The iPhone and Me

      4 Comments on The iPhone and Me

When I got a Palm Pilot some years back I was somewhat awed by the fact that it was as powerful as the first few generations of the original Macintosh and fit in my hand. But it was not as convenient as I had hoped and data entry with the stylus was far from reliable. Combined with my original Motorola flip phone and my 32K DLink mp3 player all clipped to my belt I looked like bizarro version of Batman (minus the white faceted skin and strange speech pattern, I think?).

What I learned from that experience in the late nineties was that what I wanted was a single device that could perform like a handheld computer, play media, use networks, and be my phone. What I wanted was what was to become the smart phone. The early smart phones were simply combined my three original devices into one and they were lame. The screens were too small, they used a stylus, and had insufficient memory to do anything and hold anything.

Then came the iPhone. It was stunning. It had everything I wanted in a single package. But it wasn’t available in here in Canada. But with the introduction of the second-generation 3g version it became available. Mine arrived yesterday.

It is too early to write about it in depth. So far it works as I had hoped and has a battery that lasts just a day when all the networking (3g, Wi-Fi, & Bluetooth) are activated. I figure I can squeeze two days out of the battery if I remember to shutdown the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not needed. Shutting off the 3g also shuts down voice mail so it must be left on.

I have downloaded Shazam, Flashlight, and Solitaire. I have the development sdk loaded on my Mac and that is what I plan to look at today. I ordered a silicon case for it two weeks ago and it arrived the day before the phone arrived and after reading about the battery life I have placed an order for a car charger that should arrive shortly. These items were ordered through eBay from Chinese companies at a fraction of their cost (including shipping) over local stores.

And finally I want to thank Rogers, the cell phone provider that carries the iPhone in Canada. Had they carried the original iPhone when it came out I would be $600 poorer. But by sitting out for a year it has ended up costing me only $249. Now its off the programming manuals.

About Ken

I am the Program Coordinator and Chairperson of the Computer Science Technology program at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada. I am also a Program Consultant to and part-time instructor in the Computer Institute of Concordia University's School of Extended Learning.

4 thoughts on “The iPhone and Me

  1. Simon

    What kind of application are you going to create ?

    I’ve had a hard time stopping myself from getting one. The Google mobile OS Android is what keeps me under control. I really want to see if it can be as amazing as what Apple has to offer. The device will not be as beautiful as the iPhone that’s for sure.

    What I also wonder is if the developer’s community for Android will be as great as the iPhone. The apps are what makes these device fun.

    How do you like the OS on the phone ?

  2. Ken Post author

    In 1990 I wrote a version of the game Mastermind as an exercise in learning to program for Windows 3.1 so I thought I would start there.

    There is not much to say about the OS unless I jailbreak the phone. On the other hand the development tools for the phone are quite complete. The $99 program to allow you to put your apps on your phone or in the app store seems quite slick (the sdk is free but you can only run your apps on the simulator).

    As for Android, it comes down to the hardware. While many cell phones support Java the differences in the hardware (screen size, storage space, etc.) made development uninteresting to me. With Apple you know exactly what is in the hands of your users.

    Thanks for the comments!

  3. Paulius

    I think that the iPhone is a great little device, but the monthly prices for Canada have to come down. Yes, it’s also expensive in the states, but the unlimited 3G data access seals the deal (versus the plans from Rogers which have bandwidth limits of a few gigabytes a month).

    The true potential of the iPhone (and iPod Touch) is the fact that it can run finally run software in it’s “official” and un-jailbroken state. I’m really excited to see what kind of applications are going to be developed for it. Unfortunately, my feelings towards Apple’s closed apps store are rather negative.

    Many very talented developers have been denied from having their application published in the store, yet so many terrible and low quality applications make it in there (remember the “I am rich” app?). The way how the store is designed also discourages open source and free applications. Let’s be honest, what kind of person would spend hours developing a nice applications and then on top of that pay $99 a year to have it published.

    Despite this, I still love the iPhone for how it has changed the world. Before the iPhone, most people used to hate their cellphones. Nowadays, many manufacturers actually started to pay attention to the small details in the user interface and software that is shipped with the phone. I’ve encountered countless people who actually love their LG, Samsung, or yet Nokia phones.

    I like what Nokia is doing with their “open” approaches and advertising. The idea of having Linux running on a cellphone opens up countless possibilities. I’m currently using a Nokia Internet Tablet and I love it. It’s a small device which runs a variant of Debian Linux, a battery which lasts for days, a screen that’s higher resolution than the iPhone, and it’s amazing. It runs tons of open source applications, can be used to surf the Internet, has wifi, bluetooth, and costs only a fraction of the an iPhone.

    The downside with a non-Apple device is that the interface is rather lacking. I’ve been burnt by proprietary software far too many times and I think that the user interface should be one of the least of my worries.

    Anyhow, congratulations on your iPhone and entering the iWorld!

  4. Rochell

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after looking at some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m certainly delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

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