The iPhone Isn't Really Wireless

Over the past weekend I have had the opportunity to play with my brand spanking new 3G iPhone. I’ve also had enough time to find out what’s good and what’s bad about this new “game changing” device. My first impression is a mixed one. As soon as I was able to get the iPhone activated on Friday I began downloading applications and browsing the web.

Problems Ahead

Within a matter of hours the phone was no longer charged and I had to plug it into the wall. This trend continued throughout the weekend and I slowly began to realize that the phone is not really the best wireless device because you need to be plugged into the wall half the day. The maximum amount of usage I’ve got out of a charge so far is 2 hours 45 minutes before plugging it into the wall. While the phone can sit on standby for longer, I didn’t get the phone to leave it sitting in my pocket. I want to use it!

Unlike some other users, I also found that my GPS did not work effectively. After trying to change a number of settings I decided to put the phone on my dashboard while I drove to lunch. Soon enough the GPS was working but by the end of the weekend, I was having the same issues again: the GPS was telling me I was in Boston when I was actually in D.C.

One other issue that I had was that occasionally applications were not loading completely and were instead crashing. If the application wasn’t crashing it was freezing occasionally while I was using it. Finally, some applications simply weren’t built well. So far I have found no more than six applications that I will use regularly: Facebook, Pandora, Twitteriffic, midomi, Monkey Ball and Loopt. So this is where my problems end.

A Revolutionary Device

In the face of all my problems, there is still hope for the device. This morning Alex Iskold gave the new iPhone rave reviews declaring it the “new personal computer.” In spite of all the iPhone’s downfalls, it definitely is a step toward total mobile computing. The best part about the iPhone? It’s browsing capabilities.

I spent the entire weekend on FriendFeed and Twitter because it was a joy to browse the sites using the iPhone. While I was only able to browse for two hours at a time, I found myself spending more time browsing via my iPhone instead of my actual computer even though it was across the room. I also enjoyed downloading new applications.

Those applications that did work were pretty amazing. The gaming potential on the iPhone is amazing. The new Monkey Ball application highlights how revolutionary this device really is. With 3D graphics and its ability to leverage the accelerometer, this game has proven to be a landmark. Pandora worked shockingly well. The songs stream flawlessly and my custom channels that I had pre-programmed were found instantly.

The only downfall to the applications? You can’t “minimize” the applications and do something else. As soon as you exit an application it completely shuts down making it practically impossible to multi-task on the phone. I have spent more time using this phone than any other mobile device I have previously used simply because the interface continues to delight.

If you are involved in the technology industry in some way, I think this device is a must have. Without using it, you can’t understand the potential that lies ahead for mobile. If you aren’t in the industry, this device is a great gadget to have but I don’t think it’s a necessity. Then again, the 1 million people that purchase the phone this weekend can’t be wrong, can they?