Monday, July 06, 2009

iPhone Reloaded (reloaded)

So I haven't blogged in almost a month, since WWDC while I was on vacation, in fact. I mainly have been using Twitter since then, and I think the main reason is that Twitter is pretty much frictionless - while blogging requires actual thought and planning. Is microblogging the future? I dunno, but it is what I've been doing lately and there may be a reason. We're also about to finally put the long-awaited tech blog on my office website, and use that to post useful articles for clients and prospects. We've got a redesign coming shortly as well.

In the meantime, the iPhone 3.0 (iPhone 3GS) was released, and of course UPS brought me one on the first morning. I upgraded my phone right away (made easier because I'd already installed the 3.0 software on my older 3G on Wednesday). All has been well, with a few notes I'll give you bullet points of below:

• The 3GS is noticeably faster than the 3G in all areas of operation. The extra processing power and RAM make a big impact.

• Battery life is about the same - data-intensive operation in 3G mode still sucks down power pretty fast. I keep a charged Mophie JuicePack Air in my bag in case I'll be away from a charger all day. It hasn't run dry, but it goes down fast enough to notice. Rumor has it the next software update (3.1) will help power management somewhat, and that wouldn't surprise me.

• Bluetooth is basically a little screwy. Major upgrades seem to bring this out. In particular, I am having some trouble with my trusty Jawbone (now the Prime). It disconnects at bad times, and the LED disable function no longer works. I had similar issues when the 3G (and the 2.0 OS) shipped - I expect 3.1 to help a lot and it's due shortly. This is a trend. I've been working out lately with walks so I have a Motorola S9 Bluetooth stereo headset on the way. I'll report on that later but it seems to be the best option right now for stereo.

• Some have commented on wifi issues - I'm not really having any. I messed up my home DHCP server so I was having some other issues but all seems OK.

• Call quality is notably better, and places that were dead zones on the 3G are now OK. Amazingly. AT&T is still cruddy, but the 3GS is a good enough phone to compensate!

• I tested tethering using a hacked carrier file before I got the 3G. Results should be about the same as with the 3GS because the network hasn't been provisioned to the higher speeds that the 3GS supports. That said, the second AT&T makes tethering support official, I'm all over it and will happily ditch my Verizon EVDO card. Oh yeah. I'm expecting it to cost another $15, which will be par for smartphone tethering but a major cut from the $60 I pay Verizon right now.

• The new "oleophobic" screen? Maybe, but I put a protector on it about 5 minutes after I took it out of the box. So no feedback there.

• People are complaining about heat issues, too. I don't doubt them but I am having no such problems. And mine is white, too.

• The camera is better, and I like the new focus and metering functions. It'd be nice if a hardware button triggered the shutter, but I'm OK with it as-is. I haven't really played with video too much yet because we do most of our video on an HD camcorder.

So in a nutshell, this phone is swank. Plus I got to give my wife a 3G in the deal! That's a no-lose proposition.