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Hi folks,


I’m writing this today to describe the thought processes on how I came to decide to be an iPhone user. I thought it would be necessary to explain as I find a number of people, myself included, finding multiple reasons not to crossover. The word crossover would seem adequate as the iPhone running on a scaled down Mac OS X is truly a revolutionary device quite unlike any other as you will soon realise.

For the many of us who are already accustomed to the ubiquitous Finnish, Korean and Japanese-Swedish mobile phone brands, the iPhone differs most significantly in its ease of operation. My opinion and findings are listed as 10 points (by no means exhaustive) below:

  1. On accessing applications on the different pages, you have to admit that flipping to page 5 and tapping on an app all by finger action is easier and more natural than the usual first pressing the menu button, followed by a series of alternating joystick or D-pad manoeuvres and key-presses.
  2. Whilst the iPhone may not have some of the features of other phones in the market (such as hard disk capabilities out of the box to facilitate file transfers, an infrared port which would otherwise have made it an excellent universal touchscreen remote control,  and a front camera for 3G video calls, to name a few), it does its core functions as a phone and multimedia device very well, with such simplicity that makes you wonder why all phones couldn’t just operate in that manner. It’s all in the user interface and built-in sensors. It is a paragon of hardware and software working in tandem and in complete harmony.
  3. As the iPhone does not rely on hardware buttons for any form of input, it allows the operating system and software applications to customize the input options on the screen. Options may be increased on-screen to minimize otherwise redundant key-presses, or reduced to avoid complexities and confusion. The on-screen keyboard and the way it allows umlauts and foreign characters to be keyed in is one such example.
  4. The iPhone does not require you to close any application once you are done. You may choose to force an application to close should you want to do that, but as a book suggests, this is not really necessary. With a 256MB RAM and rumoured 800MHz processor underclocked to 600Mhz, the iPhone 3G S remains speedy and zippy even with a number of applications open in the background. Crashes and hangs do not seem to occur as frequent as a Windows Mobile device, if ever. At least this has been reported by some who have had experience on both platforms.
  5. Of course, an iPhone is rather large in size – bigger than your average mobile phone, but flatter (12.3 mm) and lighter (135 g) than most. While its large size may be a bane to some, it is also a boon to those who appreciate a good screen real estate. Similar in screen size to the XDAs of yesteryears, its 3.5-inch screen allows sizable buttons to be displayed, such that even users with gigantic fingerpads would have no problems hitting them accurately. A large screen with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixel at 163 pixels per inch also means fonts could be displayed at a larger-than-normal size, whilst still allowing a fair amount of information on a single screen without the need for much scrolling.
  6. The built-in accelerometer also made it possible to do away with key-presses to change screen orientation. A typical key-press sequence on a regular phone would be something like Options followed by Rotate Screen, followed by Left or Right. A change in the screen orientation from portrait to landscape on the iPhone is achieved simply by rotating the device 90-degrees to its side. Although the accelerometer is built into some other phones such as the Nokia N95 (such as the one I am currently using), the flow from one orientation to another isn’t quite as smoothly rendered as on the iPhone. As mentioned above, hardware and software working in complete harmony.
  7. A proximity sensor on the iPhone also tells the device to switch the screen off when placed next to your ear during a phone call, saving precious battery life and avoiding any accidental and unintentional key-presses for those with clumsy thumbs.
  8. On the iPhone 3G S, a built-in magnetometer allows a pre-installed compass to function instantaneously the moment the app is activated. For the urban dwellers who have no use for a compass, the magnetometer would allow users to know immediately which direction they are facing when running Google Maps, a feature that would have been useful in my Nokia N95 when I run Maps on GPS – when I am stationary close to a highway divider, sometimes Maps gets confused which side of the highway I am on, alternating between to and fro, until I start moving again! With Google Maps now, you will immediately know your orientation, i.e. which side of the map you are facing. In that respect, the iPhone becomes a more effective digital map than your conventional paper map!
  9. One of the great things about the iPhone is Safari and its ease of use when browsing the web. With intelligent selection of div containers and zoom by tap or pinch out, surfing the web on a mobile device for long period at a time is no longer a pain. This was recently conveyed to me by a friend, who surfed the web for 2 whole hours using Safari on his iPod Touch, something he could not imagine doing on his Nokia N95, which uses the same Safari web browser!
  10. If I have not made it clear before, I’ll say it now again. The user interface on the iPhone is not only ergonomic, but eye candy to the user who appreciates well-planned and well-designed on-screen layouts. It adds to the overall thrill in mobile device usage, whether it is answering a phone call, keying entries into Calendar, or running one of the many free apps already available and downloadable from Apple’s App Store!


If you are still not totally convinced about getting the iPhone 3G S to replace your existing mobile device, I would urge you to view the Tour Guide and TV Ads for the iPhone 3G S available at Apple’s website. And if that doesn’t do the trick still, then by all means keep your existing Finnish, Korean or Japanese-Swedish mobile phone. It must be a very good model. Then again, the generated interest on the iPhone has been the result of great hype and media attention, purportedly by blogs such as this as well.

There are other new features such as Voice Control and onboard video trimming that I did not touch on. However, the above are just my thoughts prior to being a true blue user, as I have yet to receive my unit, due to arrive in the next few weeks. Until then, I hope my expectations and enthusiasm on this superb device would not wane or fade altogether.

Fingers crossed-over,

Devon Buy


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