The morning after

OK, I have some sleep. The waiting-in-line with famous original Mac team members Kool Aid is wearing off.

I want to be snarky. Write a horrible review of the iPhone and tell you how it’s all a bad joke.

I want to tell you how the keyboard sucks. I want to tell you all about how the camera sucks. How it sucks for not coming with any video games. How the activation process was too difficult. How horrible it is that there isn’t a replaceable battery. That the device is already getting tons of finger prints and smudges on it. That the fonts on the browser are too small to read on many Web sites. That it wasn’t worth the time waiting in line (although you could have walked right into the Palo Alto store last night and picked one up).

Oh, this snarky review would continue to discuss what a tragedy it is that it doesn’t have 3G. That it doesn’t have Flash, or the .NET Framework, or the Java runtimes on it. That it’s not available to people in most of the world.

But then I start playing with the device and I find I overlook all these faults. My Nokia N95 doesn’t have any of these faults but it just isn’t as easy to use. Nor as fun. And the screen! Whenever I look back at my Nokia I feel like I’m using Windows 3.11 on a 640×480 screen again after I’ve gotten Windows 95 and am running it at 1024×768.

This phone is far from perfect. It has lots of weaknesses that Apple’s competitors can exploit. The snarky reviewer inside me can point them all out to you on this morning after if you’d like. But it really doesn’t matter. This phone drags you back to it even if you’re kicking and screaming and noticing the flaws.

But the other companies are only going to be able to keep Apple from taking massive market share if they dramatically push their phones forward.

Seriously there’s one customer who REALLY should think about not buying an iPhone: someone who uses a thumb keyboard phone like a Blackberry. The keyboard is frustrating to use if you are a heavy Blackberry user. That’s the one case where the iPhone’s other benefits will have a tough time counteracting those flaws.

For ME that’s not a big deal (I will never own a device with a thumb keyboard again because back in the 1990s when I owned a Blackberry I was such an addict to using it that I got repetitive stress problems and my hands started hurting. That pain went away when I lost that Blackberry in a cab in New Orleans back in 2000).

My #1 frustration this morning with the iPhone? Fonts. Dave Winer’s right. I want to change the default view on the Web browser to always be zoomed in.

So, what’s your “morning after” review?

I’ll have Patrick give his morning after review after he gets up. The poor kid was pushed to his breaking point. He was so tired that he didn’t even want to stick around to meet Steve Jobs. If you know Patrick you’d know that’s how you can really tell he was tired since meeting Steve Jobs is one of his life goals. Back later.

68 thoughts on “The morning after

  1. This is Version 1 — Apple will make this better — I have no doubt. But a very impressive intro to blow away a lot of competitors with a version 1 product.

    Can anyone imagine Microsoft or IBM or HP or Cisco or any other large tech company doing something this good in a version 1?

    Yes, I want more and I agree with many of the quibbles and criticisms I have read. There is a lot more that can be done. But after my phone activated early this morning I have spent a lot of time with a big grin on my face in admiration of how good this is for a version 1.

    I stood in line for 9 hours yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I met some great people with great love for design and innovation. I was back at the Palo Alto Stanford store today to get a headset for the car and there was a line out the door. I have no doubt that Apple will sell all of these they can make.

    Let’s go Apple — listen up and start adding feature and functions to improve this thing. Fast cycles and great design. I cannot wait to see what happens in this segment over the next 2 years.

    Thanks to my linemates for a great day!

  2. This is Version 1 — Apple will make this better — I have no doubt. But a very impressive intro to blow away a lot of competitors with a version 1 product.

    Can anyone imagine Microsoft or IBM or HP or Cisco or any other large tech company doing something this good in a version 1?

    Yes, I want more and I agree with many of the quibbles and criticisms I have read. There is a lot more that can be done. But after my phone activated early this morning I have spent a lot of time with a big grin on my face in admiration of how good this is for a version 1.

    I stood in line for 9 hours yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I met some great people with great love for design and innovation. I was back at the Palo Alto Stanford store today to get a headset for the car and there was a line out the door. I have no doubt that Apple will sell all of these they can make.

    Let’s go Apple — listen up and start adding feature and functions to improve this thing. Fast cycles and great design. I cannot wait to see what happens in this segment over the next 2 years.

    Thanks to my linemates for a great day!

  3. Re: default web browser setting
    I guess it really depends on personal preferences, but from the design point of view, Apple got it right to present zoomed out web pages. That gives the user the full view of the web site layout which then the user can zoom in on the interesting part. We are not in early 90′s anymore where web pages are very simplistic. Many websites now have headers, left navigation column, advertisements and other elements. Getting the basic view gives you the idea how the pages are designed. If Apple had chosen to use zoomed in pages as a default, you’ll alway end up with the top left corner and you need to drag the page around to find the starting point. Is it that much a hassle to double tap the iPhone?

  4. Re: default web browser setting
    I guess it really depends on personal preferences, but from the design point of view, Apple got it right to present zoomed out web pages. That gives the user the full view of the web site layout which then the user can zoom in on the interesting part. We are not in early 90′s anymore where web pages are very simplistic. Many websites now have headers, left navigation column, advertisements and other elements. Getting the basic view gives you the idea how the pages are designed. If Apple had chosen to use zoomed in pages as a default, you’ll alway end up with the top left corner and you need to drag the page around to find the starting point. Is it that much a hassle to double tap the iPhone?

  5. i’ve been a mac user for most of my computing life, but who would believe that a windows xp machine would save the day & enable me to activate my new iphone

    even though i spent a good deal of time reading up on the iphone & preparing for my upcoming purchase – i really had decided to wait a few days for more phones to be shipped to the at&t stores – however, on chance i stopped by the local store around 8:30 on friday evening and fortunately they had several phones available.

    i wasnt able to start the activation process until about 10 pm and immediately ran into problems tying to activate on my g4 ibook – i immediately went online to make sure i had the latest version of itunes, only to find that i had 7.2 and needed 7.3 – proceeded to download only to find that i had os x 7.2.9 and i needed 7.4 !

    i had missed the fine print on the mac requirements were 10.3.9 or later for itunes, but 10.4 for the 7.4 download – was i ever steamed – how was i going to activate at 10:30 with no store open to download the correct os -anyway after blowing $500 plus on the phone jobs & co still wanted me to pony up another $130 for the os

    fortunately my son had his dell with windows xp with the proper update pack so that i could download itunes 7.4 and activate the iphone -

    about 11:30 i got everything activated & synced & was on – it has exceeded my expectations -

    while i’m not a tech guy, ive grown up with macs and databases and spreadsheets in my job as a budget analyst and i pride myself on knowing details like the os so i’m still somewhat ticked about the os requirements being buried in fine print

    of course, i’ll have to wait for 10.4 until i can sync on my laptop & load up with photos and music from my laptop – anyway no one will believe that a dell made my newest apple experience possible

  6. i’ve been a mac user for most of my computing life, but who would believe that a windows xp machine would save the day & enable me to activate my new iphone

    even though i spent a good deal of time reading up on the iphone & preparing for my upcoming purchase – i really had decided to wait a few days for more phones to be shipped to the at&t stores – however, on chance i stopped by the local store around 8:30 on friday evening and fortunately they had several phones available.

    i wasnt able to start the activation process until about 10 pm and immediately ran into problems tying to activate on my g4 ibook – i immediately went online to make sure i had the latest version of itunes, only to find that i had 7.2 and needed 7.3 – proceeded to download only to find that i had os x 7.2.9 and i needed 7.4 !

    i had missed the fine print on the mac requirements were 10.3.9 or later for itunes, but 10.4 for the 7.4 download – was i ever steamed – how was i going to activate at 10:30 with no store open to download the correct os -anyway after blowing $500 plus on the phone jobs & co still wanted me to pony up another $130 for the os

    fortunately my son had his dell with windows xp with the proper update pack so that i could download itunes 7.4 and activate the iphone -

    about 11:30 i got everything activated & synced & was on – it has exceeded my expectations -

    while i’m not a tech guy, ive grown up with macs and databases and spreadsheets in my job as a budget analyst and i pride myself on knowing details like the os so i’m still somewhat ticked about the os requirements being buried in fine print

    of course, i’ll have to wait for 10.4 until i can sync on my laptop & load up with photos and music from my laptop – anyway no one will believe that a dell made my newest apple experience possible

  7. The most important thing to note about yesterday’s release of the iPhone is this: It’s only the beginning! Steve Jobs said that much in his January introduction of the iPhone. They have a lot more, a lot more!

    In fact, I read that the second version could be out in time for Christmas. The European model will, in fact, be much better than the US version as it will have 3G and other goodies!

    As did the original iPod, you can expect this baby, especially given all the fuss Apple is making over it, will rapidly evolve and improve BIG TIME!

    Apple didn’t sit still for the iPod and it will not sit still for the iPhone.

    Despite all of its little faults, if the iPhone’s first version is this good, just imagine how good the second one will be and so on?

  8. The most important thing to note about yesterday’s release of the iPhone is this: It’s only the beginning! Steve Jobs said that much in his January introduction of the iPhone. They have a lot more, a lot more!

    In fact, I read that the second version could be out in time for Christmas. The European model will, in fact, be much better than the US version as it will have 3G and other goodies!

    As did the original iPod, you can expect this baby, especially given all the fuss Apple is making over it, will rapidly evolve and improve BIG TIME!

    Apple didn’t sit still for the iPod and it will not sit still for the iPhone.

    Despite all of its little faults, if the iPhone’s first version is this good, just imagine how good the second one will be and so on?

  9. Robert,

    Why must you and a few other bloggers/writers (like the guy at the Boston Globe) feel compelled to say something “snarky” about the iPhone? Is it too much beneath you to merely be objective? I just don’t understand this desire to say something nasty just because a product/service is the object of desire for so many other lesser mortals. This attitude is neither cute nor adult. Puerile comes to mind.

  10. Robert,

    Why must you and a few other bloggers/writers (like the guy at the Boston Globe) feel compelled to say something “snarky” about the iPhone? Is it too much beneath you to merely be objective? I just don’t understand this desire to say something nasty just because a product/service is the object of desire for so many other lesser mortals. This attitude is neither cute nor adult. Puerile comes to mind.

  11. The thing the photo doesn’t show is the hundreds of people and press surrounding the store, many of whom were yelling and screaming too. It was a great rush to get everyone excited.

  12. The thing the photo doesn’t show is the hundreds of people and press surrounding the store, many of whom were yelling and screaming too. It was a great rush to get everyone excited.

  13. Robert,

    It’d be nice to hear you convey any stories or perspective that Bill Atkinson or Andy Hertzfeld conveyed. Would you mind?

    BTW I got my IPhone last night. I am totally amazed at how great it is. Kudo’s to all who worked on it.

  14. Robert,

    It’d be nice to hear you convey any stories or perspective that Bill Atkinson or Andy Hertzfeld conveyed. Would you mind?

    BTW I got my IPhone last night. I am totally amazed at how great it is. Kudo’s to all who worked on it.

  15. I actually preferred Windows 3.1 over 95. So I think I’d love the N95. That is, if I actually cared a lot about my phone, which I don’t. I’m not too interested in spending a fortune in something that could be lost to a mugger at any moment.

  16. I actually preferred Windows 3.1 over 95. So I think I’d love the N95. That is, if I actually cared a lot about my phone, which I don’t. I’m not too interested in spending a fortune in something that could be lost to a mugger at any moment.

  17. Unfortunately I’m one of the many who waited in line for hours (luckily not overnight like some) for the iPhone only to get it home and have problems with activation. I’m switching my number from Alltel so that may have something to do with it but I’m starting to doubt it as I read some of the other horror stories from people who where already with AT&T.

    It’s 19 hours later and I’m still waiting for the phone to be activated. I’ve spent a lot of last night and today on the phone and no one seems to know what’s going on. I can’t tell you how depressing it is to have the phone sitting right here yet not be able to do ANYTHING at all with it. It’s almost worse than not having it at all. But from what I hear it’ll all be worth it when these issues are worked out.

  18. Unfortunately I’m one of the many who waited in line for hours (luckily not overnight like some) for the iPhone only to get it home and have problems with activation. I’m switching my number from Alltel so that may have something to do with it but I’m starting to doubt it as I read some of the other horror stories from people who where already with AT&T.

    It’s 19 hours later and I’m still waiting for the phone to be activated. I’ve spent a lot of last night and today on the phone and no one seems to know what’s going on. I can’t tell you how depressing it is to have the phone sitting right here yet not be able to do ANYTHING at all with it. It’s almost worse than not having it at all. But from what I hear it’ll all be worth it when these issues are worked out.

  19. “The wide view is totally useless on many Web pages cause you can’t read anything.”

    I actually like starting at the wide view. Give me the context first, then I’m a double tap away from zooming to the content I want to start with. Even more useful on larger/longer pages.

  20. “The wide view is totally useless on many Web pages cause you can’t read anything.”

    I actually like starting at the wide view. Give me the context first, then I’m a double tap away from zooming to the content I want to start with. Even more useful on larger/longer pages.

  21. John: if you think I didn’t say a single thing nice about it go and read my first impressions again. How about “it lives up to the hype” for one.

    Sorry if I can’t gush enough for you.

    Wait until you hear Patrick’s reactions on video this afternoon if you think we aren’t gushing enough.

  22. Jake: no, it’s not. I was already paying cell service before I bought the iPhone for Patrick and Maryam. There isn’t a significant change there.

  23. John: if you think I didn’t say a single thing nice about it go and read my first impressions again. How about “it lives up to the hype” for one.

    Sorry if I can’t gush enough for you.

    Wait until you hear Patrick’s reactions on video this afternoon if you think we aren’t gushing enough.

  24. Scoble: I read your blog everyday and, normally, I really like what you write. I don’t know if you’re just tired or woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. But it seems like you didn’t have one nice thing to say about the iPhone, taking most of your article to point out its flaws.

    Come on man. I just got the iPhone yesterday and while it isn’t perfect and its missing some features. It’s a huge step forward for technology. The design of the product is amazing and the interface is so great that I think its going to be hard for other companies to compete in the long run, its really that good.

    People worked really hard on this and did a great job. Would it be so bad to point out some of the major advancements this phone has in comparison to other phones. I had 2 treos before this and honestly its like night and day. There’s just no comparison.

  25. Scoble: I read your blog everyday and, normally, I really like what you write. I don’t know if you’re just tired or woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. But it seems like you didn’t have one nice thing to say about the iPhone, taking most of your article to point out its flaws.

    Come on man. I just got the iPhone yesterday and while it isn’t perfect and its missing some features. It’s a huge step forward for technology. The design of the product is amazing and the interface is so great that I think its going to be hard for other companies to compete in the long run, its really that good.

    People worked really hard on this and did a great job. Would it be so bad to point out some of the major advancements this phone has in comparison to other phones. I had 2 treos before this and honestly its like night and day. There’s just no comparison.

  26. I can’t believe the number of articles that point out that the cost of this service over two years is $2000. Is that really significantly different than what people already pay for cell phone service?

  27. I can’t believe the number of articles that point out that the cost of this service over two years is $2000. Is that really significantly different than what people already pay for cell phone service?

  28. Kevin: you’d just finger around the page. The UI is so nice after you zoom in. The wide view is totally useless on many Web pages cause you can’t read anything.

  29. Kevin: you’d just finger around the page. The UI is so nice after you zoom in. The wide view is totally useless on many Web pages cause you can’t read anything.

  30. I was thinking you can appreciate all the coolness of th is phone because you know a lot more about phones than I do. Then I see your list of gripes pretty closely matches mine. I can’t believe you can’t control the default view of the web browser. And I wished for a video game or two. And btw, my fingers are getting better at hitting the right keys. I’m surprised to find this. More later.

  31. I was thinking you can appreciate all the coolness of th is phone because you know a lot more about phones than I do. Then I see your list of gripes pretty closely matches mine. I can’t believe you can’t control the default view of the web browser. And I wished for a video game or two. And btw, my fingers are getting better at hitting the right keys. I’m surprised to find this. More later.

  32. Dave Winer is not right. Why would you want a browser to default to zoomed into an article on a web page? How would it know which one to bring up?

    The cool part about the Safari browser in the iPhone is that it understand CSS blocks and knows how to isolate them in the browser view. Please don’t confuse this with the ancient concept of “large fonts” in a browser. It’s nice to see a web page and then double-tap to read one of the articles or view a picture. I wouldn’t want to have to zoom out each time just to get my bearings.

    After reading Walt Mossberg’s review, I’m also convinced that many of the negative keyboard reviews will go away after a week or two.

    There are certainly faults with the iPhone (this is a 1.0 device), but what we really need to focus on is the revolutionary software interface. This is a game changing technology that shouldn’t be trivialized.

  33. Dave Winer is not right. Why would you want a browser to default to zoomed into an article on a web page? How would it know which one to bring up?

    The cool part about the Safari browser in the iPhone is that it understand CSS blocks and knows how to isolate them in the browser view. Please don’t confuse this with the ancient concept of “large fonts” in a browser. It’s nice to see a web page and then double-tap to read one of the articles or view a picture. I wouldn’t want to have to zoom out each time just to get my bearings.

    After reading Walt Mossberg’s review, I’m also convinced that many of the negative keyboard reviews will go away after a week or two.

    There are certainly faults with the iPhone (this is a 1.0 device), but what we really need to focus on is the revolutionary software interface. This is a game changing technology that shouldn’t be trivialized.

  34. I posted my morning after review on my website (also linked above) dotCULT.

    After having problems ordering online, I just walked right into the store this morning at 9:30 and got one. There were over 100 phones left in stock, and only 4 people in the store.

  35. I posted my morning after review on my website (also linked above) dotCULT.

    After having problems ordering online, I just walked right into the store this morning at 9:30 and got one. There were over 100 phones left in stock, and only 4 people in the store.

  36. I think the phone is great! I’ve been looking for a new phone for a while and it was down to the iphone or the Blackberry Curve. I opted for the iphone for a variety of reasons, particularly the fact that it’s also an iPod, and I’m happy with my decision.

    That’s not to say that i haven’t had my own problems with the phone. Last night, it suddenly shut down on me and I had to a reset to get it back on (Home + Sleep/Wake for 8 secs). Then there’s the issue of syncing information from two computers. My work computer has all my contacts and calendar info while my home PC has all my media. I wasn’t able to sync info from my work PC and i don’t know if it’s because i’m using Outlook 2007. I’ll need to look into this some more.

    With the keyboard, i’m amazed and disappointed at the same time. I can type pretty quickly and accurately, but after a while my thumb joints feel awkward. It might be because of a lack of tactile feedback that i’m positioning my thumbs differently.

    Overall, I’m impressed.

  37. I think the phone is great! I’ve been looking for a new phone for a while and it was down to the iphone or the Blackberry Curve. I opted for the iphone for a variety of reasons, particularly the fact that it’s also an iPod, and I’m happy with my decision.

    That’s not to say that i haven’t had my own problems with the phone. Last night, it suddenly shut down on me and I had to a reset to get it back on (Home + Sleep/Wake for 8 secs). Then there’s the issue of syncing information from two computers. My work computer has all my contacts and calendar info while my home PC has all my media. I wasn’t able to sync info from my work PC and i don’t know if it’s because i’m using Outlook 2007. I’ll need to look into this some more.

    With the keyboard, i’m amazed and disappointed at the same time. I can type pretty quickly and accurately, but after a while my thumb joints feel awkward. It might be because of a lack of tactile feedback that i’m positioning my thumbs differently.

    Overall, I’m impressed.

  38. I was wondering if Patrick would review his – I’d like to see a lower-teen’s perspective on the super phone.

  39. I was wondering if Patrick would review his – I’d like to see a lower-teen’s perspective on the super phone.

  40. I cannot review it since I’m in Denmark, but thanks to your live video feed, justin.tv feeds and the very well produced iphonelaunch.tv we got to see all the frenzy live on the Internet for many hours and that was fun.

    I’m trying to figure out if there is a prepaid deal there which doesn’t provide EDGE but let’s the user start using the phoning for 10 cents a call starting thus at 500$ to get the phone.

    Cause becoming forced on the 59.99$ monthly plan on the already outdated EDGE technology means one would have to pay 1940$ at the minimum for this over a two year period, that’d be just crazy expensive.

    I wonder does it do Javascripts at all, is it not powerfull enough, a supposedly Apple R&D guy said on iphonelaunch.tv yesterday that it is powerfull enough for Flash but it would be a question of integrating and licencing. I wonder will it do VOIP over WiFi maybe even over EDGE. Can it playback video codecs at DVD resolution. What happens if you go on a website to download for example an mp3 over a normal http link, will it download it onto its internal storage while you can continue to browse the Internet or do you have to sync all media through iTunes on a Mac or PC? Can it start streaming that music file directly?

  41. I cannot review it since I’m in Denmark, but thanks to your live video feed, justin.tv feeds and the very well produced iphonelaunch.tv we got to see all the frenzy live on the Internet for many hours and that was fun.

    I’m trying to figure out if there is a prepaid deal there which doesn’t provide EDGE but let’s the user start using the phoning for 10 cents a call starting thus at 500$ to get the phone.

    Cause becoming forced on the 59.99$ monthly plan on the already outdated EDGE technology means one would have to pay 1940$ at the minimum for this over a two year period, that’d be just crazy expensive.

    I wonder does it do Javascripts at all, is it not powerfull enough, a supposedly Apple R&D guy said on iphonelaunch.tv yesterday that it is powerfull enough for Flash but it would be a question of integrating and licencing. I wonder will it do VOIP over WiFi maybe even over EDGE. Can it playback video codecs at DVD resolution. What happens if you go on a website to download for example an mp3 over a normal http link, will it download it onto its internal storage while you can continue to browse the Internet or do you have to sync all media through iTunes on a Mac or PC? Can it start streaming that music file directly?

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