Which is why I’ve been a bit surprised at how lame some of the iPhone functionality is, giving the massive adoption rate and couple of revisions its gone through. Yes, Virginia – I’m over the honeymoon phase, and onto the phase where I try to answer my iPhone in my pocket in 3C weather with gloves on, and I miss the call because the only way to answer is to have a bare finger slide across the screen.
I guess I should have known that the battery wouldn’t hold up to several hours worth of Gmapping (useful when wandering around the outskirts of Paris looking for an apartment), but I was pleased to see it will stay alive over night if it’s on 20% of its battery power.
App switching speed is not what is advertised on the slick apple campaigns – but I knew that. However, it’s really stunning how poorly some apps deal with Edge data transfer rates (app developer’s problem, I know, not Apple’s). There are several apps – Del.icio.us Bookmakrs for example – tht stall on Edge even though it’s only transferring text!
Music streamers also choke, but that I can understand. If I’m walking around downtown Paris – bathed in 3G connectivity – my Last.FM will stall every other song. LiveRadio (Orange’s internet radio app) has a lot of promise, but the load time for the radio station lists is terrible – and it hangs while trying to load, so if you want to answer a phone call during that time, for example, no can do.
Which brings me to my short list of iPhone desires:
- No copy and paste?…..
- Streaming radio apps that do not cut off when you switch apps. Is it that hard to create a background process? I ask this honestly, not facetiously…..
- Fast preview loading. If I want to see a list – of radio stations, bookmarks, whatever – load the text list quickly first. Once I’ve decided what I want to see, I can wait a little longer to load the full text / image / media.
- Some sort of password management / keychain. Wow, wouldn’t it be col if there was an OpenID app for iPhone (haven’t looked yet…)
- What’s with the volume on the iPod? My phone calls blow my ears out, but my music – with decent volume on my iPod, sucks on the iPhone….
And so as not to end on a sour note: As predicted I have become addicted to my iPhone and so here are my essential apps, in case there is anyone stil out there who has yet to get an iPhone or yet to get one of these apps:
- Facebook for iPhone: A Facebook junky mostly because my main network is all my friends I left behind in San Francisco, this is a great tool for me. I saw the ripple effect happen among my friends when they saw my automatic update “Greg installed Facebook for the iPhone”….
- WritingPad: A “cursive” way of writing (but don’t think Palm Pilot’s old styls shorthand) that is faster and more reliable. Works with built-in email, but not other applications.
- Last.FM / Pandora / Live Radio: Three great streaming services – when you have wifi or 3G at your beck and call. The last is an Orange (France Telecom)-specific app for subscribers only – and to be honest, it’s a bit of a dog. But it gives you essentiallyt eh same access to online radios around the world that iTunes does – which I have not yet seen on another app (doesn’t mean I’ve done a bunch of searching).
- Glacon Lite (link opens your iTunes): an addictive and short game. And for those wondering what the other addictive, colored-ball game is – reMovem Lite. Also a good one.
- Metro Paris: A great iPhone version of the indispensable RATP interactive map. My biggest complaint is that the iPhone app does not include the full RER lines.
- Fring: Initially a Skype (and other chat / VOIP service) gateway, it’s now an all-social-web aggregator/sharing/kitchen sink. Haven’t tested the latency of Skype voice calls….
- WordReference (iTunes link): a must for living and working in France
- NetNewsWire: Although the only thing really feed is my wife’s blog, and The Daily Blah (no, not that one…)
- Bookmarks (iTunes link): An iPhone app for your Del.icio.us booksmarks. If you’ve got hundreds like I do, you need this to browse them effectively.
Websites with good mobile service:
- MonRAPT: a simple interface for looking up routes. A free alternative to the full app described above – designed by my friend Shakaman here at af83.com
- iBackPack: A CSS hack you have to put into yoru BackPack pages that renders them nicely for the iPhone.
And one to leave on – a new app I discovered putting together this list – Leaflets….. looks good…..