The iPhone and Oz

You know that scene in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens her monochromatic door to a world of vivid color? That’s the feeling I had the first day I ditched my non-descript, run-of-the-mill cell phone for a shiny, happy iPhone. (That being said, I do believe the hoard of singing dwarves that followed me home was a wholly unrelated occurrence. The monkeys could be connected, though.)

Before you begin either praising or cursing my seemingly gargantuan amount of Apple fanaticism, bare in mind that I could have experienced the same feeling had I chosen a Blackberry Storm, Android G1 or Palm Treo Pro; it is the connectivity above all else that has made me such a happy camper. So why did I choose the iPhone, specifically?

  • The interface appealed to me, an obvious extension of lessons learned on the Palm OS, Mac OS X and, of course, the iPod. Plus, it is hawt.
  • iTunes integration. As flawed as the application may be, it’s been my go-to media library for almost 5 years.
  • As a designer/developer, I can’t ignore the rich, vibrant community of like-minded creators populating the vast App Store with thousands of mobile tools, games and experiments. I wanted to experience that, and possibly become a part of it.
After about a week and a half of use, I’m still enamored with this little device. The ability to have constant access to one’s email, task list, Twitter feed and general online presence is infectious. Case-in-point: This entire post was written on the iPhone using the excellent (and delightfully free) WordPress application.

That being said, there are just a few minor annoyances I’ve encountered:

  • There’s built-in Gmail, Google Search and Google Maps, syncing with Google Contacts, but no Google Calendar? Seriously?
  • Mobile Safari appears to have set a new standard for portable browsing, but since it’s the only app that has crashed on me, I’d love to give alternatives (Opera Mini) a try. Loosen the leash a bit, Apple.
  • Dropbox and Air Sharing are excellent 3rd-party file management tools, but it seems silly that I can’t store things on the iPhone’s filesystem like I can an iPod Classic. Is it just to discourage hacking?
I’m sure I’ll have plenty more positive and negative comments with continued use, or until a product of equal or greater polish (Palm Pre?) comes along for comparison. Until then, it appears my luddite days are over as I finally drink the Apple kool-aid.

“I want to go home,” I said as I tapped my home button (unnecessarily) four times.

(The WordPress app appends attached images to the bottom of the article. I’ve included screenshots of my wallpaper, featuring one of my mother’s Yellowstone photographs, and the 2nd page of my applications menu, simply because it’s less defaulty than the first..)



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