Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

iPhone: Day Three Thoughts


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I've had an iPhone for three days now. I'm absolutely thoroughly impressed. Apple has done an amazing job with the iPhone.

My wife, Sylva, and I went to the Apple Store on Friday evening. We stayed away from the lines early in the day. My brother went to the store right around 6PM and the place was a mad house. There was a long line. He called us later around 8PM and said the line was gone.

So, we headed out. I wasn't intending to buy it right there and then. Problem was it worked as advertised. The touch interface works, the browser works (more about that later), the email program works... in usual Apple fashion it works. Are there some issues. Yes, there are, more on those in a later post.

So, we each got an 8GB and headed home. My activation was completely smooth. I moved my number from Verizon Wireless. The slowest part of the process was downloading iTunes 7.3 over my DSL line.

The iPhone is smaller than I thought it was going to be. It fits very nicely in the hand. It's gorgeous. The fit... the finish is top notch.

Occasionally a product comes along that has "it". It's hard to define what "it" is. The Swatch had "it", the Walkman had "it", the original iMac had "it", the iPod has "it", question is does the iPhone have "it"? [1] I'm not going to attempt to answer that question now, except to say I think it might.

The Safari web browser is amazing. The resolution independent interface totally works. Large scale sites are navigable and readable. Tap in... tap out.. works. Mouse overs work. The layouts work. CSS works. Javascript works. Ajax works on it. It's pretty amazing. There are some teething issues. The browser has crashed on me a few times on very complicated sites, but in my opinion that's to be expected. Time will improve the product.

This morning I spent some time looking around for iPhone apps. As we all know the iPhone is a closed platform. Apple has not released a developers tool kit. The Apple party line is that iPhone applications will be "Web 2.0" applications. When I first heard this I was king of disappointed, even pissed off. Well, I think Apple might be onto something.

Now we have a portable Web 2.0 Ajax enabled device that slips into a shirt pocket. There aren't a lot of applications out there yet. The most iPhone'ish one I found this morning was Neven Mrgan's Onetrip shopping list application. Is it simple? Yes. Almost childishly simple. But in that lies the possibility, the potential.

Now, every web developer out there, every guy with some PHP/Java/Python, Javascript and HTML skills is an iPhone developer.