First 24 Hours with the iPhone

July 1, 2007

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in July 2007.

A friend asked me yesterday if the iPhone was a life-changing device. I sandbagged my reply: It’s an amazing device; the user interface is beautiful. While not entirely intuitive, it is fun. Figuring out how to do X becomes a challenge. The reward is some nifty feature that wasn’t immediately apparent. Game theory says that positive intermittent feedback is a good thing, and the iPhone has this in spades.

Besides occasional lockups doing weird things with Mail + Exchange, the only real problem I encountered was when I plugged it into my car adapter. Music played not through the stereo, but through the iPhone’s tiny speakers. Apparently it will not be a replacement for my lost iPod quite yet.

To go back to Anne’s question, my answer was the browser. In the first 24 hours of having the device, just having a full, real browser saved me considerable time. Sure, the EDGE data is slow (it’s like going back in time to the 56k days), but it’s a real, full-blown, no-foolin browser in my pocket.

My hat is off to the iPhone team, and in particular, my one favorite feature: natural zooming into areas of the page. Double-tap a column in the New York Times site or any blog, and the iPhone browser zooms in and sizes to that column.

Scrollbars—and fixed resolution—are made irrelevant in a single guesture.

Now if only it worked with my car adapter. Steve?