opinion

iPhone Redux

XBIZ World Magazine
In an attempt to gain a fuller appreciation of the breakthrough technology that the iPhone represents, XBIZ World Magazine asked several industry players to weigh in on the iPhone.

Here's what they had to say:

The iPhone is the phone of choice for both business and personal. Having used both a Blackberry8800 (BB8800) and an iPhone, I can safely say that the iPhone is just as useful in regards to your corporate needs as it is orgasmic in regards to its personal usefulness.

Feedback issues: One review, I believe it was Engadget.com, said the iPhone picks up a lot of feedback from other phones. This is true. I can't set it next to my office phone without picking up feedback, particularly within moments of receiving a call or text on the iPhone. That said, who cares? I mean, really? I don't even see how this played a role in any review. Move the phone to the other side of your desk. Do people consider this issue before purchasing a cell phone? Man, I really hope not.

Visual Voicemail: This feature alone makes the iPhone the absolute best phone on the market. I can't even tell you what a time saver this is, not to mention how much easier it makes everything. This feature is simply awesome. Visual Voicemail essentially allows you to pick and choose specific messages you would like to hear, in an order that you choose. Every message is displayed by name. Furthermore, every message plays in an actual player, allowing you to fast-forward or rewind to whatever part of the message you choose.

Email: Reviews are saying that the email setup isn't corporate enough. Being a big pocket email user myself, I have to agree that the iPhone isn't the best email client around. The way you delete emails can get a touch tedious, however, the system works well for me. BB has a better delete system; in addition, it has Exchange syncing ability (something I anticipate Apple adding within the year). With the iPhone, you must sync to pull calendar events. Here is the thing: I don't delete emails on my phone. Essentially, I use my laptop for deleting messages. On my phone, I really only care about receiving and sending messages; in which case, the iPhone works perfectly. The iPhone will reflect changes made on your PC/laptop.

Size: I would actually be OK if it were bigger, not smaller. The size is fine. I am a guy, my jeans have good-sized pockets, and I don't need a phone the size of a Nano. I wouldn't like that … plus, the iPhone feels solid as a rock, something I love. And it isn't that big, to me it seems small.

iPod: The iPod feature on this phone is 100 times better than the regular iPods. Your music is easy to find, your movies are organized and the display is brilliant.

Navigation: I absolutely love the touch scroll system. Finding names, numbers, emails or your favorite Culture Club song has never been easier. The right side of the iPhone is lined with small letters, allowing you to jump to a specific name group. The fast scrolling system allows you to cruise through all your contacts or songs; it feels as if you are turning a wheel.

Keyboard: I type a bit slower than I did on my BB8800, because being the iPhone is touch screen, its really tough to measure where your fingers are. I can live with it. I don't make a lot of errors anymore; I just type a touch slower and have to look at the screen. The larger screen makes up for it.

The iPhone is so great, I sometimes shed a tear over it. For those who say it isn't corporate enough, you should give it a one-week try. It may change your life.

– Cory Wayne, Director of Business Development, WegCash.com

Although I'm certainly not as much of a gadget geek as I once was, I have to admit that the iPhone strikes me as one of the best non-Internet innovations since TiVo.

The touchscreen qwerty keyboard has nice and BIG buttons and also even BIGGER popup visual assists that are a real help for old guys like me with fat fingers and failing eyesight.

The integration with my Mac is simply seamless. Being a Mac user for many years, I had absolutely no problem syncing it up with my various desktop applications. From the time I got my iPhone at the store and brought it home, within three hours my carrier account (Cingular) was transferred and all of my data was on the phone in an easy-to-find way.

This is a great improvement from my past Razr, on which I could rarely find anything and I never really did figure out how to use many of the advanced functions.

The web browser is a real web browser! Well, it's Safari, which has its issues, but you know what I mean. The really helpful feature is the ability to turn the iPhone sideways and see the big picture, and the "oh-so-cool enlarge it with your fingers" function that not only makes it feasible to read the web pages, but makes for a pretty nifty party trick to impress people at events. The major limitation at the time being is that it does not support Flash, but I hear that this will be in a forthcoming firmware update.

One of the best features for me is the synching of my Mac calendar, mail and address books without a lot of screwing around. Being on a Mac, this is usually a dicey procedure with other mobile phones, but the iPhone-to-Mac integration is fast and accurate as it all shares the same native backend programming.

SMS for dummies: I have a confession to make. It wasn't until I got my iPhone that I ever sent a text message.

But, I am now in the 21st century! Haven't even slightly figured out all of the shorthand language yet, but the iPhone SMS interface is easy to use and, as with all other features, shares info with the address book, email client and calendar.

But, every ray of sunshine casts a shadow, and I do have one big pet peeve about my iPhone: Without purchasing an unattractive and bulky Belkin adapter, you can't plug your headphones into the iPhone. The problem is in the physical design. Every miniplug except the one that comes with the iPhone is too wide to fit into the recessed port. Dumb! Oh, yeah. The onboard camera sucks as well, but if I want to take a picture, I'll use a Nikon.

But, aside from the headphone jack and crappy camera issue: I love my iPhone!

– Colin Rowntree, Owner, Wasteland.com

First off, I have to give it to Apple for their marketing; they hype everything so much and so well that you almost have to have it.

Their packaging of their products is also very impressive.

My main concern when watching Steve Jobs' introduction to the new iPhone was the keyboard. I love texting because of my busy schedule, and I've been texting for about seven years now. I think it's right to the point and a great way to communicate. So I was disappointed to find that I hate the keyboard on the iPhone; I hate it to text, I hate it to email. Going through your contacts list can be a pain in the ass, and is not as easy as on most phones.

My favorite thing on the iPhone is the voicemail. You can browse through all your messages and tap the one you want to hear, unlike calling in and skipping them all to get to the one you want to listen to.

With the new iPhones and the upgrades, my understanding is that you can't upload new applications from third parties anymore.

So, will I be buying the newer model? NO!!!

I am waiting for the newest version of the BlackBerry, which seems more business-friendly.

– CyberAge-Dave, Vice President, CyberAge.com

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