Sunday, July 13, 2008

The iVerdict 2.0

So far, I'd have to pronounce the iPhone 2.0 as a qualified Win.  A full Win isn't awarded until a couple of days into the workweek when I have answers to a couple of the things I've seen.

Here's the Win/Fail count by item:

Firmware 2.0: Win.  Many operations (like using the Photo app with my 8.5kPhoto library) are faster.  Mobile Safari protects from ad pages and pop-ups better, but crashes more often on really complicated stuff.  Contacts search is huge.  This Win pretty much balances out all the Fail awards, it's so big.

Battery life: Possibly Fail.  I had push on for my Exchange-ish account (I use Kerio Mail Server 6.5 at work), but after the first day of normal usage, for some reason last night it caught in a loop or something and drained half my battery in about an hour.  I assume a bug.  Until I figure it out I went back to timed download.  If push does this regularly then battery life gets a Fail, but still no Win unless 3g life turns out good.

AT&T 3g - Fail.  3g speed rocks, but often I find myself unable to get any bars of 3g.  And the phone has some trouble switching back and forth.  Indications online appear to be that this is an AT&T issue - they had similar capacity problems the first week or so after iPhone 1.0.  So for causing the same issues two years running AT&T gets a bag full of Fail.

GPS: Win.  Works well, locks quickly, and is pretty simple.  Well-integrated with Maps.

Form factor: Big Win.  The 3g is more comfortable in the hand and slides into a pocket better.  The new speakers are clearly better.  The buttons are even better, and the headphone jack is normal.

Activations: Massive, unprecedented Fail on day 1.  Not so bad now.  Apple worked around the worst of it, thankfully, and I got mine activated without too much trouble once I made it home.

Peripheral compatibility: Win, but the Firewire loophole is now shut.  Until this model, you could use older Firewire-based chargers to charge iPhones.  No more.  Otherwise, compatibility is good.

Capacity: Win.  16 GB is mega-useful.  My old one was full.

As with the old model, expect a minor firmware update to be distributed in 2-4 weeks that fixes the vast majority of the issues I and others notice.  Despite the things I've dinged here, overall there is a lot more polish on the 2.0 phone than was on the 1.0 at initial release.  That's important.  And the App Store is awesome.  I can't even do justice to it in this post.