a great FAQ about the iPhone.
> http://tinyurl.com/2gvtl7
>
> For example, Todd, there is no iChat.
>
> Now, remember I said my company is buying me one, but after reading
> this, I'm not sure I would buy one. Here's why? remember I want to
> focus on hardware issues, but there are some important software issues
> for me that became apparent. Maybe these can be changed in the
> firmware at a later date. Let's hope so:
>
> 1. can't use as a WAN modem for my laptop - This is a major thing I
> want in my next phone.
> 2. no bluetooth support except for handset type peripherals. You can't
> connect to your laptop for example to transfer files, sync iTunes,
> etc.
> 3. can only use an AT&T sim card. ok, I know why they did this, but I
> travel overseas for work, and being able to rent a sim is helpful.
> 4. Can't wifi to sync; can't wifi to share
> 5. Only Yahoo mail has a push feature. Imap and POP and Gmail and AOL
> are every 15min. pull. IMAP - pull? Yucko. It does say here htere is
> no exchange support, but I've read elsewhere that there is. Maybe this
> is an "update" since Dave got his.
> 6. No LED flash is a tad annoying.
>
> To Pauric's major contention about battery life it seems that they do
> spend a lot of time protecting the batter life for you. Its the major
> reason they claim to have not gone 3G on the WWAN. But I don't mind
> recharging every day.
>
> Now, these are very personal reasons to not get the iPhone. And let's
> face it, for some people these can be quite meaningless, for others
> they have even more reasons. It is one product and it will not fill
> the entire space over night. It is amazing, but it is expensive, and
> has its limitations.
>
> The fact remains that there are many other good options out there
> depending on your point of view. I mean, would I turn down a Nokia N95
> or an e61a at this point. hell no!
> HTC Touch, Helio Ocean, Blackjack, MOTOQm9 (in China you also get the
> ROKRe6 and MING from Moto), Tons of Samsung options, MOTORIZR 8, etc.
> Oh! and blackberries have gotten pretty good over the years as well.
>
> iPhone does some stuff nifty and they have done an amazing job of
> controlling the operator in ways that no one before except Helio (by
> becoming their own operator) has ever done. And kudos just for shakin'
> up that barrel of monkeys.
>
> The world is different today (in 1.5 hours) for many reasons due to
> this release whether you want one of these beauties or not.
>
> -- dave
>
> --
> David Malouf
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixda.org/
> http://motorola.com/
> ________________________________________________________________
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30 Jun 2007 - 12:14pm
Dave Malouf
2005

[First a note on the beta site: you can't easily spawn a new thread
... I.e. this is a tangent, I'm about to create and I've decided it
better to keep it in the original thread and use the beta site, then
go back to email where I can edit the subject line. Something for us
to think about.]

pauric said: "The iPhone is killer, but it could -easily- still be
better. Yes, in reality business decisions must play a part in
product design, but thats not our role."

If our role does not include business thinking and business aptitude,
then I think we are in danger. If I am not thinking about business
realities when I design products and systems then I am doing the
person who pays my salary a disservice.

1. We have to understand business realities
2. We have to speak in terms of the business
3. We have to include the business need as a primary stake holder in
our designs

Now the "it could be better part".
I hate this criticism. It is useless. Why? b/c designs can always be
better. There comes a point in a product lifecycle where you have to
say "good enough" and by comparison to almost every competing
product out there today, I can't imagine this missing the mark for
its market--media heavy mass-market consumer. This is not a business
tool.

I'm OK that it didn't hit the mark for me. I have some outlier
issues. (sniff, sniff), but I also completely appreciate what it has
done. From a mobile software perspective the browser, and text input
technology in a finger based system just blows everything else out of
the water. These design elements alone deserve our deconstruction,
admiration, and where legal our imitation.

But to say, "it could be better." seem useless. I haven't released
anything that I felt couldn't be better. That is just reality.

BTW, I really appreciate your thoughts on the closed systems of
Apple. I like the way you articulated that through very relevant and
good examples. Thanx!

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17785

30 Jun 2007 - 1:09pm
.pauric
2006

I think we are in agreement, I just didnt articulate myself well
enough as usual.

'Business decisions' I'm not saying we ignore the ship date
holding off for some ideal design solution. Its not our role in the
sense that generally -we- represent the user, someone else brings the
business goals to the table... back and forth for a while until
everyone is generally happy and we head in to dev. Trust me, I've
been working for a company that just turned in it 21st consecutive
quarterly loss, I know all too well about bowing down to business
pressure.(COMS)

'It could have been better' There is no such thing as the ideal
design. What I was trying to put across was that the design could
have easily been better but for some lously DRM requirements. Apple
drove market share with the iPod through itunes lock-in and abuse of
user rights. I'm voicing an objection to a business decision that
affects the design/experience. In my domain I make my point,
generally about stupid feature-creep, listen to the counter argument
and move on.

Let me re-phrase my earlier statement: I appreciate where the
business decision is coming from, I dont like it, I feel the product
could have easily been better without the DRM requirement from
Hollywood and the Music industry who are trying to rip me a 2nd #$%^

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17785

30 Jun 2007 - 1:49pm
Thomas Vander Wal
2004

I have been getting answers to some of these and other questions of mine...

On 6/29/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> David Pogue put together a great FAQ about the iPhone.
> http://tinyurl.com/2gvtl7
>
> For example, Todd, there is no iChat.
>
> Now, remember I said my company is buying me one, but after reading
> this, I'm not sure I would buy one. Here's why? remember I want to
> focus on hardware issues, but there are some important software issues
> for me that became apparent. Maybe these can be changed in the
> firmware at a later date. Let's hope so:
>
> 1. can't use as a WAN modem for my laptop - This is a major thing I
> want in my next phone.

This is rather normal for Cingular/AT&T. Some phones will do this
only if using a cable you buy from Cingular (the phones are often
crippled of this feature as most phones have had this functionality
for years).

> 2. no bluetooth support except for handset type peripherals. You can't
> connect to your laptop for example to transfer files, sync iTunes,
> etc.

This is often crippled on Cingular phones (Sprint and Verizon too),
although heavy complains can get it uncrippled . One of the biggest
reasons I want an unlocked phone.

> 3. can only use an AT&T sim card. ok, I know why they did this, but I
> travel overseas for work, and being able to rent a sim is helpful.

I completely agree. There is some wiggle room in this, but Apple nor
ATT is saying what other SIM cards or carriers will work.

> 4. Can't wifi to sync; can't wifi to share

When iTunes went onto Windows machines (iTunes 5?) some of the wifi
functionality in iTunes stopped. Part of this could also be the ATT
desire to buy an additional cable to sync for most other phones.

> 5. Only Yahoo mail has a push feature. Imap and POP and Gmail and AOL
> are every 15min. pull. IMAP - pull? Yucko. It does say here htere is
> no exchange support, but I've read elsewhere that there is. Maybe this
> is an "update" since Dave got his.

There is an Exchange interface for push e-mail that is a 3rd party
vendor that will be providing this Monday. The deal is also related to
ATT and their agreements not iPhone capability.

> 6. No LED flash is a tad annoying.

I always thought this was a benefit. The led is something I
personally find annoying. On my Treo the LED still blinks even after
the phone has crashed (after 9 months of use this is the normal state
for all 4 of my Treos I have owned).

> To Pauric's major contention about battery life it seems that they do
> spend a lot of time protecting the batter life for you. Its the major
> reason they claim to have not gone 3G on the WWAN. But I don't mind
> recharging every day.

Battery life was doubled last week.

Adding to the list....

7. No chat client, this could be solved with web chat clients, but not
optimally. This was an ATT push as they want the SMS paying traffic.

8. No Skype/VOIP which make Wifi access less interesting to some degree.

9. It is a locked phone. For international travel this is really a
need (ATT international data roaming is extortionist and their voice
rates are behind T-Mobile). The ability to pop SIM chips in and out is
a better model, but the ability to do this is questionable. As of last
night it was shown it can be done, but what cards it will accept is of
question.

10. Tied to ATT, this is not something I look forward to. Their sales
staff is painful to deal with (don't know a US carrier that has good
sales staff), but their customer services is greatly lacking as well
(for customer service I actually like dealing with T-Mobile, Verizon
is horrible, and Sprint is passable in my opinion).

I need a new phone badly, but the international, locked phone, ATT, no
chat, & no Skype have me looking at the Nokia E61i to replace the
toiletware Treo 650.

I was fascinated to see the people who bought the iPhone yesterday.
Many with the Windows smartphones were anxious to get rid of them,
interaction designers amaze that the phones were better than
advertised, and soccer moms (and dads) who want who find their Razors
not easy to use for messaging, internet, and photos and their
Blackberries too complicated. Then there were the Apple faithful, who
were a smaller percentage than I imagined.

I found some ATT employees yesterday bothered that they knew demand
was going to be higher than their management expected and their
management did not believe the Apple hype. Also Verizon employees
wondering what their ownership was thinking passing on the iPhone.

All the best,
Thomas

30 Jun 2007 - 2:54pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Pauric, I love your rephrasing! Thanx!

As for the usual UCD phrase, "We represent the user", I have
learned to not buy it any more. Successful Designers represent the
design and all facets of the design problem. This siloing of problem
expertise to me has caused in my opinion some of the issues between
business and design and engineering and design (Ok, design and anyone
not design). I think a better approach is to think of ourselves as the
experts of the form, and experts of the process to getting at the
form. We share the rule of function with marketing and technology.

I think we have a special understanding about the user vs. thinking
about the customer, but our goal is not to own that role but to
evangelize what we understand to the entire organization.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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