This is the last day of the 9 day experiment from the Apple iPhone. This is the time to summarize my findings. Even though I will do so today, I will continue to work with the Apple iPhone for some time, and continue to report my observations on the 81-day-experiment blog.
The touch screen is quite an innovation, the ability to manipulate the screen pages, in a way that mimics paper pages, is very natural and very practical.
Flipping pages in the Weather application is a nice example. Another nice visual effect is in the notes application where flipping pages mimics how we flip pages in a real notepad.
When it comes to the keyboard, the keyboard is a pleasure to work with. It didn’t take much time to get used to it. The correction feature is quite useful. So let us say I type 'Thos' instead of 'This', the iPhone will suggest 'This', and I can just press the space bar to accept it.
The magnifying glass, which appears when you press and hold on an area on the touchscreen, allows you to easily and accurately position the cursor in the statement or inside a word.
Now let us talk about browsing and maps, these are areas where the iPhone takes the smartphone concept and applications to the next level. Again the multi-page browsing is quite useful, not to mention the 'pinching open' and 'pinching close' to zoom in and zoom out, and the ability to just move the page content around to seem different areas of the page. It is truly the web at your finger tips.
And do you miss your iPod? Well, not really because with the iPhone, you get the best of both worlds. So if you don’t have tens of thousands of songs and photos and videos, the iPhone can be your one and only device.
So what is the Apple iPhone missing?
I have talked to users who are not going to get the iPhone because it is not a 3G phone, and others because it does not have a Task list, or because it doesn’t allow you to edit documents, and others because it doesn’t record voice and video, and yet others because it is offered only by Cingular which is now AT&T. Other things that the iPhone doesn’t do is provide GPS capabilities out of the box.
It is likely that over time, the above issues will be addressed. The question is when, and for now, the question is 'how do they play in your decision to get the iPhone or not'?
Another aspect that we haven’t talked about yet is how the iPhone works with backend server applications or not (such as Exchange and Lotus Notes), and how it handles security, both issues being important for corporate users. The general theme we are hearing now is that these are the weakpoints of the iPhone. I might try to sync my iPhone with a Microsoft Exchange account to see what happens. So keep an eye on the 81-day-experiment blog to get the updates.
So is the iPhone a business phone? I am sure this will be the debate of the century until either the iPhone becomes clearly a business phone addressing the backend server and sercurity issues, or until it is clearly declared as a pro-sumer phone that many business users will use, but not necessarily the big corporation types. Or you may see these types have the blackberry in one pocket, and after hours, pull the iPhone from the other pocket.