Friday, December 07, 2007

Some iPhone Love

I seems I have been fairly critical of the iPhone in the past. Most of my comments have triggered by the disconnect between what the iPhone is today, and what it could have been. But don't get me wrong: I do consider the iPhone to be a fantastic device. And I do even more so today. Let me tell you why.

As you might have noticed by the lack of traffic here, I was lucky enough to be on vacation last week (more on this later!). I was traveling without my laptop but not without my iPhone. And for a whole week I have been have able to keep up with my email and blog reading, all from the iPhone. Even if have been using the iPhone for a few months now, I have been struck by 2 things:

  1. After one week of writing all my email on the iPhone I became much faster with the iPhone soft keyboard. I have been using a two-finger technique, with the two thumbs doing the typing and the rest of the fingers holding the phone. I feel that I am now as fast with the iPhone as I used to be with my Nokia E62, a Blackberry type of device that comes with a full keyboard. This is something I never expected to be possible with the iPhone soft keyboard.
  2. If your email server provides an IMAP access (which is something new for us Gmail users), then the iPhone mail application works quite well. I have been surprised by how well it works while offline (think: in an airplane): it will just transparently send all the commands to the server next time you have a connection. It also can prefetch the body of the messages, so you can read your email or catch up with mailing lists while offline. Let me tell you: I've done plenty of email on those planes!
And of course, but this is nothing new, Safari is a blast. It is just much better than everything else I have seen on any other phone. Overall, the iPhone has been a very solid device, and I am not convinced that any other phone would have done a better job.