There were many problems and disappointments on iPhone 3G launch day. Many people who stood in line day one were turned away at the last minute. Some because they had business accounts which couldn’t be process at an Apple store, others had credit check problems, or shared a line with someone who wasn’t present. In the end they all were turned away. Those of us who were lucky enough to get a new iPhone 3G at launch still have quite a story to tell. Here is mine.
Review of the iPhone 2.0 software
First off let me preface with the fact that I had a perfectly working jailbroken iPhone before the software came out. I was almost reluctant to upgrade because I had a wonder experience with my jailbroken iPhone. I decided to try it out mainly because I really wanted to try out Super Monkey Ball.
The upgrade to 2.0 took forever. I was late to work because I didn’t realize how long the update process would actually take. Previous firmware updates did not take that long. Once I had the software I started downloading the top 25 that were free. I won’t go into what are the great iPhone apps as I’m planning a comprehensive roundup of the best iPhone apps for a future post.
The App Store
I’ve got to say, overall the app store works pretty good. I really like the top 25, but wish they would add a recently added section. It worked so great in installer.app. I would almost check daily to see what new apps were available. Installing an app is not that obvious. You basically tap the price button and it turns into an install button. Would it kill you to put a standalone download button? As soon as you hit the download button you are prompted for your password. This is annoying as you have to do this every time you download or update an app.
The next thing is does is kick you back to the main screen. What if I wasn’t done looking at the app store. Again, this is very annoying. I also found out there is no reason to position my apps where I want them, as every time I do an update it repositions the updated apps wherever it wants. This is partially because I like to leave the second to bottom row empty. Still, I should be able to arrange my icons how I like.
I do have a couple of tips to chare with you. If you are a two iPhone family like me you will want to share some of those paid apps with your other phone. Basically all you need to do is login to iTunes on the user’s computer you wish to share with, and download the apps. Here is a more detailed description. Another little tip I found useful if you find your iPhone crashing a lot when running certain programs. Maybe the mail application is getting mail at the same time or some other unknown process is happening. Kill it by holding down the home button. Very handy.
iPhone Backup Process
The biggest complaint I have with the new software is not on the phone, but rather with iTunes. Every time I plug in my phone to my computer, iTunes wants to perform a full backup of my iPhone. This sounds great, as we don’t have to worry about loosing any applications or data if the phone suddenly gets dropped in the lake. The band news is that this process can take a long time. I have lots of applications, and backup usually takes about 20 minutes on my Quad Core Mac Pro. This is ridiculous. If you want to stop this from happening there is a way, however it requires that you play around in the terminal. It is reversible and has not caused any problem for me yet, so try it out.
Other than the app store nothing much has changed. There is now support for exchange email and contacts, but I haven’t tried these out yet. The big feature of 2.0 is the actual apps, which I will talk about very soon.
Review of the iPhone 3G
Well to be honest, the iPhone 3G is not that much different than the iPhone V1. It even doesn’t look that much different. First let me speak to 3G. 3G is fast. Apple says it is about twice as fast as Edge, and it really feels like it. Since I use the crap out of the internet connection on my phone, 3G has been a big hit. Luckily I am in an area where there is 3G coverage everywhere. However you think with this fast connection we would finally get support for flash on the iPhone. Crazy huh?
Up next is GPS. I have never gotten the nice little blue GPS dot that is supposed to show when you have a GPS fixed on your position. It’s so funny to watch the demonstration videos and it shows how fast everything is. I guess reality wouldn’t be as glamorous. I cannot even tell my iPhone has GPS as I seem to get the same results on my old iPhone. I tried to use the GPS on a recent road trip, on a road in the middle of nowhere. The iPhone basically said it couldn’t locate me. I had no cell service, but that should not have affected the GPS. Meanwhile my Garmin Nuvi knew exactly where I was at.
I’ll wrap all the other features into one. I got the black one because I thought the white one looked girly. Now I wish I would have gotten the white version as you really can’t tell I have a new iPhone unless you really notice the back. I do have the 16GB version now, so I am loving the extra space. The new speakers seem to be a little louder, which I like. Also I notice that the camera and screen seem to be a bit better. I have heard that the new iPhone screen is now at a different color temperature, sharper, and more contrast, but I haven’t heard anything about the camera. It could be that my old camera was scratched up as it was older. Who knows?
PWNING Your 3G 2.0
I got only one thing to say "do it". You get all of the great functionality on the iPhone, but now with every app every released for the iPhone. I am using it because I really missed mobile scribbler, and themes. However please note that the jailbreak software is unstable at the moment. It took me several tries before it actually worked. Plus you always run the risk of bricking your phone, so do so at your own risk. Just know that I have not had any problems yet.