I played with an iPhone

I needed an outfit for a couple of weddings this summer that aren’t for a few weeks, but I purposefully went to Ridgedale this weekend to shop, mainly due to its Apple store.

I didn’t even have to wait to get my hands on one. I just had to walk past the security guard and grab one (yes, a security guard–how often does a product release need a security guard!) It’s not quite as small as I imagined it. It’s a bit bigger than the biggest iPod. The one I played with was already heavily smudged and kind of gross after not even 24 hours of use. I don’t see how this can be prevented, and it’s kind of a  turn off. But of course, this is how the iPhone works.

It is really intuitive. So intuitive, that you assume that what you want to do with your fingers to, say, move the cursor on a web text field, will not work. But it does. I decided to look up my employer’s stock price, and I couldn’t delete the pre-filled in text because the cursor was to the left of the text and there’s no Delete key like on a keyboard. So what would I do with a mouse? Move the cursor to the far right of the text. Sure enough, touch your finger to the end of the text, and the cursor moves there.

However, typing is a major challenge. I don’t know how a person with big thumbs could work that keyboard. The letters are tiny, but unlike the similarly tiny Blackberry keyboard, you can’t feel your thumb over a button to know if you’re centered. I typed in the Notepad feature and consistently typed the letter to the left of the one I actually wanted, though it didn’t even look like I had my thumb on the correct letter. So I consciously moved my thumb to the right more, and got better results. There is a decent auto-suggest, but then you have to move your thumbs from the keypad area to take the suggestion. So, I suppose it’s learnable, but seriously, don’t bother if you’ve got fat fingers.

One thing I really liked about the web function is that it zooms in to the area you are filling out. I did have an issue with text size though, when just reading mlb.com (the first page that came up for some reason), and couldn’t figure out how to make it bigger.  There’s no browser menus available (What about bookmarks?). Oh, and another neat thing was that the address bar disappears until you click the top of the screen. Very cool.

I played some music and though it’s neat that you can do other things on it while music is playing, I wish there was a shortcut to control the music from the “desktop” (for lack of a better term). I also watched a clip from “Lost” on the iPhone, and it looked absolutely fantastic. It was much crisper than the iPod Video and at least as crisp as the best internet video. The video controls disappear a second after the video starts, but you just need to tap the screen once to retrieve them just as quickly. Super nice.

I wish I would have asked one of the Apple employees  if there’s a lock feature because I don’t understand how you could prevent pocket calls or video or music or weather or whatever. None of the employees said a word to me, which was disappointing. Maybe I won’t get my iMac from them after all.

Anyway, no, the iPhone is not for me. I mean, it’s really fucking cool, but it’s a bit much. If I had extra hundreds of dollars lying around, I’d rather buy a Wii.

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