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Initial review of iPhone

Saturday, June 30, 2007 by Dave Winer.

I just spent a couple of hours playing with my new iPhone. Permalink to this paragraph

I remember that the first few times I try a new cell phone, I wish it would just work the way my old one did. So I'm trying to factor that in, and imagine what it will be like to use it later, but it's not easy. Permalink to this paragraph

I was able to register with AT&T, choose a service plan, get a phone number, and make a phone call. I was able to use Google Maps to locate my house, and while YouTube was slow, and so was the email app, even though both were running over my fast wifi as opposed to the relatively slow AT&T network, they were all usable and useful, and in some cases represent features the Blackberry doesn't have, and would be nice to have. But there are optimizations I hope Apple makes soon.  Permalink to this paragraph

This is my fifth iPod, and it works differently from the last one. I like to use my iPod with manual synchronization, but that doesn't appear to be possible with this one. I'm not happy about that! I have my iPod act down, and I want to use this relatively small one (it has just a 4GB capacity) the same way I use my larger, 60GB video iPod. It doesn't seem possible.  Permalink to this paragraph

Look, all the other people reviewing the iPhone are gushing. I just don't have that in me, at least at the beginning.  Permalink to this paragraph

And there's a major usability problem with the Safari web browser, it's hard to believe that Apple didn't see and fix this problem before shipping, because it seems to make all websites unusable in the default configuration, with the default font choice, and there doesn't seem to be a way to change their choice of font. Is it possible they made this choice so that the TV commercial would look good, and forgot to test the browser the way real people will use it? I must be missing something?? Permalink to this paragraph

(After watching the commercial I have an idea how this might work. There seems to be a tapping interface that makes the text larger. Hmmm.) Permalink to this paragraph

Given that all developers are going to be using Safari as their development platform, this problem seems vexing.  Permalink to this paragraph

I took a couple of screen shots to illustrate. Permalink to this paragraph

Here's my Blackberry, in its default configuration, being used to read this weblog. You can click on the picture to enlarge it. Permalink to this paragraph

The Blackberry isn't very stylish... Permalink to this paragraph

And here's the same site on my iPhone. My eyesight isn't great, but I can't imagine even someone with perfect eyesight being able to read this. Permalink to this paragraph

The iPhone is elegant... Permalink to this paragraph

Has anyone figured out how to change the default font size in Safari? Permalink to this paragraph

Postscript about "initial" reviews.  Permalink to this paragraph

Dan Gillmor: "This feels like a beta product." Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 6/30/2007; 10:17:03 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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