My UK iPhone is Great – Part 2

Living With The iPhone

Eventually figured out how to get the SIM card in, switched on and was running straight away.

The first day of use was great. I hadn’t downloaded any podcasts so just browsed to TWiT and streamed it over the 3G network and there were no glitches in 90 minutes.

My iPhone hasn’t once decided to reboot itself even though its been put through its paces. A couple of apps have gracefully crashed during use though.

The iPhone 3G is all about the apps and for me is what was missing from the original. I had opted for the Ipod Touch over the iPhone, but couldn’t resist the iPhone 3G.

My first two downloads were Band and Super Monkey Ball as previewed at the WWDC. Band is great little app which is superb fun. A raft of instruments with a recording loop to allow you to build up the layers into a song. Really easy to use but it doesn’t help if you are musically restricted. Super Monkey Ball is a great game from Sega which uses the accelerometer. It’s simple to pick up, super easy to play and great to look at. Did anyone know that the iPhone was going to look this good? It’s a phone!

Another great demo app for the Accelerometer technology is iPint. There are three levels of game which involve sliding a pint across the bar to your mate, tilting the iPhone to direct your pint. Once completed, the reward is a pint which empties as you drink it, a great party trick.

Morocco is an alternative name for Reversi which is an alternate name for Othello. Whatever the name, you’ll recognise the game and this is a great implementation. It allows play against the iPhone or another player. It also has a hint function which shows all the available moves and is great for playing against the iPhone or to assist someone who is learning to play for the first time.

Light is so obvious it had to be done. A bright white screen which can act as a torch – and why not. Phone Saber definitely didn’t have to be done but I’m pleased they did. Yes, it swooshes as you wave it around!

Twitterific is a neat way to view tweets from everyone you’re following. The scrolling and positioning on reopening the app seems a bit random between last viewed tweet and most recent tweet. The in-app web browser is useful as it removes the need to leave the app to view links but still provides the option to leap out into Safari. Posting tweets is made easy using the iPhone popup keyboard.

The Facebook app is really simple but only allows you to view status updates and photos, and interact using chat and mail. There are no links to the myriad of third party Facebook apps in Safari. It has a unique feature which is the ability to post a photo from your iPhone onto your Facebook account. Update: latest version also gives access to the Wall and photo albums.

Remote is a great way to show off, for me, a pointless yet briliant integration of iPhone, Mac and iTunes.

A neat free feature is the ability to place a web shortcut on the main iPhone screen e.g. shortcuts to Google Showtimes or BBC News Headlines. The real beauty being that you can watch the trailers before deciding which film to watch and then when you’re watching the film and it has “that actress who was in the thing with oojamaflip” you can hop onto IMDB and find out!

Despite what others are saying, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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My UK iPhone Is Great – Part 1

Buying the iPhone

There have been a lot of complaints about how badly the iPhone has been rolled out so I thought I should add my voice and take the opposite view by saying that my iPhone is great and has been from the start.

I had preregistered my email address with both O2 and Carphone Warehouse just to have both bases covered. On Tuesday morning at 8:02 I received an email from O2 saying that the iPhone was available for order immediately. By 8:28 I had completed the transaction and had an email confirmation. It was way too easy and a great relief that I didn’t have to queue at a shop on Saturday morning as I had planned, which in hindsight is even better because there was nothing to queue for by then.

It was delivered as promised on Friday and I was up and running with a new O2 number immediately. The longest part of the whole process was waiting on the phone for 20 minutes to port over my previous number. This was no hassle and had completed on Tuesday afternoon as expected.

After being a loyal foolish customer of Orange for nearly 10 years, I’ve now hopped to O2 via 3 in less than 18 months.

Paying for the iPhone

This is without doubt the most expensive mobile phone contract I’ve ever had. At £30/month it’s a lot less than the majority of people are paying for a non-iPhone contract. It includes only 75 minutes talk and 125 texts but importantly it has an unlimited data plan. That’s unlimited surfing, unlimited emails, unlimited YouTube viewing, unlimited Twittering, unlimited Facebook updating – how am I going to have time to talk or text anyone!

At the moment I subscribe to podcasts in iTunes for download onto the iPhone but could just as easily be streaming them over the 3G network. With the YouTube app I can watch as many videos as the battery will allow and that looks to be standing up pretty well.

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