iPhone 2.0- The Good, The Bad and the (REALLY) Ugly

On July 14, 2008

We’re three days in.  The initial excitement is over. The stores are waiting to be restocked. We’ve all had a chance to check out a few applications. There is a lot about which to be impressed.  However,  it is now clear that news about iPhone firmware 2.0 and the App Store isn’t all good. Mixed in with the good has been some bad and some ugly.  And the ugly is REALLY UGLY.

Apps: the ones available are a mixed bag- some great, others are good,
and a handful are just plain lousy. Dimitri said it all last night– there are some bad apples in the bag.

Syncing: with iTunes now takes forever. When looking to sync your iPhone you had better make sure you have a nice cup of coffee and a good book because you will be waiting a while. I don’t know why downloading applications to the iPhone over the air takes only a minute or two, but transferring them via iTunes takes many times that, but it does.

Stability: since August (when I got my iPhone) it was rock solid. Alas, the operative word here is "WAS". Since upgrading to the new firmware, I feel like I am back in my Windows Mobile days. Yup, it is deja vu all over again (In fact, early reports from friends suggest that the new WM OS actually IS stable. So there Apple!)  I’m not sure if it’s the firmware itself, specific applications or the combination of the two, but my phone has crashed more than once and I am not alone.

Battery Life:
again, the operative word here is "WAS".  Having come from a 3G Windows Mobile device with among the worst battery life imaginable, I was beyond happy with the longevity of my iPhone. I could use it non-stop most of the day and not have an issue. I would email, browse, listen to some music and still have some battery life left when I got home. In fact, from August until last Friday I only ran out of juice once. The battery life was excellent.  Since upgrading my phone, the battery drains faster than kitchen sink. Sadly, I can’t even blame the 3G connection or the battery requiring a bit of "seasoning" because… I’m using a GEN 1 iPhone.  There is no 3G and the battery, while not worn, is well seasoned.  I’m not sure what’s going on- it could be the firmware itself, it could be Mobile
Me, it could be some of the apps that I’m running, it could be the fact that I am "playing" a bit more than normal. I suspect it’s a combination of all of the above.

So do I regret upgrading to the new firmware? Am I ready to search my hard drive for the old firmware (1.1.4) and re-load? Do I want my "old" iPhone back?  NO WAY!

I love some of the apps I am using. They have already transformed my iPhone from the best smartphone around into the best handheld computing device I have ever owned.

I took great pleasure removing an assortment of Web Clippings from my home  screen last night: "NewsGator"? Don’t need that now that NetNewsWire has a resident app.  "Evernote"? Don’t need to web clipping now that an app is available. "iGoogle"? Gone now that Google has an app available.

The bottom line for me is this: Maybe some day I will find my "perfect device", but thus far, it is an illusive beast. Technology has always been about trade-offs. If you want fast data speeds then your battery life is going to suffer. If you want something light and portable then you will sacrifice screen real estate, or run-time or speed.

I love my MacBook Air. Would I like a disk drive? Sure, but it would make the device larger. Would I love a replaceable battery? Sure, but again, it would
increase the size. Would I love the power or screen size of a MacBook Pro? Sure I would, but those are the trade-offs I make to have a 3lbs Mac.

So for now, I will give up battery life and make sure I have a charger or external power reserve with me at all times. I will suffer with some instability for now will hope that Apple soon puts out a firmware upgrade that fixes both issues. But while I wait, I will continue enjoying a game of Cro-Mag Racer waiting for me on my iPhone.