iPhone 4 Verdict? Awesome.

Got my iPhone 4 via FedEx. The 1-1/2 hours pre-ordering online was worth it. So far the darn thing is awesome. I love it. Here are some notes on my experience:

  • Display is so sharp. Kindle app text looks like paper. I can *easily* read even using the smallest font!
  • The ability to work with my work Exchange email/contacts and personal email/contacts separately or combined is wonderful.
    • NOTE: To sync a Google Apps account, the domain must have  “Enable Google Sync” enabled in the domain’s Google Apps Mobile settings section.
    • There’s a weird issue when using Google Apps email. Due to some issue with the way Google sets things up, the iPhone’s autolock timesout immediately causing you to have to enter your passcode alot. According to this forum posting, Google is going to fix it soon.
  • Very heavy, so fear of dropping is high.
  • Confirmed the antenna problem when you hold in your left hand. The Body Glove shell case I bought seems to fix. No big deal.
  • Multitasking! Can finally run Pandora in background while doing other things!
  • I wish there was some way to immediately close an app rather than having to go to the Multitasking ribbon, select and then close an app. I’ve heard though that iOS4 hibernates some apps, so even though they are there, they aren’t really running. You can’t really tell by looking at it. Also, supposedly it will eventually close apps and won’t keep adding to the ribbon forever. BTW, apps are ordered based on last used.
  • Very little shutter lag with camera. Seems to take nice pictures, but I haven’t really tested it much.
  • Was able to add my long-time ST:TNG ringtone by following the instructions here. Not as easy as on the Nokia, which lets you just point at any sound file, but, hey, it works. A little disappointed you can’t change the text message alert tone in a similar manner. How dumb.
  • Call quality on my side is way better than any Nokia I’ve had including my N97
  • The iPhone email client is lame. It’s weird how you have to mark folders in the settings or you can’t see their contents.

Apple’s self-inflicted DOS attack (aka iPhone pre-order)

Yes, I drank the Kool Aid this morning…about 2:30am. I had my Touch next to my bed with the alarm set to a strategic time and the Apple store page ready for quick reloading. It was about 1am, i think, when the page loaded and i knew it was time to get up and join the fun (aka chaos). Initially I tried Chrome, but switched to IE and FF thinking I didn’t want to run into any compatibility issues.

I saw the Twitter meltdown, but since their API was still working, I could read the tweets real-time on Google as I sat and patiently (but sleepily) attempted the pre-order process. Was I surprised that the Apple store site couldn’t handle the flood of traffic? No. Particularly when they had to interact with AT&T to get the upgrade eligibility, phone plans, etc. Was I surprised that the AT&T site allowed you to click Pre-order but only had the iPhone 3G models. No. AT&T is just lame.

Sure, I was aggravated that I had to enter my phone number, zip code, and last 4 digits of my social countless times, but I thought about all of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people trying to do the same exact thing and I understood why there were problems. C’mon, even Twitter with it’s 140-character text posts couldn’t handle the flood of traffic.

I read the frustrated tweets of would-be iPhone 4 pre-orderers pointing blame at Apple or AT&T for their seemingly futile purchase attempts. A few “I got it” posts lightly peppered the stream keeping the army of die hards’ hopes up.

AT&T got their act together after about 30 minutes, but even after getting to the very last click I closed the tab and continued to try through the Apple store. “Surely AT&T would F it up somehow,” I reasoned. I got to the last click many times on Apple.com only for it to sit and finally timeout. After about 1-1/2 hours of this circus I just gave in and completed the pre-order through AT&T. No problem at all. I figure the worst that can happen is I’ll have to wait a day or two extra. Of course, there is a high likelihood that Apple.com and AT&T will use the same fulfillment center since the phones come pre-activated, so there may be no difference which site you order from.

Despite what’s being reported, my feeling is that Apple knew it was impossible for the online pre-ordering to go smoothly initially. It’s like all the people leaving a sporting event at the end of the game. Sure, the facility plans the best they can, but in the end it’s always pandemonium that ultimately works itself out over time. There’s probably some formal name for this, but for now I’ll call it Doug’s Funnel Theory. If you overfill a funnel, the excess will overflow and miss the target, but some will make it to the destination. As the flow eventually tapers off and reaches the proper rate, everything makes it. I guess it’s more of a Law than a theory…

For the majority of Internet users that have no idea of how it works, I guess the process was broken. The reality is that it was probably working as designed.

Bye bye Nokia. Hello iPhone 4. (Part II)

A few days ago I posted my intention of dumping Nokia in favor of the new iPhone 4. Nothing has changed. However, Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 4 details has stirred up much debate and comparison to the upcoming Nokia N8. The thing that strikes me in those discussions is the comparison based on pure specs. The problem is that specs only tell part of the story. I bet that even my N97 would hold up well if you compared the specs to an iPhone. For example:

  • The N97 has a built in full QWERTY keyboard. *BUT*, it’s hard to type on and nearly impossible to see the letters if the back light goes on…at least on my white version.
  • The N97 uses a full multitasking OS. *BUT*, it’s so sluggish and inconsistent that it will have you pulling your hair out.
  • The N97 has a 5MP camera with flash and Carl Zeiss lens. *BUT* the flash bleeds into the picture making it unusable in low-light conditions. (Don’t even give the BS about using a black marker!)
  • The N97 has a removable battery. *BUT* the thing is a behemoth compared to the iPhone.
  • Nokia is a phone company first. *BUT* sometimes you can’t even answer the N97 because of the stupid UI. I always miss calls.
  • Symbian is open. Why then are there so many cool apps for the iPhone that don’t exist for Symbian? (I will say though that I’m going to miss Joikuspot and SymSMB.)

The better argument would be user experience. Pick up an iPhone and the experience is as smooth as butter. Pick up an N97 and you think you’re in hell. I have little hope that the N8 will fix all of the issues I have with the N97. I don’t want to be sitting waiting for the next firmware update hoping it will fix whatever issues I have.

I have been a Nokia lover since first seeing the N95. I loved that phone. There was nothing else like it. I am really sad that I have to jump ship. Of course. I’ll be glad to return if Nokia gets it act together.

Giving up on Nokia and going with iPhone 4

I have finally had it with Nokia and will be ordering an iPhone 4 on June 15th. Now, I love the openness of Symbian and hate the closeness of Apple. However, this (apparently) means I’m supposed to live with poorly designed hardware and software in my N97: terrible keyboard, flash bleeding, sluggish OS, memory issues, etc. After seeing what Apple is bringing with the iPhone 4, I have finally woken up. I honestly have little faith that the N8 will be everything I need it to be. There. I’ve said it.

The only reason I’ve truly been sticking with Nokia and Symbian is its ability to do WiFi tethering. However, now that AT&T has officially embraced tethering–albeit USB or bluetooth only–, that reason is less compelling. So now the only thing I’ll really miss when I get my iPhone 4 is the ability to tether my iPad to my phone. *BUT* I think that there is little reason for Apple not to approve a WiFi tethering app.

So long Nokia…it’s been nice knowing you. sniff sniff

Snagged an HP TM2 convertible touchscreen tablet for $709!

Got tired of waiting for the Acer 1825PT. Found the HP Touchsmart TM2 convertible tablet for just $709 plus tax using a $150 instant off and a $250 coupon code. Looks very sweet and supposedly better build qualities compared to 1825PT.

If you don’t know about these type of notebooks, the screen swivels around and closes so you can use it like a tablet. It has both a capacitive layer and active digitizer, so you can use your fingers or a pen stylus for input. Sweet!

Doesn’t have multi-touch trackpad, but I guess I can live without that since the screen has multi-touch. This puppy will replace my aging Motion Computing LE1700, which I’m hoping will fetch a good sum on eBay. Price seems like a steal for this baby. The deal even includes two batteries! Can’t wait. It will be my first Windows 7 machine as well as my first 64-bit OS. It won’t be my main machine so it should be a good way to figure out what I’m in for as far as 32-bit incompatibilities go.

Not sure when the deal expires, but here’s the discount info from techbargains.com:

HP has the HP TouchSmart tm2t Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 ULV 12″ Touchscreen Tablet Notebook Computer for $709.99 Free Shipping after Coupon Code: NBLB44897 (Exp Soon). Tax in most.

$1109.99 – $150 off instant – $250 off Code: NBLB44897$709.99 Free Shipping

The TouchSmart tm2t features a capacitive touchscreen enabling touch control using your fingers or a digital pen. The screen twists 180-degrees and folds down for display only use.

4.72lbs; 12.1″ touchscreen 1280×800 LED; Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 ULV @ 1.3GHz; 4GB; 500GB; 802.11n + bluetooth; Win7; ATI Radeon HD4550 512MB; webcam; two 6-cell batteries; 1yr warranty