Apple said that it “redefined” the phone with the release of the iPhone, and it indeed did! And in so many ways as you will see described in the next few days.
Activating the Apple iPhone took just a couple of minutes. Once I downloaded the latest version if iTunes and connected the iPhone to the Computer via the USB cable, I was guided through the activation process, which was completed successfully and quickly. Once it was activated, the iPhone accompanied me to the weekend’s activities in the city of San Francisco (I didn’t have time to synchronize my data and setup e-mail yet, but it is the weekend anyway).
My first call using the Apple iPhone
My first call was to my friend Peter and it started by unlocking the device. You might think that this would involve pressing some specific key followed by the Star key or something like this. Not true. Unlocking the iPhone is a matter of sliding a “virtual” sliding bar from left to right using your finger on the touchscreen.
Once it was unlocked, and the main menu appeared, I tapped the phone button (again, it is all virtual, so the phone button is just another icon displayed on the touchscreen, which you tap with your finger), and then the keypad button, and then the actual phone number on the large keypad that got displayed on the touchscreen. The touchscreen is very pleasant and takes input in several ways as we will see soon. The headset is a stereo headset that is almost identical to the iPod headset, but with a microphone.
Finding the “Slanted Door” restaurant in San Francisco
The next task of the day was finding the “Slanted Door” restaurant in San Francisco. Okay let us put the iPhone to the test here. I tapped on the Maps button (the virtual “button” that is displayed on the touchscreen) and then on the location field and it happened! The QWERTY keyboard got displayed on the touchscreen.
The Apple iPhone keyboard
The keyboard is a pleasure to work with. It gives you immediate feedback by displaying the letter you type in very large font in the Keyboard area right above the letter you just typed. This way, you know exactly which letter you ended up typing without having to look at the text field you are filling above (which would take your attention away from the keys). They keyboard also gives you an audible feedback. When you make a mistake, the Apple iPhone displayed the corrected version of what you’re trying to type, and you can accept the corrected version by simply pressing the space bar and continuing to type, or you can tap on it and therefore ignore it. While it took me a few tries to get used to it, this is already becoming easy and I am finding myself looking forward to the next time I type.
Back to the Maps
The maps, which seem to be powered by Google Maps, work pretty much like the Google Maps on the desktop, with some nice additions. Once the map is displayed, you can start moving it with your finger by dragging it, just like you would use the mouse with Google Maps on your desktop. Once the map got displayed, the Slanted Door location appeared, marked by a red pin and a text label. Tapping the blue arrow next to the text label displayed the details of the location including phone number, street address, web address, and buttons to get the directions to here or from here. You also have the option to switch to satellite view.
Zooming in and out on the iPhone Maps is accomplished by double tapping (that is to zoom in), or tapping with two fingers (that is to zoom out).
The tapping on the touchscreen so far
Tapping once seems to be like clicking the mouse.
Tapping twice (or double-tapping) is like double clicking the mouse.
Tapping with 2 fingers is a new one, and it seems here to reverse what the double tapping did.
Dragging with your finger on the touchscreen allows you to move the displayed item around so you can see other areas.