five minutes with the iphone

walked up to the apple store at 58th and 5th during my lunch hour. i figured that today would be a good day to venture there to see the new products, what with the terrible weather.

and it was. the apple store was indeed merely very crowded, and not packed so tightly with people that you could not move. and i saw the new imacs (very attractive — maybe that could replace the hdtv in the living room?) and got a chance to play with an iphone.

i’ve read all about them, but i’ve never actually seen one other than brief flashes. and i’ve never actually held one. my first impression was very good. it felt heavy enough to be substantial without being weighty — it gives one the impression of being a well-constructed singular thing, like it was hand-carved from a solid piece of metal.

and the screen is very impressive. it doesn’t noticeably smudge or get fingerprints on it, and the glare is really no problem indoors, though i don’t know what viewing while outdoors would be like.

i tried surfing the web — it seemed relatively fast, though i’m not sure if it was on wi-fi or the at&t network. i’d guess wi-fi. the iphone version of safari, the browser, was absolutely stunning. the pages were crystal clear, and zooming in and out worked perfectly.

i tapped on the address bar and tried typing “queerspace.com”. i’ve read that you should just keep typing and let the built-in error correction handle things. so i did that. maybe “queerspace.com” isn’t a fair test — what i got was qiwersoveee.com or something similar. it took quite a bit of effort to get “queerspace.com” into the address bar correctly. i’d guess that you’d get better with time, and that it would learn from your mistakes and all. i’ve never used a blackberry, so i don’t know how i’d do with an actual micro-keyboard. but with the iphone touch keyboard, i was all thumbs, and not in a good way.

basically, doing anything that didn’t involve the keyboard was intuitive and flawless. there’s no need for an owner’s manual, i’m sure. you wouldn’t need it. everything just made sense, and just worked.

google maps was cool, but in the end it was google maps. the widgets were cool, but in the end they were widgets.

the ipod worked spectacularly. scrolling through cover view and looking at songs was a breeze, and similarly scrolling through photos was easy and fun. i took a picture of myself with the camera and tried to email it to myself (again struggling with the typing of my email address), but the email wasn’t configured or something, so it wouldn’t leave the outbox. no dice there.

you tube videos played smoothly and were easy to access.

oh, and dialing the phone was easy. i called myself at work, and the sound quality of my voice mail message sounded clear and loud and perfect. much better than my current phone.

so, did i like it? absolutely. were there flaws? except for the keyboard, none that i could see. do i want one? yes, but not enough to shell out $600.

i’m glad i tried one. i’m betting the keyboard would get easier to use over time. someday i’ll have one.

but not yet. the new mac comes first.