First week iPhone impressions

I just returned from a business trip to Chicago. I must admit that this trip was the event that pushed me over the edge to finally buy an iPhone. A combination of needing a dedicated mobile phone for staying in touch with Wife, for work folk to get/stay in contact, and all of the data support. In fact, I knew I wanted the iPhone more for data functionality than phone. I was correct in that area.

I love wireless computing. I love the 802.11 network in my house and how I can sit on the couch or out on the back patio and ‘pute. The one bummer has been that while technically it is wireless I am still ultimately tethered to a general location by the range of the wireless base station. I can’t do things on the road. Having the iPhone and Internet access via AT&T’s 3G network puts the world at my fingertips almost anywhere I am. There is great power and convenience in that. For example, I started writing this post while riding on the hotel shuttle bus to O’Hare airport. Or how after typing that I had to save a draft and then I continued writing the post from inside the O’Hare terminal while I wait for my plane to board. And now, I am back home and finishing the blog post on my MacBook Pro.

I find one huge advantage is being able to keep up. I can check and send email, read my RSS feeds, or just browse the web for news and information. Certainly being able to blog from “anywhere” is useful as well towards ensuring at least one blog post every day. Being able to keep up with communications and not having to “return to the desktop” to catch up and be in touch is a huge boon. Normally after a trip like this, due to the forced offline time of travel, I’d come back Monday morning to a huge slew of email and things to have to slog through and catch up on. No longer. I can just chug right along and not miss a beat.

One problem however is “ostrich syndrome”; that’s where you are so heads down focused on the device that you become oblivious to the world around you. Some people take it a step further, walking around while they do this. It comes with the territory to some extent, but I have to train myself against it. I don’t want to be oblivious to my surroundings. This is something that has to be worked on, to find a balance between being focused on your work but also focused on your surroundings.

Another problem is battery life. It’s amazing how quickly it goes down. There are things you can do to help reduce power consumption, so I’ve done what I can there. Apple posts some useful tips.

I have gotten used to typing. I don’t think I’ll be as good a typist as I can at a real keyboard. There’s no tactile feedback from the keystrokes, it’s using your thumbs and not all 10 of your fingers, but I was impressed how well I could get around. While I may not want to compose essays on the iPhone, certainly I don’t have much problem dealing with emails or even writing a short blog posting. 🙂

But again, the biggest thing I like is being able to have access anywhere. I can just pull out the phone, fire up Safari, and look something up. Or pull out Maps and figure out where to go, from where I presently am. There’s an amazing amount of power and convenience to this, and I’m fortunate to have it.

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