Wednesday, July 23, 2008

iPhone review

Well my script actually worked and did score me an iPhone. Ran it and noticed the Short Hills mall had all three versions in stock and my wife went over. Turns out I had to be there to because I was the primary on the previous account so I left work a little early.

First impressions are that it's awesome. The main reason I got it was for the integration between it and the mac. So far everything has been seamless. I first went into the mail app on the phone at the mall so I hadn't synced up yet. First, you select Gmail, put in my gmail username and password and that was it. I saw no apparent way to add other mail accounts and was a little bummed at first. My fears were for naught as when I later synced with my mac, it pulled in my other mail account. Right now I can just pull but there are services to push (MobileMe being mac's solution) but I'm not that concerned about it yet.

Calendar integration is seamless as well. Syncing with my mac synced all my schedules to the iPhone. Haven't had it that long to tell if there are issues, none have popped up yet so we'll see. Same with my contacts from the Address Book. The only downside was I hadn't updated address book in a while so some of my numbers weren't in there. Definately not the phone's fault though.

There are a lot of apps available on Apple's AppStore, some are free, some are reasonable and some are outrageously priced. I'll start with the free ones first.

Pandora - This is the online radio station pandora. It's free but amazing. Experienced a couple hickups on the way to work this morning where only part of a song played and then skipped. (I'm guessing didn't fully download or something) But for the most part worked well for my commute. I highly recommend this app.

MobileNews - This is basically just a news source for Associated Press news. I've avoided the NYT app because people seem to be complaining that it's slow. MobileNews has been pretty good. My area is not supported for the "Local News" feature and the interface could use some polishing but it's not bad. They also have a web based version which is optimized for the iPhone.

AIM - AOL instant messenger for your iPhone. This was actually the first app I installed to let my coworker know I got an iPhone. Not spectacular but not terrible. Basic instant messaging.

Tomatoes - This is the Rotten Tomatoes website's app. Starts with a text box for you to type in a movie. Typing in a movie then searched for that movie in their database. Gives you a basic summary of the movie and their rating. Summary is only one iTunes screen high. Clicking on the movie name at the top brings you to the web page for said movie but in doing so, exits the Tomatoes app and brings you to the Rotten Tomates page for that movie. Probably wouldn't be terrible if the page it takes you to was optimized for the iPhone but it's not. Will probably use as a quick reference for movies I'm not familiar with. Could be better.

PhoneSaber - Ok, no point to this, it's a lightsaber, you can pick your color beam and swing your iPhone around to make lightsaber sounds. Pointless and a waste of space but I still have it on my iPhone to uhhh... show people how useless it is, yeah, that's it.

Now for the paid apps, these are ones I've actually spent money on. To be fair, I have a credit card that gives me reward points in iTunes cards so I haven't really paid for it, but in a way I have.

Crash Bandikoot Nitro Kart 3d - Graphics are very good and you tilt the phone to turn. Very addictive. Nice use of the controls.

Monkey Ball - Another pretty cool game that uses the motion features of the iPhone to tilt the platform. This moves a monkey in a ball and you go around picking up bananas. A little tricky to get used to but fun.

Well that's it for the Apps I'm going to review today. I have a few more apps on my phone but haven't used them enough to tell if I like them or not yet. So stay tuned. Overall the iPhone has not disappointed.

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