24 hours with the iPhone: my dream mini computer

After my initial problems, I got a new iPhone from my nearby Apple store and spent several hours using it. My first reaction is that it’s very good, meeting the almost impossible expectations I had for it. Photos are fun and look great, movies are nice and will work great on planes, and the iPod functionality looks good.

The thing that really knocked my socks off was Safari.

I do almost everything in a web app, and even with my blackberry pearl I was stuck with a crippled browser that could only use about half the apps I need. It was a breakthrough over my last device (which was painful for more than 1 or 2 web page views) but I never thought having a full copy of safari on a phone would be so liberating (especially since I only use firefox on my mac).

I have a set of tasks I normally do to keep up on all the workings of metafilter, but I used to only be able to check email and read the front pages of my sites on the pearl. Typically that was the bare minimum and I would wait until I got to a desktop to finish the rest of my work. Last night while catching up on some fluffy TV, I used my iphone for about two hours and it was pretty close to what I do with a laptop. I could check the sites, use all my admin tools. Ajax effects worked throughout and I could finally check my bank balance from my phone (my bank’s site requires javascript and locked out my last 2 phones).

Usually before I go to bed, I have to sweep through half a dozen sites and apps to make sure everything is on the up and up. I learned that I could do everything on the iPhone, and I could do it from anywhere on earth. This is going to be great for airports and other places where I used to feel bored, trapped, and in dire need of internet access.

So in conclusion, the iPhone is nice from start to finish, but Safari is really the thing that turns it from a phone into a mini-laptop. Once I get more used to two-thumb typing, the last limitations that keep it from feeling like a real computer will be gone.

11 Comments

  • Fantastic, I’m glad to hear that the second time was the charm!

  • Man, that video of Sylar breaking your iPhone is frightening!

  • Now if only there was an ssh client for the iPhone; then you could do anything. Does it run Java apps/applets/midlets?

  • “I learned that I could do everything on the iPhone, and I could do it from anywhere on earth. This is going to be great for airports and other places where I used to feel bored, trapped, and in dire need of internet access.” EXACTLY.

  • Jonson,
    Are you thinking of SSL? I think the iPhone will let you access secure websites like Amazon or Citibank.
    Since iPhone runs OS X, it could theoretically have a Secure Shell client (ssh) so that people can log into their web servers remotely and administer them via a command-line interface.

  • A pug in a bee costume smirks in recognition of your confusion

  • Yeah, as I said in the post, I had a blackberry pearl. I’m used to shitty web browsers on phones and crappy phones. The iPhone is better on both counts.

  • …Just curious…are you coming from another Smartphone? I have a Smartphone at the moment and sometimes people’s love for the iPhone comes simply from being able to browse the internet and such from their phone.

  • The main thing that the iPhone haters forget is that they are buying a mini computer not just a cell phone. I just read about someone who cancelled his At&t iPhone service but kept the phone is he would have a nice little mini computer. His wifi was still working last time he used it.

  • Yo dudes i called them up, and totally yanked there chain for about 30 minutes. I did not tell him who i am and i wont until they give me a great offer. I got the 20 deal and the abi;ity to but the upgraded phone for $200.00. After about 30 minutes i told him i am not even a T moble customer and i am buying a iphone anyway so thanks by. It was fun LOL

  • hahahaha I’m getting ready to switch from t-mobile to cingular just for the iphone. that is so funny that you called them and they offered you all of that without even being a customer. anyway i know that was a few months ago…but i still have a $800 phone bill to pay from when i went to europe this summer. blahhhhh. maybe if i try and switch they will take away my bill..
    doubt it.

Comments are closed.